Austria’s High Divorce Rate Worries Church

VIENNA, Austria, JULY 22, 2002 ( Virtually half the marriages that have taken place in Austria in recent years have ended in civil divorce. In Vienna alone, this rate rises to 59%.

It is important “to act in a preventive way,” beginning “with a solid preparation for marriage,” Bishop Klaus Küng of Feldkirch, president of the Austrian bishops’ Commission for the Family, told the Kathpress agency.

The bishop warned against the temptation to accept the divorce figures as if they were “a natural law,” and noted that “divorce is always accompanied by pain,” particularly for the children.

Bishop Küng mentioned that the Church in Austria has begun initiatives of mediation in crisis situations, as well as “special programs” for children of divorced parents.

The Church in Austria is also offering meetings for married and engaged couples in order to deepen their relation.