Marriage and the Family

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Changing attitudes to marriage, divorce, family life and homosexuality in the UK

How attitudes have changed...

1. Many people have sex before marriage. Many couples live together (cohabit)

2. Most marriages do not happen in church. Divorce is common

3. Because of divorce there are more single parents and reconsituted families

4. Society treats homosexual sex the same way as hetreosexual sex. Homosexuals can form civil patnerships

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Changing attitudes to marriage, divorce, family life and homosexuality in the UK

Reasons for the changes...

1. Contraception made it safer to have sex before marriage. Fewer people are religious

2. Divorce was made easier. Women were not willing to accept unequal treatment

3. Cohabitation means many parents are not married. Re-marriage means re-constituted families are more common

4. Changes in the law made it easier to be openly homosexual. Media coverage led to acceptance of homosexuality

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Christian attitudes to sex outside marriage

Most Christians think this is wrong because...

1. God gave sex for the procreation of children, who should be brought up in a family

2. The Bible and Catechism says sex outside marriage is sinful

3. Adultery breacks the wedding vows

4. Adultery is condemned in the ten commandments and by Jesus 

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The purposes of marriage in Christianity

1. Life-long faithful relationship

2. Support each other

3. Have and bring up chinldren

4. It is a Sacrament

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The purpose of marriage

How this is shown in the wedding ceremony...

1. Promise to be faithful until death. Readings/homily refer to love and faithfulness

2. Preparation course. Priest asks questions about love and support

3. Questions about accepting children. Readings/homily/prayers refer to children 

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Christian attitudes to divorce

Catholic View...

1. Does not accept divorce. Only death can end a marriage

2. Legal divorce does not end the marriage but may be needed to provide for children. Re-marriage is not allowed

3. Jesus said divorce is wrong

4. Marriage is a covenant with God and cannot be broken

5. The Catechism says divorce is wrong

6. Re-marriage is not acceptable

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Christian attitudes to divorce

Non-Catholic attitude...

1. Jesus seemed to accept divorce in Matthew 19 - for adultery

2. Divorce is a lesser evil than staying in a broken marriage

3. Forgiveness means re-marriage is acceptable

4. Some say it is better to divorce than to live in hatred

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Why family life is improtant for Catholics?

1. One if the main purposes of marriage is to bring up Catholic children

2. The family was made by God as the basis of society

3. Children learn about their faith in the family

4. The family is too important to be broken by divorce

5. Children learn right and wrong in the family

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How Catholic parishes help with the upbringing of children?

1. Catholic schools teach the faith and therefore help parents keep their marriage and baptism vows

2. Parishes run classes for Holy Communion and Confirmation

3. Parishes run children's liturgies

4. Some parishes run youth clubs which keep children off the streets

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How Catholics parishes help to keep families together?

1. During Mass parents may be reminded of their marriage vows and other reasons not to divorce

2. The parish priest has a duty to advise couples with problems

3. Th Church has a national programme of support for marriage and family life

4. Churches are family friendly so that families can go to Mass together

5. Counselling is given by 'Catholic Marriage Care' 

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Christian attitudes to homosexuality

Catholic View

1. The Bible says homosexual sexual activity is sinful

2. Sexual activity should be able to lead to children

3. Disrimination is sinful 'Hate the sin, love the sinner'

4. The Magisterium and Catechism say homosexual sexual activity is sinful

5. People cannot help their orientation, but they can control their sexual activity

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Christian attitudes to homosexuality

Evangelical Protestant View...

1. The Bible says homosexual sexual activity is sinful

2. The salvation of Christ can remove all sins including homosexuality

3. Both homosexual orientation and activity are wrong

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Christian attitudes to homosexuality

Liberal Protestant View...

1. The Bible texts condeming homosexuality are not the word of God

2. 'Love your nieghbour' means homosexuals must be accepted

3. If people feel that the holy spirit approves of their homosexuality, it must be true

4. Christians should be honest and not encouraged to lie about their sexuality

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Different Methods of Contraception

1. Natural Family Planning reduces the chances of becoming pregnant by planning sex around the times in the month when the woman is infertile.

It is the only form of family planning accepted by the Catholic Church

2. Artificial Contraception includes: condoms, 'the pill', the 'Morning after pill' and the coil.

None of these are accepted by the Church

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Different Christian attitudes to contraception

Catholic View...

1. Popes have condemned artificial contraception

2. Popes have accepted natural family planning

3. All sex should be unitive and creative (it should bring the couple together and bring new life)

4. Some contraceptives cause very early abortion (abortifacient)

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Different Christian attitudes to contraception

Non-Catholic View...

1.Contraception improves women's health and raises the standard of living

2. God made sex for enjoyment and to strengthen marriage. There does not have to be the possibilty of children

3. The Bible does not forbid contraception

4. All non-Catholic churches say Christians can use contraception to limit family size

5. Condoms can combat the spread of AIDS

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