Catholic weddings return to steady decline

The number of Catholic weddings has recovered from its dramatic drop during Covid, and has returned to the pattern of steady decline that has been happening for the past decade.

In the decade since 2012, the percentage of Catholic weddings has dropped from 65.2% to 40.5%, and nonreligious weddings (civil registry and humanist) have risen from 28% to 35.5%. Nonreligious plus spiritualist weddings combined are now at 45.4%.

However, while six in ten couples did not choose a Catholic wedding, most of the children of these couples will have to attend a state-funded school run by the Catholic Church. These schools teach Catholic doctrine about marriage, including that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

The wedding trends were distorted in 2020 when the overall number of weddings halved because of Covid, and that had a bigger impact on religious weddings than nonreligious weddings. Catholic weddings in particular dropped to a historical low of 35.6%.

With Covid over and the marriage rate recovering to a more normal 4.5 per thousand, the figures for types of ceremony are moving back towards the steady decline in Catholic weddings over the past decade.

This shows the need for the State to remove the privilege it gives to the Catholic Church in running Irish schools and hospitals, and to Christianity generally in the religious oaths in our Constitution and in our charities and civil registration laws.

Ireland is no longer a Catholic country. We are now a pluralist country gradually dismantling Catholic privilege in our laws.

The marriage figure percentages for 2022 are:

40.5% Roman Catholic

26.2% Civil Registry

12.9% Other Religions

9.9% Spiritualist Union
9.3% Humanist Association

1.2% Church of Ireland

In terms of actual figures, there were this amount of weddings:

9,376 Roman Catholic

6,071 Civil Registry

2,986 Other Religions

2,299 Spiritualist Union
2,157 Humanist Association

284 Church of Ireland


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