When 80% of Divorces are "Forced", How the Church Can Help


Psychologist Hilary Towers, while discussing the opportunity provided by Newt Gingrich's presidential run to have a national debate on the reality of divorce, observes:

Data from the National Survey of Children (NSC) indicate that approximately 80% of divorce cases in this country are forced divorces.  In other words, the vast majority of divorces are situations in which one person puts an end to the marriage through legal coercion, even while the other is fighting to save it.  In a time when “self above all others” serves as the motto for our system of family law and our culture, one would be hard pressed to find a more relevant and pressing issue for the Catholic Church, which upholds the sanctity of lifelong marriage and does not acknowledge divorce. And yet to date, we seem content with viewing spousal abandonment as a mental health issue for the person left behind, rather than the danger to the institution of marriage it is.  We refer the abandoned to a “divorce coping group” and encourage them to carry their cross. This is not enough.