“Pope: Easy Annulments Undercut the Value of Marriage,” USA Today:

Pope Benedict XVI says granting annulments too easily is undercutting the value of lifelong marriage.

In a speech Saturday, he asked the Vatican’s highest appeals court to consider reviewing church rules on marriage annulments.

He told to the members of the tribunal of the Roman Rota, that “lack of faith” on the part of the spouses can affect the validity of a marriage, according to Religion News Service. ...

According to canon law, the validity of a marriage requires that both the man and woman freely and publicly consent to the union and that they have the psychological capacity to assume the obligations of marriage.

But “Immaturity or psychic weakness,” the most frequently cited reasons for seeking an annulment, are not good enough reasons, Pope Benedict said, according to the Catholic News Service report.

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“Lebanon’s Top Cleric Issues Fatwa Against Civil Marriage,” AFP:

Lebanon’s top Sunni Muslim authority on Monday issued a fatwa against moves to legalize civil marriages inside the country, where couples of different faiths have to travel abroad to tie the knot.

The religious edict came a day after President Michel Sleiman tweeted that he would remain steadfast in supporting such unions, while Prime Minister Najib Mikati wrote on his Twitter account that a consensus was required to address the issue.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani issued the fatwa branding as an apostate any Muslim politician who approves civil marriage legislation.

“Any Muslim with legal or executive authority in Lebanon who supports the legalization of civil marriage is an apostate and outside the religion of Islam,” he said on the website of Dar al-Fatwa, the official institution for fatwas. ...

Sleiman, a Christian, tweeted that he would “respond to the evolution and aspirations of the people and prepare the appropriate laws for the issue of civil marriage.”

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“Television’s Changing View of Marriage,” Alyssa Rosenberg:

In a recent discussion of sitcoms in the New York Review of Books, inspired by both “The Mindy Project” and two new volumes on TV history, Elaine Blair writes that:

“Mindy might love watching ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ but she is a character in a television sitcom, not a Hollywood romantic comedy, so we can be pretty sure that her own romantic life is going to be different from Sally Albright’s: Mindy is going to be unlucky in love. Not just in the pilot episode or during the first season, but probably for years, or as long as the show is renewed.”

But Blair is wrong: This is actually a terrific moment for televised marriage. While the travails of single girls remain a subject of television comedy, no longer is tormenting spinsters for viewers’ amusement the dominant trope. In fact, exploring what happens after the white dress and the honeymoon is increasingly one of network television’s advantages over cable, which has made full use of its license to deploy sex and violence, but spends less time on the triumphs and tragedies of everyday life.

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Articles by Eve Tushnet

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