MANILA, Philippines—Catholic Church officials in the Visayas said the move to push for the approval of the divorce bill was not surprising as it has been part of the culture of DEATH (referring to moves to legalize divorce, euthanasia, abortion, “total population control” and “homosexual union”) worming its way into the life of Filipinos.
“As expected, after the reproductive health (RH) bill, another bill that is against the family and life will be pushed through (by Congress),” said Fr. Amadeo Alvero, spokesman of the archdiocese of Palo in Leyte.
“This is part of the plan of the people who want to destroy the family and life. This is part of the culture of Death, which these people want in our society,” Alvero added.
For his part, Msgr. Meliton Oso, director of the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center, decried the move to push for the approval of the divorce bill.
“What is happening? It would seem that some legislators are throwing the concept of God out of the window,” Oso told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview.
Oso said it would be the “duty” of every Christian to oppose measures that undermine Church values.
Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra called on the Catholic faithful to continue to pray and to offer acts of penance so that “the people would be preserved from the malignant effects of the culture of DEATH.”
Fr. Garnett Quirong, acting parish priest of Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral in Maasin City, admitted that the passage of the divorce bill soon after the approval into law of the reproductive health bill would be a double whammy for the Catholic Church.
“What would happen to the children, to the family? We are in communion and the government would break that union,” Quirong told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Msgr. Victorino Rivas, rector of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine in Bacolod City, called the efforts to promote the divorce bill as “a crazy move.”
“We will fight again, win or lose. In an evil generation, only the good will triumph. They are confident they have the numbers but overconfidence kills,” Rivas said.
Sister Pilar Go, Tagbilaran diocese coordinator of family and life, said that the move to pass a divorce bill was caused by the desire to copy the practices of the Western world.
“Why do we always follow the Western world, even if it destroys life?” Go said. She added that Filipinos should follow their faith, not in the eyes of men, but of God.
Fr Ruel Lero from the Society of the Divine Word in Tagbilaran City maintained that the stand of the Catholic Church in opposing divorce would always remain.
However, Lero said, non-Catholic Filipinos were free to avail of divorce.
But the Gabriela women’s party-list group said legalizing divorce had been “long overdue.”
Lucy Francisco, the group’s third nominee, said divorce would provide a “much-needed option” for couples, especially women, “to end an abusive relationship or one that has lost mutual love, respect and dignity.”—Reports from Joey Gabieta, Jani Arnaiz, Carla Gomez, Nestor Burgos and Veda Bongalos, Inquirer Visayas