Latest Stories

More couples seek to nullify marriages in cities


More couples in urban centers like Metro Manila are seeking to nullify their marriages, but overall, a drop in annulment cases in the country has been observed this year, according to Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz.

Cruz, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, estimated that the number of marriage cases that the Church had recorded for nullity had decreased over the years by at least 10 percent to 15 percent.

“As far as our cases here are concerned, it’s less than 10 to 15 percent, but there are also cases that go directly to Rome and no longer pass us,” Cruz told reporters on Monday.

He said the tribunal was handling not more than 100 cases every year and out of this number, only about 9 to 10 cases got an affirmative decision.

In 2011, the Office of the Solicitor General released data showing that annulment cases had risen by 40 percent in the last 10 years, with at least 22 cases filed every day. It also reported that the number of cases had risen to 8,282 in 2010 from 4,520 in 2001.

‘Canonical separation’

Cruz acknowledged that while the Church might be observing a declining trend in annulments, it could not be true with respect to the courts since those who married civilly would need to go to the courts to obtain annulments.

He also pointed out that in order to dissolve a bond formalized in Church, a couple must not only seek to nullify their marriage in the Church but must also file an annulment in the civil court.

To avoid the hassles of the proceedings, Cruz said, some would rather separate on their own—referred to by the Church as “canonical separation.”

Metro Manila and Cebu

According to Cruz, the majority of Filipino couples seeking annulments come from the urban areas, where the influences of Western countries are more present and felt than in the rural areas.

He said among the urban centers where the number of annulment cases were still high were Metro Manila and Cebu.

“Marriage is more difficult in an urban setting precisely because of the influence of the First World countries, which [allow] divorce and same-sex marriage, among others,” the prelate said.

He also said couples residing in these bustling cities were more preoccupied with matters like “questions of property and support of children.”

“They have more concerns than those who are in the rural areas,” he added.


Cruz also noted that fewer annulment cases were being filed in the Church because many couples were opting to practice “cohabitation,” or living together without marriage.

“It’s becoming more and more common …  there are fewer cases than before precisely because of the trend that they just live together. So if they do that, they could also part whatever time they like,” Cruz said.

But this does not mean that fewer Filipino couples are tying the knot in church, Cruz was quick to add.

In fact, new data collected by the CBCP showed a jump in the number of couples getting married in church, he said.

Naga weddings

Based on the Catholic Directory of the Philippines, 186,367 couples sought the blessings of the Church from 2012 to 2013—a 12-percent increase from the 165,100 recorded in 2010 to 2011.

The Archdiocese of Caceres in Naga City recorded the highest number of church weddings with 23,235.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: annulments , Catholic Church , marriage , Philippines

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace