THE VATICAN attacked permissive laws and the media May 27 for creating a climatethat it says favored the breakdown of marriages and urged priests to prepare couples better for a life together.

A Vatican document on marriage said modern society was marked by “an increasing deterioration of the sense of the family and a corrosion of the values of marriage.”

It decried what it said was an alarming drop in the rate of marriage and sharp rises in the rates of divorce and separation, even shortly into the marriage.

The concerns were expressed in “Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage,” a 30-page document prepared by the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Societies in developed countries were suffering from a crisis of values that is spreading to other countries, according to the document, which says the media is guilty of extolling lifestyles—including common-law marriages and pre-marital sex—that are contrary to the Catholic faith.

“Permissive laws contribute to aggravating the situation and creating a mentality that hurts the family with divorce, abortion and sexual liberty,” the document said.

“Many means of communications spread and help consolidate a climate of permissiveness and present a framework that blocks young people from growing normally in the Christian faith,” it said. (Reuters)