20 February 2017
Vietnam

The Family is the Remedy

Vietnam: Bishops launch the Year of the Family against divorce and marriage crisis

From the website of AsiaNews:

“In 2016, there were over 60,000 divorce cases across the country. The causes of separation are family lifestyle, followed by adultery and violence. The crisis affects mainly young couples. The Church offers prayers and meetings to rebuild the foundational unit of society.

To meet the challenges of modernity and rebuild Vietnam’s increasingly fractured social fabric, the Vietnamese Church has decided to dedicate the year of 2017 to the family, the basic unit on which the country is founded. The bishops decided to focus on future families, providing seminars and courses for couples preparing for marriage and family life.

The leading cause of divorce is differences over family lifestyle and everyday problems, followed by adultery (25.9 %), financial problems (13 %), domestic violence (6.7 %), health (2.2 %) and living apart. One source of great concern is that the problem is not limited to cities and larger urban centers, but also affects rural areas. Furthermore, more than 70 % of divorce cases involve couples between the age of 22 and 30. About 60 % of couples have been married from one to five years and have had children together.

These alarming figures have prompted the Catholic Church to mobilize catechists and religious to help families through pastoral meetings, outreach, counseling, and prayer groups. This comes in response to the call by priests and others, who stress the need for a path to marriage based on faith, the only way on which to found a relationship that can be truly permanent.

Ms. Hien, a Catholic volunteer in Đà Lạt, points out that if “moral education” is imparted in the family, every member is capable of “taking care” of others and the “risk” of breaking bonds is reduced. “The important thing—she notes—is that couples ought to know how to think about and take care of others, respectful of traditional Vietnamese family values.”