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HomePoliticsOutright defiance of God's law: Bacolod prelate blasts passage of absolute divorce...

Outright defiance of God’s law: Bacolod prelate blasts passage of absolute divorce bill

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The prelate of the Roman Catholic Church here has called the passage of House Bill 9349 as a “tragic development” as it is “an outright defiance of the Law of God.”

Bishop Patricio Buzon, in a pastoral letter issued days after the Lower House’s passage of the bill titled “An Act Reinstituting Absolute Divorce as an Alternative Mode for the Dissolution of Marriage,” said the Church believes “… marriage is more than just a human contract; it is a divine institution, hence sacred and indissoluble.“

The bill, authored in the Lower House by Rep. Edcel Lagman, and backed by five solons in the Upper House, is also being backed by Left-leaning groups including partylist groups in the Lower House.

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Buzon cited a Biblical phrase: “What God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Mt. 19:6) before he raised a legal point that “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)’.”

Buzon, however, conceded that the reasons cited by the bill’ s proponents are “valid and justified “as there are indeed couples who are caught in anirreparably broken union and with whom we sympathize.”

However, Buzon pointed out 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.

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Ultimately, it is the children, the future of our society who will be the ones most adversely affected.”

The rest of Buzon’s letter reads

I therefore appeal:

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To our legislators, seek better and more effective alternatives to the problemsfaced 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 image of the family. Therefore, the family is God’s image. 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.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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