Couples receive Communion during a mass wedding in 2015 at St. Alphonsus Mary de Ligouri Church in Makati City, Philippines. A Philippine Catholic official expressed surprise over the speedy acceptance of legislation that would legalize divorce in the Philippines. CNS photo/Simone Orendain

Lawmakers in Philippines move to legalize divorce

By 
  • February 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines -- A Philippine church official has expressed surprise over the speedy acceptance of a bill in the country's parliament that would legalize divorce.

On Feb. 6, the House Committee on Population and Family Relations approved in principle the Marriage Dissolution Bill, a measure equivalent to divorce in other countries. Ucanews.com said the Philippines, aside from the Vatican, is the only state that does not have any law on divorce.

"I was surprised at the speed at which the committee accepted the bill," said Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the public affairs office of the Catholic bishops' conference.

"I was expecting exhaustive deliberations and discussions would be conducted on the measure," he said, adding that the public deserves to know what is in the bill.

Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon described the acceptance of the proposed measure as alarming, ucanews.com reported.

"I hope Congress will not approve it. More family problems will be created with divorce," he said.

Father Melvin Castro, spiritual director of the group Pro-Life Philippines, said "exhaustive discussion" on the issue should have been carried out.

"With the sensitivity of the issue and the magnitude of its effects, Congress should allow open, honest and exhaustive discussion and debate on the issue of divorce," he said.

Earlier, the Catholic Council of the Laity of the Philippines issued a statement expressing opposition to the divorce bill. The group said the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly provides that divorce is "immoral" because it introduces disorder into the family and into society.

Comments (3)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Marriage is a "Give and take" relationship for me. Tayong mga babae dapat marunong din magbanat ng buto, hindi dapat iaasa lahat ng financial support sa asawa kasi kawawa tayong mga babae if ever mag separate due to irreconcilable differences....

Marriage is a "Give and take" relationship for me. Tayong mga babae dapat marunong din magbanat ng buto, hindi dapat iaasa lahat ng financial support sa asawa kasi kawawa tayong mga babae if ever mag separate due to irreconcilable differences. Kawawa tayong mga babae if we're not earning money. We have kids to support and survive for our daily lives. We should secure our health and future too.. lalo na kung magkaka edad magkasakit tayo kung sakali genetic illnesses pa. Same goes with guys too. That's why there is a NEED to approve the Divorce Bill for us to live a healthy lifestyle and wellness check especially our kids who are victims of Dysfunctional families, Domestic Violence and TOXIC relationships. #DIVORCEPILIPINAS
#FREEUS

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Yanyan Gilig
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►Have the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines ever paid attention to the hundreds of thousands of Filipinas who have been separated from their children and families mainly
►because their legal husbands have deserted them for other...

►Have the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines ever paid attention to the hundreds of thousands of Filipinas who have been separated from their children and families mainly
►because their legal husbands have deserted them for other women and created a separate bigamous relationship with children from the second women◄.

►The first wife does not get child support or alimony nor could they pay for “annulment” or get a legal divorce and hence has been forced to leave their children in the Philippines with their parents or others and work abroad in order to support their children and there are no available jobs for their education, skills and experience.

►If the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines can only analyze and meditate on this singular predicament that single mothers face in the Philippines, they would not have the conscience to object to the Marriage annulment bill that is being proposed to be passed in the Philippines.◄

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Reggi
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►It is a pity that the Catholic church officials are objecting to the anticipated Marriage Dissolution Bill since they have done nothing to alleviate the pain and economical hardships that hundreds of thousands of single mothers are facing in the...

►It is a pity that the Catholic church officials are objecting to the anticipated Marriage Dissolution Bill since they have done nothing to alleviate the pain and economical hardships that hundreds of thousands of single mothers are facing in the Philippines since their husbands have left their wives to be with other women and create separate families leaving their first wives in limbo.

►These filipinas are left without alimony or child support and have to bring up their children on their own since the Catholic Church has forbidden divorce so that they can marry again and get on with their lives.

►Due to the ancient practices of the Catholic Church in the Philippines which have left the doors open for private individuals to set up their own churches, many new Christian churches have come up in the Philippines including Iglesia ni Cristo and hundreds of other "Non-Catholic" but "Christian" churches by private individuals who are thumbing their noses at the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines.

►I believe the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines should concentrate on keeping Roman Catholics faithful within the Catholic Church through their words and actions. They should NOT enter the realms of the State and International Law since divorce is a necessity due to so many factors including, but, not limited to extra-marital affairs, bigamous relationship, common law relationships, etc. which the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines have not succeeded in stemming the rise. I don't believe the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines are well equipped psychologically, medically and legally to interfere in civic matters since they have failed the Roman Catholic population in the Philippines.

►Furthermore, the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines have not succeeded in protecting the rights of millions of filipinas who are made to work two and three jobs in support of their families either because their husbands have deserted them or the husbands do not wish to work by choice since they see their wives bringing in the pesos and they can just live a life of pleasure and leisure and use their wives as sex objects.

►Unfortunately, the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines have not succeeded in addressing the growing menace of drugs in the Philippines and the lives that some church officials are living will stun you.

►God bless the people of the Philippines and save them from the hypocrisy of the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines.

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Reggi
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