Marriage – the lower estate?

I was heading back from Symposia in Fort Wayne (another post on that to come soon) and tuning through the radio (AM) when I came across an interview with a Roman Catholic Priest concerning marriage.  He went through many “proofs” of marriage being for the weak or lowly, affirming the age-old Roman Catholic doctrine of the devil concerning marriage.  It was amazing to hear how poorly the priest talked about the married estate (especially at a time when I was hurrying home to be with wife and kids).  It was also refreshing to hear a priest be so honest about Roman Catholic beliefs.  Confessionalism is on the rise in all “traditions”.

A thought passed through my mind while considering what the priest was saying –

Is the Roman Catholic view of marriage one of the reasons why marriage is so poorly viewed today? Certainly divorce rates, homosexual marriage, and cohabitation play their major role as well, but this priest certainly was not lifting up marriage as anything to strive for.  Of course there is no objective study saying so, but I would say that a Roman Catholic teenager listening to the priest over the radio (or God forbid in the parish) would go on to believe that getting married would be a less saintly and less god-pleasing life.

I am reminded of a situation I remember reading in one of the biographies of Luther lately – I am preparing a Community Education course on Luther’s home life.  Luther was outside hanging up diapers to dry on the line when another person came by and rebuked him for doing such lowly work (obviously when he should have been doing some mighty pastoral work).  Luther replied with something to the effect of “The angels in heaven rejoice” and kept on dealing with the diapers.

Another common one about Luther is when he asserts (I think in a table talk) that a father changing diapers is doing a holy and good work.

What do you think?  What factors have made the world view marriage as it does today?  Do you think that the Roman Catholic Church has contributed to this?

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