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Bishops hit House approval of divorce bill

A Catholic bishop expressed disappointment over the House of Representatives’ approval of absolute divorce in the country.

Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran said that divorce destroys the sanctity of marriage “as a sacred covenant”.

“We are deeply saddened by the decision of 126 lawmakers in Congress to vote ‘yes’ to the Divorce Bill,” Uy said.

The Lower House on Wednesday approved on the third and final reading a bill that will legalize divorce in the country.

With a vote of 126-109 and 20 abstentions, the lawmakers passed the bill seeking to institute absolute divorce as an alternative means of dissolving an irreparably broken or dysfunctional marriage in the country.

A separate version of the proposed law has been pending second reading at the Senate.

The bishop called on the faithful to join in praying for the senators “that they may be guided to make the right decision and not pass the Divorce Bill in the upper house.”

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“May they consider the well-being of families and society as a whole in their deliberations,” Uy added.

“May we all be inspired to uphold the teachings of our faith and to work towards a society that honors and respects the sanctity of marriage and family life,” he also said.

The episcopal conference’s public affair body maintained that divorce is “anti-family, anti-marriage, and anti-children.”

“It’s a betrayal of their constitutional mandate to uphold marriage and the family,” said Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs.

“The fact remains that divorce is not the ultimate solution to problematic unions,” he said.

The priest also noted that there are already available remedies for those who can no longer stay in their marriage.

“We already have existing legal remedies to couple separation, and yet Congress decided to add more,” Secillano said.

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