Why does marriage matter? Why choose to get married? Why work to stay married? These and other such questions are on people's minds today.
For help in answering these questions, many will turn to social science research. Fortunately, there is a lot of helpful information in the research that affirms the role and value of marriage for individuals, families, and society.
Pope Saint John Paul II has written: "The Church values sociological and statistical research when it proves helpful in understanding the historical context in which pastoral action has to be developed and when it leads to a better understanding of the truth" (Familiaris Consortio, no. 5).
This series of eight short presentations, prepared as a part of the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage in 2006 and 2007, shows how Church belief and teaching about marriage are strengthened and confirmed by the findings of social science research. These points of convergence are a strong factor in "making a case" for marriage – particularly with younger generations of adults who rely heavily on such research in their quest for truth and direction.
Each topic is presented using the same format: (1) a summary of the state of the issue, including statistical information with sources; (2) key points from social science research: and (3) key points from a sampling of church teaching.