Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

A Pastoral Letter on Marriage and Divorce

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

My dear People of God:

It is with earnest concern that I address this letter to all of you. Last 2 May 2024, the Philippine House of Representatives approved House Bill 9349, An Act Reinstituting Absolute Divorce as an Alternative Mode for the Dissolution of Marriage.

This is indeed a tragic development because the said bill is an outright defiance of the Law of God. We believe that marriage is more than just a human contract. It is a divine institution, hence sacred and indissoluble. “What God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Mt. 19:6)

No less than the Philippine Constitution recognizes that marriage is “a permanent union between a man and woman entered into in accordance with the law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation (Art. XV, sec.1).”

We recognize that the reasons put forward by the proponents of the bill are valid and justified. There are indeed couples who are caught in an irreparably broken union and with whom we sympathize. However, the remedy to such situations is not divorce but the improvement of the Family Code, which will include all possible grounds for the declaration of nullity of a marriage that was void from the beginning. A divorce law would affect all marriages (including the good ones) since it would change the legal structure of marriage to a breakable contract. For all the good intentions of its proponents, the divorce bill will only create more significant damage to the family and to society founded on the family itself. Ultimately, it is the children, the future of our society who will be the ones most adversely affected.

I therefore appeal:

To our legislators, seek better and more effective alternatives to the problems faced by the Filipino family, focusing on improving and strengthening the Family Code so that it comprehensively addresses the struggles and reinforces the hope of every family.

To our government agencies, make the annulment process easily accessible and affordable. Today, the Church has already set a precedent for making annulment simple and free for all (confer to Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus).

To our priests and family and life ministers, I call upon you to intensify your commitment and explore ways to strengthen our family and life programs. Expand your ministry to support couples not only during pre-Cana but more importantly in the post-Cana period. Your role is crucial in this endeavor, as you effectively accompany the families, enabling them to live God’s beautiful plan for them.

As a diocese, we look forward to our Third Diocesan Pastoral Assembly this coming October, where the focus on family stands among the top three pastoral priorities.

We have just celebrated Trinity Sunday, which reminds us of the God we believe in—a God in three Persons made one by their life of love. This communion of persons is reflected in the family. The family is the image of God. The family is the sacrament of the Trinity. The family is holy.

I entrust our country and all our endeavors to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

With my prayers and pastoral blessing,

PATRICIO A. BUZON, SDB, D.D.

Bishop of Bacolod

ARCHIVES

Read Article by date

June 2024
MTWTFSS
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Get your copy of the Visayan Daily Star everyday!

Avail of the FREE 30-day trial.