As the number of divorce cases soars in the country, the Catholic Church has taken a leading role to reverse the trend and protect the family.
For example, in 2015 The Nation found out that between January and October, about 722 divorce petition were registered at the two courts of the Senior Resident Magistrate and Chief Resident Magistrate in Lilongwe.
In 2014, the lower court registered 23 divorce petitions in January which went up to 40 in February then down to 34 in March.
Between April and July 2014, the court received 181 petitions for divorce, 28 of which were women seeking divorce from their husbands on grounds of cruelty, desertion, among others.
Bishop of Chikwawa Diocese Peter Musikuwa admitted in an interview on the sidelines of the first-ever National Family Conference in Lilongwe at the weekend that rising divorce cases were a concern to the church.
According to Musikuwa, the family is undergoing pressure due to, among others, new technology, poverty, lack of serious meditation before eloping and lack of respect for church teachings on marriage.
“The family is under attack by many influences which the church must take seriously and address them. These days, there is an increase in the number of divorce cases because our youth are getting married before they are fully prepared.
“What happens at the end is that they think divorce is the solution when they encounter challenges. Most marriages are cosmetic and we are happy that for the first time ever, we have had this conference on families because some solutions to the challenges will be found,” he said.
Musikuwa said to show the seriousness the church attaches to the issue, it has set up a desk at Episcopal Conference in Malawi office in Lilongwe to look at family issues.
In his presentation, Bishop of Mangochi Diocece Montfort Stima, said the coming in of technology in the form of modern media, including television, cellphones, WhatsApp and Internet have forced marriage to play second fiddle to the technologies. n