Welcome to the Reading Room

Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Divorce Myth

by Dr. Jeff Mirus

Children are happier if their parents are happier; they are better off growing up in an environment free from bickering; they are resilient enough that family upheavals do not negatively affect them over the long-term. Few would argue with these statements, but there is at least one scenario in which all of them are resoundingly false: That scenario is divorce. It turns out that, apart from violence and abuse, children are very much worse off if their parents become happier by divorcing, or if they avoid bickering by divorcing, or if the upheaval in question is the destruction of the family unit itself by divorce.

An article in this month’s Homiletic & Pastoral Review by Barbara Meng (not yet available online) summarizes the data. Meng herself has an impressive résumé. She holds an MTS degree from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC; she is the editor of the Catholic Family Quarterly and the business manager of Catholic Faith Alive; she has seven children and eighteen grandchildren; and, by the way, she’s been married for 50 years.

In considering marriage and divorce, I’m always reminded of my wife’s grandmother, who had a reputation as a bit of a shrew, and who was heard to make the following comment on her own marriage when she was considerably older than Barbara Meng, had been married longer, and had become far less mentally alert: “Willie and I have been married for sixty years,” she said, “and never a bad day!”

Yes. Well. But this is not as much of a digression as you may think, for by the very laughter with which this statement must be greeted by any married couple, the opposite is proved, and a key point is made: There are many “bad days” in every marriage. It isn’t only those who are deliriously happy who stay the course. Yet staying the course is supremely important to children, and even to grandchildren...  Read the whole article.


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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.