Don’t jump into gay marriage ‘bandwagon,’ say Filipino bishops
Following predominantly Catholic Ireland’s historic landslide decision on same-sex marriage, Filipino Catholic bishops on Wednesday said the Philippines should not jump into the “bandwagon” just because other countries approve of gay unions.
In a short statement posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines website, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said the country should preserve its own laws, values, and tradition.
“Just because Ireland approved same-sex marriage, it does not mean we have to follow,” Oliveros said. “That’s simply [a] bandwagon mentality.”
Oliveros added that the society has a responsibility to safeguard traditional marriage between a man and woman, highlighting the importance of the roles of both mother and father in a child’s upbringing.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, Iloilo said natural law is a strong counter-argument on the union between same-sex individuals.
“Same-sex marriage is against the natural law,” he said. “On the part of the Catholic Church, such a marriage is against our canon law.”
Echoing the sentiments of his colleagues, Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said the Catholic Church opposes the controversial measure because it “goes against God’s teaching on marriage.”
“If we want to remain Godly, let us be faithful to what the Lord’s will is,” Ongtioco said.
Recently, lawyer Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to abolish provisions in the Family Code that limit marriages in the country between a man and a woman.
On Wednesday, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin called the Irish referendum to legalize gay marriage “a defeat for humanity.”
“I don’t think you can speak only a defeat for Christian principles,” Parolin told reporters.
While Pope Francis himself once said that gays should not be judged for their sexuality, it can be remembered that the Pontiff attempted to prevent Argentina from becoming the first nation in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage when he was still archbishop of Buenos Aires in July 2010.
Ireland on Saturday became the first country to legislate gay marriage by public vote, with more than 62 percent of voters saying “yes.” Observers have noted that the influence of the once all-powerful Irish Catholic Church has waned over the years due to continuous secularization and a series of scandals involving priests. IDL
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