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The Role Of Broken Home In The Society And The Effect It Has On The Church; A Case Study Of St Mary Catholic Church Ifo Ogun State




The study is on “The Role of Broken Home in the Society and the Effect on the Church; A case study of St Mary Catholic Church Ifo Ogun State. Four objective and four research question was established to guide the study.  Survey research design was used for the study. The total population of this study comprises of all the parishioners above eighteen (18) years of age, of St Mary Catholic Church Ifo, Ogun State. Hence, the population is about five hundred and forty (540) Questionnaire was used for collection of data while the data collected was analyzed through the use of descriptive analysis. It involved the use of frequency distribution table, and percentages. The frequency of the score was established first then it was converted to percentages. The findings reveal that majority of the respondents were married through the church, court and traditionally and there is low amount of divorcee in the area. The causes of broken marriages in the study area are infidelity, communication, and financial constraint, and infertility, lack of intimacy, disrespect and selfishness. The effect of broken marriages on the family affects the children academy performance and parent-children relationship. The effect of broken marriages on the church affect the amount of communicant, the church population, the church performance and the spiritual life of the church. Based on the findings, study therefore recommends that the church should organize enough marriage class before couple get wedded, The church should organize counseling training for priest, The couple should be prepared before engaging in marriage, The couple should imbibe the spirit of forgiving and understanding, There should be communication between the couple, The couple should seek for advice from more experienced couple when in distress. Couples should attend Mass and other church activities together. Couples should love and trust themselves. Couples should see themselves as help mates and not slave. The church should teach children from little to imbibe Christian life.



1.1       Background of the Study

Ifo Local Government of Nigeria is a mixed religion place since the coming of missionaries before colonialism.  The religious groups are Christianity, African Tradition Religion and Islam. Christianity in the local government comprises of Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Methodist Church, Pentecostal churches, African Church, Evangelical churches, apostolic churches and mainline churches. In addition, Christian churches in the local government are both locally originated and foreign originated. Despite the nature of the church, family ties are sacred, bring members close to God and above all, not tempered with.    Studies in Africa and Europe show that 45% of the family institution today is struggling to survive. Husbands and wives frequently undergo strained relationships. To compliment.  The majority of them are coming from a Christian background. The major problem that has beleaguered kindness from the beginning is disagreements. In Ifo local community, conflict is common among family members that are believed to love each other. Notable are conflict between husbands and their wives, and between children and their parents. Professional counselors and the church have a special role, to resolve marital conflicts. Family couples even sue each other through church disciplinary authorities, in communal courts and in national court of law. (1 Cor. 6:1-8). The book of Galatians warn believers against “biting and devouring” one another (Gal. 5:14-15).

Rodeny (1985) describes a broken home as a family in which the parents have separated or divorced or essentially not leaving together. In situations like this the upbringing of the child is left solely to one of the parents, most often the woman. Rodeny (1985) definition means that even when parents have not formally divorced or separated but are leaving apart ‘technically’ within that period of time the home can be described as broken. The later instance is however very rare. Death is a serious crisis in the family. It is traumatic. It causes family members severe emotional shock that may take some time to heal. The loss of the bread winner could mean loss of hope to the children’s education. Some families do experience divorce which is the legal termination of marriage.

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Marital breakdown refers to the common process whereby the relationship between a married couple erodes, such that they cannot ordinarily restore their relationship. There are many stages to the process, and each individual goes through the stages at different rates. It is a complex process involving psychology, personal finance, and often religion. It is the breach of domestic anticipation, often leading to a divorce or dissolution of the marital relationship. Often there are children, in-laws, and other individuals involved in the process. At the end of the process, there may be no relationship left, or there may be a long-term relationship at a distance. Divorce affects the couple and the children as well as other members of the family. Several writers try to identify the factors that contribute to broken homes. While some share the same views, others have some different views to add to the most common view shared by majority. Fletcher (1971) identifies divorce, death and separation as the main causes of broken homes He said in addition to marriage dissolved by divorce, there are also, of course, homes which are broken by separation. Indeed, the problems attending to separation are probably far worse than those attending to divorce

According to Ccc 1601 “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”Vaux B. D defined Christian doctrine defined holy matrimony as which is a sign of the conjunction of Christ, and the Church his Spouse, is a Sacrament, whereby man & woman lawfully joined together in marriage, do enter into an undivided society of fellowship of life, and grace is given therein, both honestly and Christianly to procreate Children, & to bring them up godly, and also to avoid filthy lust and incontinence. God created marriage as permanent social phenomenon to be enjoyed by all partners (male and female) together and Genesis 2:24 sets Gods ideal for marriage as a permanent institution not to be separated by mankind. However, sin has destroyed the standard that has been set by God at the beginning. Kunhiyop (2008:190) suggests that if the families misrepresent God’s ideals then the whole society is lost and Kunhiyop is correct because the Bible states that “righteousness‟ exalts a nation” (Prov 14:34). It becomes a concern to many pastors when marriages crumble and eventually end up in divorce. The phenomenon of divorce has been extensively spoken and written about. Maleba (2004:7) quotes Glendon when stating that: The lack of firm and fixed ideas about what marriage is and should be is but an aspect of the alienation of modern man. And in this respect the law seems truly to reflect the fact that in society more and more is expected of human relationship while at the same time social changes have rendered those relationships increasingly fragile. Also Jesus Christ in the bible about divorce cf Mt 5 : 31 – 32 ; Mt 19 : 3- 9; Mk10 9 ; Lk 16 : 18 ; 1 Cor 7 :10 – ll .

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church , is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide as of 2016. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope . Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City , an enclave within Rome , Italy .The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the Pope, as well as with the Oriental Orthodox churches prior to the Chalcedonian schism in 451 over differences in Christology . The Reformation of the 16th century resulted in Protestantism breaking away.

Bible commentary on divorce comes primarily from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the epistles of Paul. Jesus taught on the subject of divorce in three of the Gospels, and Paul gives a rather extensive treatment of the subject in his First Epistle to the Corinthians chapter 7: “Let not the wife depart from her husband…let not the husband put away his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:10-11), but he also includes the Pauline privilege. He again alludes to his position on divorce in his Epistle to the Romans, albeit an allegory, when he states “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth. . . . So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress” (Romans 7:2-3).

The Catholic Church stand against divorce, the catechism of the Catholic Church state that in the number 2382 which state that The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble. 173 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law. Between the baptized, “a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death. Also number 2384 states that divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture : the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery: If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself (St. Basil).

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The issue of divorce is no longer an isolated issue nor a local issue but a global concern. John Feinberg and Paul Feinberg (1993:299) concur that divorce is one of the troublesome trends in our world today. They argue that in U.S. alone, the statistics shows that divorce rate is up to 50 percent or more. They also give different statistics from country to country and it varies: In Arab countries divorce is low. In Jordan in 1989 there were 8.1 marriages per 1000 and 1.21 divorces per 1000. In the same year in Syria there were 8.8 marriages per 1000 and only 73 divorces per 1000. In predominately Catholic countries in central and South America, marriages far exceeded divorces. In 1988 there were 5.3 marriages per 1000 but only18 divorces per 1000. In 1990 U.S recorded 1, 175,000 for that year. Adeyemo (2006:1148) adds that “one in two marriages in the United Kingdom and United States ends up in divorce. These numbers are very high and they are constantly increasing. John Feinberg and Paul (1993) further state that divorce is no longer an issue that affects the community alone but it affects the church as well. It is regrettable that it is not only affecting the members of the church alone but also the clergy who are supposed to be an example to the flock.

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Adeyemo (2008:1148) concerns that “African statistics are harder to come by”, however a report published on the Nigeria Tribune On 22nd October, 2016 recorded that the Badagry area of Lagos recorded 30,000 cases of divorce between January and September 2016(Nigeria tribune) The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has also decried the increasing rate of divorce in the country, according to Sun newspaper (2017). These statistics are against the plan of God about marriages in our societies as sited in the book of Genesis 2:24

1.3       Scope of the Study

The study will be limited to the role of broken marriage in the society and its effect on the church.  A case study of St Mary Catholic Church Ifo Ogun State.

1.4       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to analyze the role of broken marriage in the society and its effect on the church with specific objectives:

  1. Socio- economic characteristics of the respondent
  2. Causes of broken marriage in the study area
  3. Effect of broken marriage on the family
  4. Effect of broken marriage on the church

1.5       Significance of Study

Many scholars have done research on marriage and divorce. Smith (2005:3) researched God’s intention about marriage where, he discussed, marriage, divorce, separation and remarriage amongst Christians based on his background in Liberia. Smith talks about rediscovery of God’s ideals and makes a call to families to revisit God’s intention when He created Marriage. Du Plessis (2006:6) has done research about divorce and remarriage of pastors in the Bluff area in Durban. His aim was to investigate factors that are responsible for the increase in divorce cases amongst ministers in the church. Although the findings of these scholars are scientific and used throughout the world, none of them have focused on the causes of divorce amongst the Evangelical church members found in Namakgale Township under Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality in the North-Eastern part of South Africa.

A research published on pew forum (2015) stated that a quarter of Catholic adults in the UA have experienced a divorce, including 9% who are currently remarried. Somewhat larger shares of cultural Catholics (32%) and ex-Catholics (31%) have been divorced, and among these groups, remarriage is more common than among Catholics. This study would therefore analyze the role of broken home and the effect on the church.

1.6       Research Questions

  1. What are the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents?
  2. What the causes of broken marriage in the study area?
  3. What are the effect of divorce on the church?
  4. What are the effect of divorce on the family?

    Pages:  45

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF               

    Chapters: 1-5                                          

    Source: Imsuinfo                                     

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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