Catholic weddings in steep decline

This news come amid the uproar surrounding gay marriage:

"According to statistics from the Archdiocese of Boston, only 3,727 couples were married in Catholic churches last year, less than half the 8,343 marriages celebrated in 2000. Across the border in New Hampshire, figures from past years weren't immediately available, but church officials said the 403 weddings celebrated last year in the Diocese of Manchester also represented a steep decline."

The decrease in weddings has become such a concern that the four bishops of Massachusetts have called for a campaign called "The Future Depends on Love," the goal of which is to educate Catholics about marriage and in turn have them explain its importance to the community.

Local Catholic priests said there are numerous reasons for the decline -- including the growing popularity of "destination weddings," higher numbers of unwed couples living together, and the fact that there are fewer practicing Catholics than in the past. Many longtime Catholics were driven out by the priest abuse scandal, and the younger generation just isn't producing as many churchgoers.

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