CBCP says House is betraying family morals for pushing divorce | Inquirer News

CBCP says House is betraying family morals for pushing divorce

/ 01:48 PM February 23, 2018

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

Officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed disappointment over the House of Representatives’ approval of a bill that will legalize divorce in the country.

Fr. Jerome Secillano took to social media to criticize the latest development, maintaining that divorce is “anti-marriage and anti-family.”

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“By passing this measure, Congress betrays its mandate to protect our country’s legally and morally declared social and inviolable institutions!” Secillano posted on his Facebook account.

Secillano is the executive secretary of the CBCP’s permanent committee on public affairs.

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He made the remarks after the House committee on population and family relations approved the bill titled “An act instituting absolute divorce in the Philippines.”

Following its approval at the committee level, the bill is now set to be discussed by the House plenary.

Under the measure, spouses may secure a divorce “under limited grounds and well-defined judicial procedures to terminate a continuing dysfunction of a long broken marriage.”

The bill seeks to allow a person separated for at least five years to file for absolute divorce, except if the separation is due to overseas employment or both spouses are residing in separate distant regions.

Also valid reasons for a divorce are psychological incapacity, gender reassignment surgery, and irreconcilable marital conflicts resulting in the total breakdown of the marriage beyond repair.

The Philippines is the only country in the world aside from the Vatican where divorce is not allowed.

The 1987 Constitution stresses that the State “recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.”

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Secillano said lawmakers should protect rights and strengthen institution like marriage.

“The Catholic Church is all for the protection of rights especially of the aggrieved parties in marriage. But protection of rights should go hand in hand with upholding our cherished institutions like marriage,” he said.

He added: “While divorce may indeed vindicate the rights of women, as congressmen believed, it is unfortunately to the detriment of marriage and family as sacred institutions that should otherwise be protected by the State.”

For his part, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes called the approval of the divorce bill a “very disappointing development.”

He urged the clergy to “rally against this law by showing the disastrous effect of divorce that destroys the family, the basic unit of society and the domestic Church.”

“Divorce is a direct affront to the law ordained by God and specifically reiterated by our Lord Jesus Christ! The destruction of families by divorce is indeed a project of Satan,” said Bastes.

Bastes is the chairperson of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Mission.

The prelate also appealed to lawmakers to reconsider and uphold the dignity of marriage.

“I hope that our lawmakers open their eyes and hearts to the beauty of upholding the dignity of marriage and to the horrendous situation which divorce has caused in all countries of the world!” he added. /jpv

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CBCP: There is no need for divorce in PH

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TAGS: anti-family, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Divorce bill, House, marriage
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