Expert examines Catholic marriage
Jillian Barwick | Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sacramental marriage is a relatively new concept for Catholics, Nancy Dallavalle said in a lecture at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday.
Dallavalle, associate professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University in Conn., addressed how marriage is viewed in today’s society and by Catholics in her talk “Are you in? Catholicism and Public Life Today.”
“Marriage is clearly in the New Testament, but the notion that sacramental marriage has always been viewed as a sacrament is not the truth,” she said. “Marriage generally came from families and local customs — the church did not own marriage.”
As civil structures broke down, the Catholic church stepped in to claim marriage as it’s own, Dallavalle said.
“Marriage became one of the primary ways the Church could act authoritative in the public square,” she said.
Dallavalle also said that social patterns are changing and have been changing for a while now.
“There has been an increase of about 31 percent of women cohabitating with someone before they are married to that person,” she said. “Living together before marriage is no longer correlated with failure, but it is seen as a stepping stone to success in marriage.”
Dallavalle also showed the audience a Subaru commercial, which depicts an American couple on their honeymoon — pitching a tent in the woods and having time to themselves after being married.
“What does this video say about marriage?” Dallavalle said. “The Subaru commercial is self-expressive and is about the two people on their honeymoon. This is more of the American way of viewing marriage and sexuality — more self-expressive and separated from the public square.”