| 21st March 2004 | Modified: 15th October 2014 | Christianity, News Releases | Seen 26 times | Liked 0 times

21 March
Mar 21
21st March 2004

Statement from Cardinal O Brien on Scottish Executive s Family Law Bill  

Responding to reports that the Scottish Executive plan to introduce  
legislation to speed up divorce proceedings, Cardinal Keith O'Brien,  
President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland, commented;  

I am deeply concerned by the suggestion that the Scottish Executive are  
considering a reduction in the time period for non-contested divorce cases  
from two years to one year. Such a move risks severely undermining the  
permanence and stability of marriage and as pilot trials in England and  
Wales have demonstrated is only likely to encourage divorce and marriage  

What Scottish couples whose marriages are in difficulty need is quick and  
convenient access to professional support and counselling. It is a national  
disgrace that in a country where there are almost 1000 divorces per month  
there are only two national agencies offering support and reconciliation  
services, namely Couple Counselling and Scottish Marriage Care .  

Evidence from around the world proves the effectiveness of early  
intervention in rescuing marriages, which avoids considerable financial and  
emotional costs and protects children from trauma and suffering.  

A study conducted by Accord marriage counselling in Ireland between 2000  
and 2002 found that counselling helped almost half of the couples involved  
to improve their relationship quality. It also found that most clients (85%)  
were stressed at the point of presenting for counselling. Stress levels  
following counselling were vastly improved, with around half the clients  
surveyed moving from being ˜stressed or very stressed to ˜stress free .  

Counselling was shown to work equally well for both men and women and for  
all social classes. Lastly, not only does counselling help unhappy  
marriages, but also its effectiveness is relatively quick. The study found  
that the optimum number of counselling sessions required by Accord clients  
was 7-8.  

Clearly Scotland has much to learn from evidence such as this and I would  
ask the Scottish Executive to consider an immediate and dramatic increase in  
the funding made available to counselling agencies whose goal is to restore  
and repair damaged marriages. In the long term, the work they do is of  
enormous benefit not only to the couples involved and their families, but  
also to all of society. Equally important and deserving of state support is  
the work these agencies do in the field of pre-marriage preparation.  

Marriage has traditionally been regarded as the building block of every  
society “ may it long continue to be the foundation on which Scottish  
society rests.  


Peter Kearney  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  

Posted by . You can also subscribe to email updates.

Like   Back to Top   Seen 26 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Bishops announce appointment of new curator

| 7 days ago | Blogging

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has announced the appointment of Dr Alison Burke as Curator of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection at Blairs Museum. Dr Burke was previously Creative Project Co-ordinator with Aberdeen City Council where she started in 2017 to build creative networks in Ed...

Catholic church’s anti bullying strategy sent to Scottish Labour leader

| 28th June 2017 | Blogging

The Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan has sent a copy of the Catholic church’s anti bullying strategy to Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, after a controversial Tweet in which she suggested “inclusive education” was not supported in Catholic schools.   In ...

Church calls on BMA members to oppose decriminalisation of abortion

| 23rd June 2017 | Blogging

In a letter to Scotland’s catholic parishes, the Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan has urged catholic members of the BMA to sign an open letter to the organisation urging delegates to the BMA conference next Tuesday (27 June) to reject a motion calling for abortion to be...

Catholic Church Safeguarding Review Group established

| 15th June 2017 | Blogging

In December 2016, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Scotland announced that Helen Liddell would Chair the Independent Review Group (IRG) set up as a result of the McLellan Commission Report into the current safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Church in Scotland.   T...