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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Oct 08, 2021

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and


As a resident of New York State for the first nineteen years of my life, I remember hearing my mother and father discuss whether they ought to vote again for Nelson Rockefeller as Governor of the Empire State, considering that after a period of extra-marital affairs he had divorced his first wife only to marry again almost immediately. How “quaint” of my parents, in the early 1960s, to be concerned about the personal, social and political repercussions of infidelity and divorce!

The life-long commitment of marriage was still highly valued for much of the World War II generation. But the parental culture as a whole was focused on prosperity and making a “better” life for their children after the privations of depression and war, and in the long run, even among Catholics, this cultural taste for “making good” replaced concerns about “being good”. The result was a major erosion of religious commitment in the last forty years of the century. …