Time of fear for Catholic Church as divorce bill advances


Posted at Feb 22 2018 12:02 PM

MANILA - A leader of the Catholic Church on Thursday lamented the approval of the House panel's approval of legislation that would allow divorce in the Philippines.

A bill that will make divorce faster and easier passes the committee level at the House of Representatives last Wednesday, the farthest progress for legislation of its kind.

The Catholic Church opposes divorce in the Philippines, one of only 2 states in the world, aside from the Vatican, where it is outlawed. Annulments are legal, but the process could take years and might cost at least P250,000.

"It is the time that we have feared the most," Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma told reporters.

With the proposed law up for deliberations at the plenary level, Palma reminded legislators that, "Even the Constitution protects the sanctity of marriage."

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who led the technical working group that consolidated different versions of the bill, had said the measure was constitutional and did not violate the sanctity of marriage.

"What is subject to divorce proceedings are marriages long dead or vitiated from the very start. In the language of the Supreme Court, it is giving a decent burial for a cadaver of a marriage," he said.

With a report from Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News