|The State of Marriage in Europe|
|Written by Sherry|
|Saturday, 01 March 2008 19:35|
The March edition of the Lausanne World Pulse is out and has some really striking articles in light of all the Pew flavored discussions this week.
First off, here 's a reality check about the status of marriage in Europe:
In 2007, France became the first non-Scandinavian country in Western Europe where a majority of births are now out-of-wedlock. In France, 50.5% of the 816,500 births registered in 2007 were to unmarried parents, up from 48.4% in 2006 and forty percent a decade ago. Out-of-wedlock births kept pace with the rise of civil unions. In 2007, there were 305,385 of said "unions" registered in France, compared to only 266,500 marriages.
C. S. Lewis advocated making a distinction between Christian marriage and secular marriage many years ago. But I don't think he envisioned "civil unions."
In Sweden, Norway, Estonia, and Bulgaria, out-of-wedlock births have also passed the fifty percent mark. In the United Kingdom, births to the unmarried were forty-four percent in 2006, up a percentage point from 2005. In Catholic countries like Italy and Spain, births to married couples are still the norm (illegitimacy is twenty-seven percent in Spain and seventeen percent in Italy). Even so, in those countries, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births has doubled in the past decade.
And this is important:
Guy Desplanques, head of France's agency for compiling demographic data, notes, "Marriage is now seen more as a celebration held to bring together family and friends, and less a necessary institution, especially given the growth of civil unions."
And the US is not far behind at 36.9%.
Via Christian Newswire.
Spain and Italy aren't as secularized as France - yet - but their figures doubled in the past decade so they are catching up fast. Britain is not far behind France.