As the Absolute Divorce Bill reaches the Lower House plenary following its passage by the House Committee on Population and Family Relations, Taytay Bishop Broderick Pabillo expressed his disappointment over the apparent railroading of the controversial policy.
In his Sunday Mass homily on August 22, Bishop Pabillo – who also chairs the Episcopal Commission on the Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – uttered his qualms that the proposed legislation will further weaken the Constitution’s mandate to help strengthen the relationships of every Filipino family.
“Ito ay nakababahala kasi sa halip na palakasin ang pamilya ayon sa ating Saligang Batas, ang divorce ay nagpapahina sa pamilya. Ito ay napapatunayan na sa lahat ng mga bansa na may absolute divorce,” he said.
He also pointed out that in the lens of Catholicism, matrimony is not just an agreement being signed in a piece of paper but a sacrament which serves as a covenant of love between God and married couple.
“Ang makataong pagmamahalan ng lalaki at ng babae – at ang tunay na kasal ay ginagawa ng isang lalaki at isang babae – ay nagiging tanda ng hindi nakikitang pagmamahalan ni Kristo at ng Simbahan. Iyan ay maliwanag sa sinabi sa atin ni San Pablo sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa. Inilalarawan sa Banal na Kasulatan ang kaugnayan ng bayan at ng Diyos sa kaugnayan ng mag-asawa,” Bishop Pabillo stressed.
“Totoong may mga pamilya na dysfunctional at may mga kababaihan at kabataan na naaabuso sa mga pamilyang ito,” he admitted, but the Bishop emphasized that real marriage won’t work until they allow God to enter in their married lives through praying together, going to church as a family and mature together as Christians.
Bishop Pabillo encouraged the faithful, especially all married men and women to always choose God as He is fortress that we can always depend on.
“Sa paniniwala sa katuruan at gabay ng Diyos tungkol sa kasal, kailangan tayong magdesisyon na sumunod sa Kanya at hindi sa anong uso, o anuman ang sinasabi ng mga tao o ng sino mang professor or researcher. Ang Diyos ay tunay na moog na ating maaasahan. Nakatayo ang ating buhay sa bato kung tayo ay sumusunod sa Kanya. Piliin natin Siya,” he said.
The CBCP National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal earlier conveyed their regret on the lawmakers’ decision to progress the proposed law on August 16, saying that divorce is not the solution in misunderstanding and would deteriorate their lives, especially their children who will be gravely affected by their decision.
The Catholic Church also reminds couples not to rush into marriage without proper spiritual and emotional preparation as well as the right disposition and motivation for a life of “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health,” till death do them part, as the marriage vow goes. (Lem Leal Santiago/SOCOM-Binondo Church | Photo File of RCAM-AOC)