Couples who overcome trials together raise stable kids, society

MANILA — “Christ the Lord raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament. Let not Congress lay waste these victories with a divorce bill.”

Thus, said Archbishop Gilbert Garcera, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL) in a pastoral statement on Friday.

The statement expressed the Catholic Church’s disagreement to the proposed legalization of divorce in the country, with a bill approved in a House of Representatives’ panel on Wednesday without question.

Instead, the Catholic Church proposed that the value of perseverance and conquering difficulties as a couple be instilled in each Filipino family, so that the society will be stable.

“Children deserve a home where love, faithfulness, and forgiveness reign,” said Garcera in the pastoral letter. “In particular, they (children) don’t want to see their parents quit because there are difficulties in their relationship. The sight of their parents persevering together will always remain with them, especially when they will have their own families.”

“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 Lipa Archbishop added, noting people learn from experience.

“Science and human experience tell us that marriage is an immutable and undeniable good. Even in difficult marriages, children have benefited psychologically, physically, and spiritually. 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,” Garcera explained.

The Catholic prelate stressed that matrimony is recognized by the Constitution.

“This marriage our Constitution recognizes as an inviolable social institution, as the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State. In fact, our Constitution was once touted as the first pro-family Constitution in the world,” Garcera said.

On Wednesday, the House committee on population and family relations approved a bill that seeks to introduce divorce and the dissolution of marriage in the country.