Andrius Narbekovas Birutė Obelenienė Žydrūnas Kulpys


In the recent five years a growing number of people getting married in Lithuania have been registered. However, at the same time Lithuania is the leading country in EU based on the number of divorce cases. Divorce has become a common phenomenon even among Catholics, whose marriage has essential properties: unity and indissolubility. The article deals with the problem that insufficient understanding of the essence of marriage among the engaged might be an important reason of divorce. Based on the teachings of the Catholic Church the article defines the essential properties of marriage in the Catholic Church. The work is supported by the results of empiric research aimed at exploring the comprehension of the notion of marriage among the people intending to marry in the Catholic Church. The research was conducted in all seven diocese’s of Lithuania (Kaunas, Vilnius, Šiauliai, Telšiai, Kaišiadorys, Vilkaviškis and Panevėžys) and involved engaged Catholics who attend a preparatory course before taking the Matrimony Sacrament. Since the population of the respondents is final and registered, and using the formula defining the minimal quantity it was calculated the sample of the respondents (N=563) which should be considered representative enough. Thus, it can be stated that the achieved results reflect the overall tendencies in the country. The analysis of the research results revealed the truth that the majority of those engaged have no consistent notion of marriage in the Catholic Church. In their opinion, marriage is a manifestation of feelings, it can be broken off and almost half of them support the idea that marriage needs no oath at Church. The engaged participants of the research do not comprehend the basic properties of marriage (unity and indissolubility) in the Catholic Church: most of the respondents agree that under certain circumstances, the matrimonial fidelity becomes extinct.