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March 6, 2008 Edition

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Building strong marriages

For over 30 years, there had been one divorce for every two marriages in the United States. The high divorce rate seemed to be a permanent trend.

Editor's View
Mary C. Uhler

However, a study has revealed that divorce rates can be cut by having community marriage policies. The study, "Assessing the Impact of Community Marriage Policies on U.S. County Divorce Rates," found that clergy can significantly reduce the divorce rate. The key is for clergy of all denominations to adopt a community marriage policy with such reforms as rigorous marriage preparation, enriching existing marriages, and mentoring couples in crisis. Communities with community marriage policies have seen divorces drop by as much as 40 percent.

These efforts should come as no surprise to Catholics. We've been doing things to strengthen marriages for many years. The Catholic Church involves engaged couples in marriage preparation, sponsors Marriage Encounter weekends for married couples, and helps troubled marriages through the Retrouvaille program.

Marriage and family life are the foundation of our Church and our society. We must all help to strengthen sacramental married life. This week's Catholic Herald includes our semi-annual Catholic Marriage section with many tips and resources [print edition only]. We hope you will read this section and pass it along to other couples.

And please keep young people who are dating, as well as engaged and married couples, in your prayers.

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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