Enact laws to strengthen marriages instead of divorce, lawmakers urged

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THE ARCHDIOCESE of Manila’s Commission on Family and Life urged lawmakers on Tuesday to enact laws that will promote healthy marriages instead of legalizing divorce and allowing the dissolution of validly contracted marriages.

In a statement, the commission said lawmakers should craft laws that would “adequately prepare men and women who wish to enter the covenant of marriage, help promote and keep healthy marriages, and support couples struggling.”

“Couples who overcome trials in marriage together grow in virtue and happiness. That is why decent peoples of the world accompany couples and families toward reconciliation and healing. And our holy Mother, the Church, will always and everywhere be there to help,” the statement read.

Noting that the 1987 Philippine Constitution is the first pro-family constitution in the world, the commission cited Article 15 Section 2 of the charter, which recognizes marriage as an inviolable social institution and the foundation of the family that shall be protected by the State.

The commission said lawmakers should focus their efforts toward ensuring that the sanctity of marriage and family is protected instead of “weakening and undermining” these institutions with a divorce law.

In a pastoral statement last Feb. 21, the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said marriage was important in the psychological, physical and spiritual growth of children and in helping them become productive members of the society.

“Science and human experience tell us that marriage is an immutable and undeniable good. Its demands and benefits lead to a better, compassionate, stable and more dynamic society. Our Constitution’s goal of the common good demands all these,” the statement read.

Canon law defines marriage as “a union by a man and a woman who establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”

Last Feb. 21, the Committee on Population and Family Relations of the House of Representatives submitted the bill titled “The Act of Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage” for plenary deliberations.

The bill will make legal proceedings affordable by waiving filing and lawyers’ fees and ordering courts to provide psychiatric and psychological services.

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