San Francisco Archdiocese finds making couples needlessly “jump through hoops” not conducive to church weddings

“There is a concern across the board from our priests, not just about the number of marriages, but as to the quality of marriage preparation — that has to be revisited,” said Msgr. James Tarantino, vicar for administration and moderator of the curia for the archdiocese.

Marriage preparation should be more welcoming to couples, he said. In addition, the decline in the number of church weddings “points to a deeper issue of people not being as well educated as to what a sacramental marriage means and how that is important in helping a marriage,” he said.

The drop in sacramental marriages in the archdiocese mirrors national trends. About 72 percent of all U.S adults were married in 1960 but by 2008 the figure was down to 52 percent, according to a 2010 Pew Research Institute report, “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families.”

Msgr. Tarantino said a rise in cohabitation and rejection of the idea of traditional church weddings are factors in the drop. “Another factor is the way our system of marriage preparation works or doesn’t work. Sometimes it is not as conducive as it might be in showing hospitality and welcoming people to marry in church,” he said.

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Editor’s note: Why do we need popes and bishops … when we have the impeccable Pew Research and John Jay folks, on which to rely … for the best advice that money can buy?

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