Cohabitation, Student Debt Threaten Marriage
#1

From the Catholic News Agency:



Cardinal O'Malley: cohabitation, student debt threaten marriage
By Adelaide Mena



Baltimore, Md., Nov 20, 2013 / 04:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cultural trends discouraging marriage are among the biggest challenges to the Church in the U.S., says Cardinal Seán O'Malley, who also sees signs of renewal and hope among young people.

"Concerns about marriage – people not getting married, falloff in Mass attendance, (and the) challenge of catechizing the young Catholics" are some of the more troubling trends facing Catholicism in the U.S., the Archbishop of Boston said to CNA Nov. 11, during the general assembly of the national bishops' conference in Baltimore.

Cardinal O'Malley is a member of the group of eight cardinals whom Pope Francis has asked to help reform the Roman Curia, as well as chairman of the U.S. bishops' committee on pro-life activities.

The cardinal noted that "the whole notion of family is so undercut by the cohabitation mentality," and that these social trends are having a tremendous impact on the working-class communities "who were once the backbone of the Church."

Vox Wrote:You want to cut down on that, then make marriage legally sane for men to enter into. As it is, men are pretty much castrated as soon as they say "I do."

"Half of the children born to that demographic are born out of wedlock," a statistic that Cardinal O'Malley said would have been "inconceivable" a few decades ago.

This shift away from the bearing of children within wedlock is the “biggest threat to marriage.”

Yet the sacrament of marriage is facing other challenges as well, he added.

"Part of the problems are economic" he commented, explaining that "our educational system is so expensive, people graduate from college or graduate school facing huge debts."

"If you have a $150,000 debt when you graduate law school, are you going to marry a girl that has a $130,000 debt and start off your marriage with over a quarter-million dollars' debt?”

“So people are postponing marriage – are postponing a decision to go into the seminary or religious life – because they're saddled under this tremendous debts which former generations didn't have."

In addition, Cardinal O'Malley stated that the Church needs "better marriage preparation" and outreach to help young people recover an understanding of marriage.

The Church needs to "catechize our young people and instill in them a sense of vocation, and also to help them understand what courtship is about."

In combination with the misunderstanding of marriage, lack of attendance at Mass, and the shortcomings in the catechization of young people, the Church also faces many challenges posed by the “secularization of the culture,” he explained.

Despite all this, Cardinal O'Malley said, there remain cultural "signs of hope."

Within the pro-life movement, there are "more and more young people who are embracing the Gospel of Life" and becoming "part of the marches in Washington" in defense of human life.

Young people are also flocking to World Youth Day, “with more than 3 million young people there” at the latest gathering in Brazil, he reflected.

Cardinal O'Malley added that he is "very encouraged by the response of the world to our new Holy Father."

People around the world are showing "great enthusiasm for his message, and many people who have stepped away from the Church are beginning to look at the Church in a new light."

The Pope's message is placing an "emphasis on our obligation to serve each other, especially the poor," and providing an example of "how we should take care of each other,” the Capuchin explained.

“Hopefully that will help them find the way back to the fold.”

Vox Wrote:My two cents: To fix things, we need good catechesis and traditional Sacramental rites that keep folks in the Church and faithful; to fix marriage laws, including getting rid of no-fault divorce; to slut-shame once again -- but include playah men this time around (while the double standard is understandable socio-biologically speaking, it isn't morally speaking, is unjust, and understandably causes resentment among women. The onus for chastity shouldn't be put entirely on females! IOW, use "slut" to refer to men, too, and bring back the word "cad"); to get rid of the welfare state that makes fathers superfluous financially; eliminate abortion; and preach hard against porn, using science to back ourselves up.



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#2
Cohabitation is called SIN
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#3
(11-20-2013, 07:34 PM)salus Wrote: Cohabitation is called SIN

Having sex outside of marriage is a sin. Living under the same roof isn't a sin in se. Undoubtedly it is typically a near occasion of sin for people who are sexually attracted to each other, though.


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#4
And if you add Obamacare for the young from the other post you can see better the outline of this conspiracy.

tim
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#5
It is good that the head of the Bishops conference recognizes this.  Unfortunately I think he is speaking too late to have any kind of impact, wish that wasn't so.

Apparently there is a Catholic College in Texas that doesn't allow students to take loans to pay for their education.  They offer financial aid but you are supposed to pay it all upfront and the cost is still very low.  I shudder at what college costs might look like by the time my son is in college.
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#6
Well, and there's a certain irony here too. I mean, kids (I must be getting old, thinking of 20-somethings as kids!) will postpone marriage because of student debt, but drive a new car, have iphones and ipods, and a smartTV with netflix. In my own apparently twisted logic, my priority would be paying everything off as quickly as possible before getting those things.

I mean, you see that even when they do get married (after living together for years), they postpone having kids until they can "afford" it. I have family members who had their first baby after nearly 10 years because they could finally "afford" it, but in the meanwhile they have a $300,000 mortgage, 2 new cars, expensive vacations and more electronica than you can shake a stick at.

If marriage and/or family life and/or having children was truly a priority, they would make better choices, wouldn't they? Shouldn't they? Or am I just being idealistic? Or is this maybe becoming a generational thing?
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#7
(11-22-2013, 12:28 AM)PrairieMom Wrote: Well, and there's a certain irony here too. I mean, kids (I must be getting old, thinking of 20-somethings as kids!) will postpone marriage because of student debt, but drive a new car, have iphones and ipods, and a smartTV with netflix. In my own apparently twisted logic, my priority would be paying everything off as quickly as possible before getting those things.

I mean, you see that even when they do get married (after living together for years), they postpone having kids until they can "afford" it. I have family members who had their first baby after nearly 10 years because they could finally "afford" it, but in the meanwhile they have a $300,000 mortgage, 2 new cars, expensive vacations and more electronica than you can shake a stick at.

If marriage and/or family life and/or having children was truly a priority, they would make better choices, wouldn't they? Shouldn't they? Or am I just being idealistic? Or is this maybe becoming a generational thing?

I think choices can be part of it, but certain electronics are necessary for competing in the workforce and existing in modern society.  Many jobs expect you to be available 24/7.  You don't just clock out at 5pm and expect to not hear from your coworkers all day.  I don't like that aspect of modern society (I call my wife's iphone her 'other husband') but you have to be connected if you want to compete.  Netflix is 9.99 a month.  Smart TV's would be a luxury item but some of them are not that much more expensive than regular TV's.  You're not going to pay off six figures of student debt by just cutting out electronics, unfortunately. 

I live in New York so $300k mortgage sounds cheap to me  :LOL:  but the amount of student debt you rack up can be affected by your educational choices.  I did community college for a year before transferring to a 4 year school, whereas some people won't settle for anything less than a fancy private school.  If your grades in high school weren't fantastic, community college is also a good way to redeem yourself and put yourself in a position where you can qualify for a good scholarship.  But even with scholarships and financial aid you can still rack up debt especially if the career you want requires a graduate degree. 

Kids are taught from an early age that a college degree is a ticket to success.  For some, it is.  But there are some who might have been wiser to take a few years off to work and *then* really decide if you need that degree.
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#8
(11-22-2013, 01:09 AM)Chestertonian Wrote: I think choices can be part of it, but certain electronics are necessary for competing in the workforce and existing in modern society.  Many jobs expect you to be available 24/7.  You don't just clock out at 5pm and expect to not hear from your coworkers all day.  I don't like that aspect of modern society (I call my wife's iphone her 'other husband') but you have to be connected if you want to compete.  Netflix is 9.99 a month.  Smart TV's would be a luxury item but some of them are not that much more expensive than regular TV's.  You're not going to pay off six figures of student debt by just cutting out electronics, unfortunately. 

It is certainly true that most professionals are expected to have cell phones.  Unfortunately, I had to get one when I went into business.  However, I still refused to pay $100 a month for a silly phone.  The smart phones offer some nice features but after evaluating them, I decided that most of those features were luxuries and entertainment for the average person.  I've only met a few people who actually use them as effective tools to facilitate productive use of time.  My phone ended up being a $35 TracFone with a plan that costs me $220 per year for all the talk and text I need for business.  Cameras and internet access I can get elsewhere for cheaper.

For someone struggling with paying off debt, saving money on TV is a really good idea.  $10 a month is still $120 a year and those little expenses are usually the ones that people fail to spot.  The biggest issue however, is that somebody trying hard to pay off debt, learn job skills and position himself for marriage doesn't have a lot of time left for TV.  TV is a luxury for those who still have a fair amount of free time.
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#9
(11-22-2013, 01:29 AM)Akavit Wrote:
(11-22-2013, 01:09 AM)Chestertonian Wrote: I think choices can be part of it, but certain electronics are necessary for competing in the workforce and existing in modern society.  Many jobs expect you to be available 24/7.  You don't just clock out at 5pm and expect to not hear from your coworkers all day.  I don't like that aspect of modern society (I call my wife's iphone her 'other husband') but you have to be connected if you want to compete.  Netflix is 9.99 a month.  Smart TV's would be a luxury item but some of them are not that much more expensive than regular TV's.  You're not going to pay off six figures of student debt by just cutting out electronics, unfortunately. 

It is certainly true that most professionals are expected to have cell phones.  Unfortunately, I had to get one when I went into business.  However, I still refused to pay $100 a month for a silly phone.  The smart phones offer some nice features but after evaluating them, I decided that most of those features were luxuries and entertainment for the average person.  I've only met a few people who actually use them as effective tools to facilitate productive use of time.  My phone ended up being a $35 TracFone with a plan that costs me $220 per year for all the talk and text I need for business.  Cameras and internet access I can get elsewhere for cheaper.

For someone struggling with paying off debt, saving money on TV is a really good idea.  $10 a month is still $120 a year and those little expenses are usually the ones that people fail to spot.  The biggest issue however, is that somebody trying hard to pay off debt, learn job skills and position themselves for marriage doesn't have a lot of time left for TV.  TV is a luxury for those who still have a fair amount of free time.

At some point, they will just stop making basic phones that only make calls and that's it.  I know plenty of young people that have crippling student debt and don't even own a TV, they just watch stuff on their laptops or ipads.
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#10
These TracFones aren't really basic phones.  My first one had a touch screen, bluetooth, sound recorder, camera, games, internet access and all sorts of other features that I didn't need.  It still only cost $50 and internet access costs nothing unless it's actually used.  You just buy the minutes and restrict usage to talk and text.

I had to replace that phone because it was a GSM phone that happened to be subject to dead zones in the one area I spent most of my time.  It was replaced with a $35 (after gas card rebate) CDMA TracFone which doesn't have the touch screen but does have a physical QWERTY keyboard.


Oddly enough, I've never seen  the cheap Tracfones break or stop working or lose battery power and lots of my relatives use them.  The people I know with smart phones are always having to send them in for repairs or trade them with every new contract so they can avoid the inevitable battery failure.  Usually I purchase quality items that cost more but in this case, it seems the dated Tracfone technology is far more stable than that of the cutting edge smart phones.
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