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Half of Filipino Catholics shunning church weddings


03:39 AM October 12th, 2012

By: Tina G. Santos, October 12th, 2012 03:39 AM

CBCP media director, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

More than half of Filipino Catholics have not gotten married in churches, according to a survey conducted by Radio Veritas, a Catholic-run radio station and this could be because church weddings are deemed costly.

Sociology professor Bro. Clifford Sorita said that the radio station conducted a “truth survey” during the second quarter of the year which showed that the unions of majority of Filipino Catholic couples were not blessed in churches.

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) media office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III described the results of the survey as “very alarming.”

“The Catholic Church would have to focus on this problem. This is a serious problem and we have to do something,” he said.

CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Doctrine of the Faith vice chair Emeritus Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani for his part said that the survey results showed the need for an apostolate (mission of an apostle) to get Catholic couples to wed in the Church.

“For the foundation of the Christian family is Christian marriage. You cannot form Christian families without Christian marriage,” Bacani said in a statement.

Some 2,500 respondents from the 85 archdioceses and dioceses covering all the 17 regions participated in the survey called “The Filipino Catholicity.”

The results showed that 50.2 percent of those surveyed had no answer (NA) when asked if they were married in churches, while 7.5 percent openly admitted that they were not married. Only 42.3 percent of the couples replied that they were married in a Catholic Church.

Sorita believes that the 50.2 percent of those who answered “NA” were not married but were reluctant to admit that they were living together out of wedlock.

“For Filipinos, if you are married why would you not say that you are married… They are embarrassed, they are not comfortable. They would rather hide in anonymity and not answer the question directly,” he said.

He also suspects that a portion of the 7.5 percent of those who admitted they were not married might have wed in civil rites or were living in together and thus might even add to the number of Filipino Catholic couples who were not wed in churches.

Sorita clarified that in the survey, civil marriage was not considered a marriage at all “because the precept is that you have to be married in a church.”

Asked why Filipinos appear disinterested about getting married, Sorita said it was because of the perception that getting married in churches was expensive.

Originally posted at 08:07 pm | Thursday, October 11, 2012

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