Divorce bill seen to weaken family ties

Published March 15, 2018, 11:10 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Christina Hermoso

The pending divorce bill is seen by Philippine bishops as a threat to strong family ties.



In a pastoral statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) considers the passing of the divorce bill in the country “as an easy way out for couples whose marriages may still be fixed.”

“In a context in which divorce is presented as an easy option, marriages and families are bound to break up more easily,” said CBCP president and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles in a CBCP News post.

“We merely ask that they consider the possibility that divorce, while it may indeed provide quick legal remedies for some seemingly ‘failed marriages,’ might end up destroying even those marriages that could have been saved by dialogues or the intervention of family, friends, pastors, and counselors,” Valles said. He added that in progressive countries like the U.S. where divorce is legal, 4 out of 10 marriages end up in divorce.

“The social costs that go with an easy recourse to the dissolution of a marriage when couples begin to face the difficult challenges of marital love and commitment are what we ask our legislators to consider seriously,” he said.

The CBCP president said that all marriages will go through periods of difficulties and trials.

“Even couples in seemingly successful marriages would often look back and recall the countless challenges that had almost brought their relationship to a breaking point if they had not learned to transcend personal hurts through understanding and forgiveness, or sometimes through the intervention of a dialogue facilitator such as a marriage counselor,” Valles said.

The prelate also expressed concern for the children of broken families who will be affected and will most likely feel disoriented and deprived of parental care.

Earlier, around 24 lay organizations and movements issued a statement against divorce.

“Couples who overcome trials in marriage together grow in virtue and happiness. That is why decent peoples of the world accompany couples and families toward reconciliation and healing. The children deserve a home where love, faithfulness, and forgiveness reigns,” they said.