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The couples I spoke with were very aware of the high Catholic divorce rate.
The abandoning spouse in each took comfort in the thought that he was just part of a crowd.
One man I spoke with, now divorced, took Scott Hahn’s Christian marriage class with his theology-major fiancée.
Another couple, now divorced, made the twin sacrifices of building a large family and allowing the wife to stay home — because, in the ex-husband’s words, “Simpleminded me, I looked at every sacrament as precious and worthy.” Two others, now divorced, helped at their parish and were sacrificing to send their kids to Catholic schools.
Or, as Alicia stated it: “I’m too good to be divorced.
“They’re actually pleased to rip my family apart because they think I’m this mistaken ancient restrictive weirdo because I’m a loyal Roman Catholic.”For a woman in her position, the feeling of betrayal is overwhelming.
“It’s like the Church has let us go into the hands of a monster that is tearing our family apart, and the Church won’t intervene,” she said. When I made my vows, I signed up for something different.”The divorce rate among Catholics is reputedly the same as that among the general public, where about 35 percent of people who have been married have also been divorced.
He is a judge and defender of the bond at the marriage tribunal at the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, where he’s involved in hundreds of Petitions for Declarations of Invalidity of Marriage (the technical name for an annulment).“My response can only be anecdotal,” he told me.
“But in the cases I’ve handled, I would estimate that in somewhere between 5 and 10 percent, at least one member of the couple made an effort to know, study, or follow the Church’s teachings,” he said.
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In fact, no one knows exactly what the assenting-Catholic divorce rate is.