What’s the Biggest Threat to Marriage?

You’re looking at it.

On The Deacon’s Bench:

Internet use — and misuse — is straining marriages more than ever in at least one country, according to a new report:

The Catholic Church’s  marriage counselling service says the misuse of the internet is the fastest-growing cause of marital difficulty in Ireland.

ACCORD’s annual report for 2010 showed that while the number of people listing internet usage as a factor in their difficulties only accounted for a small number of the total complaints, it was still the fastest-growing area of concern.

The number of marriages citing internet misuse as a cause for conflict increased by 20 per cent in the last year, and by 125 per cent since ACCORD began recording stats on it in 2007.

The report, being launched this lunchtime, elsewhere found that there had been a year-on-year decrease in the number of couples seeking marriage preparation courses – reflecting the reductions both in the number of marriages,
and in the growing number of alternative providers.

The service’s 800 counsellors offered 43,000 hours of counselling last year, its highest figure to date. The number of couples seeking its marriage counselling service was up by 8 per cent on last year.

Read more.


The Question of Clerical Bloggers

The New Theological Movement:

… The Catholic blogosphere sometimes reminds me of the early Church – all sorts of people are saying all sorts of things, some are right, some are almost right, and some are way wrong. The internet is an environment with very little control, hence there is almost no on-line oversight from the Church’s pastors (i.e. the bishops). What is more, the internet culture is often looked down upon by the Hierarchy – both by bishops and by many of the priests. I notice that older priests are especially quick to discredit Catholic blogs (whether this is because the Catholic blogosphere is quite conservative or whether it is just a simple matter of “hiding one’s head in the sand”, I do not know).
There are legitimate questions raised occasionally, especially when it comes to priests (and, I suppose, bishops) who contribute to blogs: Is the blogosphere really a dignified place for a priest? Does a priest have time to write for a blog? And, finally, If a priest does have a blog, what should it look like?

In this little article, I would like to provide something of an answer to these questions. In the course of my response, I hope as well to give people a little insight into how a priest might fit “blogging” into his busy schedule…

Give the rest a read here.