Philippine Catholic bishops against 10-year marriage expiration proposal
January 13, 2010 19 Comments
MANILA, January 12, 2010—Filipino Catholic leaders have stood their ground against the proposal of a party-list group to legislate an expiration date to marriages. The proponents were reported to have said “a 10-year expiration on marriages would give couples the opportunity to review their relationship, and decide whether to continue or not with the union.”
CBCP President and Tandag Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, a respected Canon lawyer said “Unity and indissolubility of marriage are values rooted in the bible and Christian tradition.”
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, another expert in Canon Law and Chairman of the CBCP’s National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal said the proposal is “some kind of desperate approach to right a wrong by something wrong.” “It is wrong for couples to separate and here comes a proposal for them to precisely separate,” he said. Interviewed by CBCPNews, the 75-year old prelate said “if those who propose temporary marriage are really serious about their proposal, they should think of its consequences.” He identified the most serious concerns is the emotional trauma on the children whose parents separate. Besides, “this will produce a lot more children and result into population explosion,” he quipped. He added a man who gets married at age 20 and decides not to renew his marriage with his wife can go on and on until he marries his sixth wife at age 70.
Prelature of Isabela (de Basilan) Bishop Martin S. Jumoad said he’s definitely against putting an expiration date on marriages. He said commitment, fidelity and respect are vital for one to have a strong family. He urged on Filipino couples to “stick to one.” He added putting an expiration date on solemnized marriages will “open more problems among their children.” If this happens, he foresees “Philippine society will become chaotic, more street children and more social problems.”
As far as Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta, who concurrently sits as Civil Registrar General, the proposal to put expiration on marriages in the Philippines is “contrary to the aspirations of the Filipino people as espoused in the 1987 Constitution, the family being the building block of society.” In an interview with CBCPNews, such measure would deprive children of stable family life. “Ang tinitinginan ng mga nagsusulong ng panukalang iyan ay convenience ng mag-asawa,” she explained. She added there are about 500,000 marriages solemnized annually with less than 10% getting annulled and reported to the National Statistics Office. (Melo M. Acuña)
Source: CBCP News