People must consider the implications of the divorce referendum which seeks to speed up the dissolution of marriage, according to the Catholic bishops.
“Marriage is essential and fundamental for the good of society worldwide,” said Bishop Denis Nulty, chair of the Council for Marriage & Family. “The objective of the proposed referendum is not to support marriage, rather to liberalise divorce.”
The introduction of socio-economic policies supporting the family, fidelity and commitment, could reduce marriage breakdown, he said. This would cost money but the human and economic costs of breakdown and divorce, were greater. Bishop Leahy of Limerick asked if it were time to establish “an agency specifically dedicated to marriage” and “support to marriages in trouble?”
Pat Duff from Retrouvaille, ‘the lifeline for marriage’, said irrespective of the referendum’s outcome, legislation is needed to ensure that couples did something to save their marriages during the ‘living apart period’, “otherwise all the State is doing is perpetuating people moving from one bad relationship to another because they take all their personal and couple baggage with them,” he told The Irish Catholic.
Mr Duff and his wife Marian were 25 years married when they sought help from Retrouvaille in 2003. “The intervention saved our marriage. We could have easily separated and be still blaming each other but with the proper help we have saved a marriage and a family.