CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 10 November 2018

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Philippine senators vow to axe divorce bill

MANILA (UCAN): “In effect it is dead,” Panfilo Lacson, a Philippine senator said, commenting on a bill that would legalise divorce in the predominantly Catholic country.
 
“We are a Catholic country and we are not ready for (divorce),” Lacson said.
 
Several of the country’s senators have vowed to kill the bill, which passed the Lower House of Congress this week. The bill must now go through the Senate before it can be signed into law. 
 
Senator Richard Gordon said the proposed measure goes against basic law, which states that marriage is an “inviolable social institution.”
 
He said that instead of legalising divorce, “a more appropriate way is to find a solution to unstable marriages.”
 
Boxing champ-turned-senator, Manny Pacquiao, a born-again Christian, said divorce is not the answer to a failed marriage.
 
“We have a law on annulment, why pass a divorce law?” he asked.
 
However, a survey conducted by the Catholic radio station, Veritas 846, December 2017 to January 2018, showed that most of those questioned favour the legalisation of divorce.
 
Out of 1,200 respondents of the nationwide survey, 39 per cent strongly agreed that divorce should be legalised while 35 per cent strongly disagreed.
 
“This is a wake-up call and a big challenge to the Catholic Church, especially because many of the faithful are in favour of the legalisation of divorce,” Father Anton Pascual, president of Veritas 846, said.
 
He said there is a need for Church leaders to preach more about the “beauty of marriage.”
 
Father Pascual said Church leaders oppose legalising divorce because it would only “further weaken the bond” between couples who encounter problems in their marriage.
 
The president, Rodrigo Duterte, whose first marriage was annulled, said he was against divorce “for the sake of the children.”
 
Aside from the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country that has no divorce law, except for Muslims. 

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