More on on sex and the death of the West: Young men are running from marriage. They’re sleeping around while waiting for that soulmate who never comes, and view pregnancy and children as a trap.
The article, written by a female columnist for a newspaper’s “Lifestyle” section, naturally pins the blame on men: “If [a young man] finds [a supposed soulmate], he is also likely to find that the relationship does not live up to this romantic ideal, but it will be easy enough to divorce these days.” In fact, of course, it’s far more common for the woman to file for divorce. After all, she can get the house and children just by kicking her husband out, and the support system is stacked in her favor. The lady columnist might do well to broaden her perspective on the situation. The article does attempt to end on an upbeat note with a quote from David Popenoe: “We are beginning in this nation to talk about marriage more …” We sure are. We’re talking about “gay marriage” as a celebration of marriage. That’s a turnaround the institution can do without.
So what do we make of this, as citizens and as Catholics? The obvious question is how to relate our faith—and our understanding of natural law—to life in this world. Vatican II was supposed to open the windows of the Church to the world. In its wake the distinctive Catholic culture that had existed was dismantled and distinctive ways of living abolished. People apparently thought that would be a good idea because the world was thought to have the open air, starlit skies, pulse of life and whatever in its keeping. That has turned out not to be the case. In the absence of a Church that makes transcendent realities visibly and concretely present the world has turned out to be a closed circle of frustration and death.
In a sense, of course, it’s a mistake to blame things on bad pastoral decisions coming out of Vatican II. What we are seeing in our time is the outcome of a huge social and spiritual experiment—the attempt to create a purely human world—that goes back to the beginnings of modernity. We should pray for the wisdom and humility to draw the right conclusions from the failure of that experiment, and to act on them.