April 21st, 2022

Bishop Philp Egan has today highlighted to all Catholics that new divorce regulations will lead to a throw away culture for marriage and further devalue the sanctity of marriage.

The comments come in the light of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which came into effect on 6th April 2022. The act will remove the ability to make allegations about the conduct of a spouse, allow couples to end their marriage jointly and introduces a period of 20 weeks between the start of proceedings and application for conditional order, with a new online service being launched to speed up the service.

Bishop Philip Egan said, “The Church believes in the sanctity of marriage. A marriage is a lifetime, exclusive partnership, where a couple give and receive mutual help and love and from their union may bring forth and rear children. Marriages are always presumed valid until proven otherwise. If a marriage involves two baptised Catholics, it is presumed not only valid but also sacramental.”

“Whilst the act aims to reduce the potential for conflict amongst divorcing couples which I applaud, the new laws will make divorcing easier and would discourage reconciliation. By reducing the period of reflection and reconsideration, the act weakens the sanctity of marriage and the opportunity for couples to address issues. Couples need to be sure that to end this union, due consideration have been explored, not just take the quick option offered by a digital age,”

The Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth offers a marriage enrichment programme to help prevent divorce and family breakdown. Retreats, ongoing formation, and support groups are all available and more details may be found by going to https://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/marriage-and-family