By Leslie Ann Aquino
Contrary to the claim made by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the Catholic Church is strongly opposed to divorce.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines public affairs committee, said they are strongly opposed to the measure and that the lawmaker is merely twisting the truth.
“Congressman Lagman is twisting the truth on divorce. The Catholic Church strongly opposes the measure!” he said in a Facebook post.
Lagman earlier said he believes the Church’s opposition to divorce won’t be as strong since they also have canonical nullification of marriage.
But Secillano said canonical nullity is different from dissolution of marriage or divorce.
“The former is a declaration that marriage is null and void from the very start while the latter invalidates what is otherwise a valid marriage!” he said.
Secillano said that instead of destroying marriage, lawmakers should uphold its beauty and sanctity.
“Marriage enjoys the ‘favor of the law.’ No less than the 1987 Constitution and the Family Code treat it as an inviolable social institution that should be protected by the State,” he said.
However, Secillano said some Congressmen understand it differently.
“Instead of formulating laws that will strengthen it, uphold its beauty and sanctity, they’ve bastardized and destroyed it by introducing measures, such as divorce, that hasten the disintegration of couples!” he said.
Earlier, the House committee on population and family relations chaired by Rep. Sol Aragones (3rd district, Laguna) created a technical working group (TWG) that will consolidate all four bills on divorce namely, House Bills 116, 1062, 2380 and 6027.
Lagman is the TWG head and author of House Bill 116 or the proposed “An Act Instituting Absolute Divorce In The Philippines And For Other Purposes.”
Under his proposal, the grounds for a judicial decree of absolute divorce are the grounds for legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines and grounds for annulment of marriage under Article 45 of the Family Code of the Philippines.