By Leslie Aquino
Divorce to break up families, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said.
CBCP Public Affairs Committee Chairman Father Jerome Secillano said this amid the refiling of a bill on absolute divorce by Senator Risa Hontiveros.
“Divorce does not keep families together. It breaks-up families,” he said in an interview.
“Adding another option for separation puts to risk the family, which, under our Constitution and Family Code, is an inviolable institution that must be protected by the State,” added Secillano.
He said there is no need for divorce as there are already available options for troubled couples in the country.
“It’s not true that legal remedies to formalize separation of couples are not in place. Declaration of nullity, annulment, and legal separation are available options [to} refiling of [divorce bill], but perhaps couples just don’t simply avail them,” Secillano said.
“If legislators see problems in these remedies, they simply need to fix them,” he added.
In the past, CBCP President Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said in a context in which divorce is presented as an “easy option”, marriages and families are bound to “break up” more easily and more children will grow up disoriented and deprived of the care of both parents.
He said while they do not question the fact that there are indeed failed marriages and that not all married couples were ‘joined together by God’, there are provisions for both canonical and civil annulments, which are not exactly the equivalent of divorce.
Hontiveros said the Divorce Act of 2019 in the 18th Congress seeks to make “psychological incapacity of either spouse,” “irreconcilable marital differences,” marital rape, or being “separated for at least 5 years” grounds for divorce, among others.
This measure is for all. However, I want to stress the importance of protecting women