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A leading Catholic bishop in England says “the single most important factor in a child’s flourishing is the stable relationship of their parents”. Source: Crux.

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury was speaking ahead of Great Britain’s July 4 general election.

“Amid the many choices and challenges faced at a general election, we cannot hope for families and society to flourish if marriage does not flourish,” the bishop said on June 8 in St Columba’s Church in Chester.

“And while we cannot expect a generation of politicians to resolve so great a crisis, we should expect our elected representatives to have the courage and responsibility to recognise the central place of marriage in securing the good of society and of new generations,” Bishop Davies said.

The bishop said research indicates most young people in 21st-century Britain still aspire to the enduring faithfulness of marriage, “even as we suffer one of the highest rates of family breakdown anywhere in Europe and witness the institution of marriage in near-catastrophic decline”.

“Sadly, in public life and policy we have seen a parallel diminishment of the place of marriage, as if it were merely a lifestyle choice rather than the bedrock on which the well-being of the individual and society is bound up,” he said.

A recent study by the UK’s Marriage Foundation says that by the age of 14, about 46 per cent of children in the UK are not living with both natural parents. While a third of these children have experienced the collapse of their parents’ marriages, almost half – 46 per cent – have witnessed the separation of parents who were unmarried.

The bishop said in his remarks that the Church overwhelming supports families.

“Through all the changing social and cultural conditions of centuries and millennia, in the face of everything that has threatened to diminish and devalue the dignity of marriage, the Church has unfailingly defended this lifelong, faithful commitment of love where the gift of children is welcomed,” Bishop Davies said.


Ahead of British elections, bishop calls for more support for families (By Charles Collins, Crux)