Decades of statistics point to a societal retreat from the church wedding. Catholic marriage ceremonies have been in decline for 35 years — from 426,000 marriages nationwide in 1970 to 212,456 in 2005, according to church data — even as the number of Catholics continues to grow. Many states, including Maryland and Virginia, have tracked a shift from religious to civil marriages. And a growing network of interfaith and nondenominational ministers offers couples the freedom to wed on their own terms.
I’m trying to wrap my head around that one. Various people have told me that this was the case, but that’s still a startling drop, especially considering the growth in the Catholic population in this country.
Oh, and here’s another related statistic: 3 million IVF babies so far
The announcement came during the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, held June 18-21 in Prague, Czech Republic. The ICMART report, which includes data from 52 countries, covers two-thirds of the world’s IVF treatments.
The report noted the uneven distribution of IVF births. Nearly 56% of all IVF treatments are in Europe. And almost half of the techniques are performed in four countries — the United States, Germany, France and Britain.