From Catholic World Report via the Catholic Herald, excerpts and a link to an essay by John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria.
[ In an exclusive excerpt from Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family: Essays from a Pastoral Viewpoint, the Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria addresses challenges facing marriage from the perspective of African Christianity.—Catholic World Report ]
2. The great apostasy
For a long time, all Christians had a common position on the main attributes of Christian marriage. Neither the great schism that gave rise to the Orthodox churches nor the Protestant Reformation that gave rise to the many Protestant churches tampered with the essential properties of marriage. All agreed that marriage is between a man and a woman, in unity and indissolubility. It is only recently that we have begun to see major shifts on the part of many Christian bodies. In the last couple of decades, it is as if a doctrinal earthquake had overtaken the Christian churches. It is difficult to explain the calamitous changes that have taken place without reference to the strong influence of the evil one. We must believe in diabolic forces; otherwise, a lot of things cannot be explained.
And so we have a situation where it seems that it is only the Catholic Church that continues to uphold marriage as a sacred institution from God and, indeed, as a sacrament into which we enter with a strong commitment to unity and indissolubility. ("Our list of allies grows thin!"—Lord Elrond, Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien/Jackson.) We now see many around us claiming to be Christians and yet making provisions for polygamy and divorce in various forms.
Thomas More bidding his daughter Margaret farewell.
I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.—Francis Cardinal George. h/t CMR.