Sunday, 17 May 2009

Times: 'Better married than cohabiting' - NSO
Sunday, 17th May 2009 by Mgr Anton Gouder, Senglea

A few days ago, the National Statistics Office issued a very interesting document entitled Lifestyle Survey 2007.

What the media headlines elicited from this report was the aspect of obesity, which is quite an important national health issue. However, the report gave us other interesting information about another national issue: the strength of the family and marriage.

The report (page 3) states that in Malta 62.7 per cent are married; 26 per cent single; 3.4 per cent divorced or separated or had their marriage annulled; 6 per cent widowed and 1.9 per cent cohabiting. The actual number of married people is 195,708 and that of cohabitants is 6,073. This gives us a clear indication about the figures we are dealing with, when we discuss legislation, administrative measures and national policies.

The report also says (page 120) that married couples enjoy a standard of living that is 16 per cent better than that of cohabiting people and that married people are also more satisfied with their lives - to a degree of 12.5 per cent - than cohabiting people (page 129).

The report alerts us to the fact that the data about cohabiting couples are underestimated and one should be careful how to interpret the respective figures.
I am unable to understand the meaning of this statement, but I am reporting it for fairness' sake.

These figures speak for themselves. In my opinion, if we hold the best interests of individuals and society at heart, the way forward is very clear: as a priority, to strengthen and support the family and marriage in all its stages, while giving the necessary assistance to individuals who are in other forms of relationship.

[Note by P. Attard: I think that the above sentence marked in red reflecting Mgr Gouder's opinion is very interesting. I hope Mgr Gouder agrees on the need for hospital visitation rights (+ medical decisions for partner in coma) for gay couples. If I understand this sentence correctly, it's a good start for the Maltese Catholic Church to start building bridges with fellow Maltese citizens.]

[Click on the hyperlink at the top to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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