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Palma urges Catholics in Cebu to oppose divorce bill

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram July 01,2024 - 10:07 AM

Archbishop Jose Palma presides the Imposition of Ashes for Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. | CDN Digital Photo Gerard Vincent Francisco

Archbishop Jose Palma presides the 6 p.m. Homily on Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. | CDN Digital Photo Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has called on devotees here not to support the divorce bill that seeks to reinstate the absolute dissolution of marriage in the Philippines.

In a letter, Palma said divorce is not the solution to broken and irreparable marriages.

“I appeal to all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Cebu to join hands in our effort to make it known that we do not accept divorce due to the damage it will inflict, not only on us Catholics but on our values as a nation,” he said.


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The prelate shared the same sentiments with those who opposed the passage of the divorce bill – and that is nullity will suffice in addressing troubled marriages.

‘Divorce is not the solution’

“Divorce is not the solution. Do not be deceived by the notion that it will only affect those who seek it,” Palma wrote.

Furthermore, he warned Catholics that divorce may bring more harm, particularly on children.

“Be aware that divorce will redefine marriage by eliminating permanent character. It is not true that divorce will not harm anyone; studies show that children suffer most in a divorce,” added Palma.

He also urged priests to be “more zealous in preparing couples for the lifelong union of marriage rather than just officiating the wedding ceremony.”

“It is the enduring union that needs careful preparation, not merely the ceremony that lasts an hour. Together, let us uphold the sanctity and permanence of marriage,” Palma said.

The archbishop’s letters were also printed out on huge tarpaulins, some of which were even placed on the front gates of Catholic churches in Cebu.

The Philippines is the only country that does not allow divorce, aside from the Vatican, the seat of power of the Roman Catholic Church which has been vehemently advocating against it.

While it swiftly passed the House of Representatives, the current version of the divorce bill seemed to have come to a hitch in the Senate, where it is currently under deliberation.

This is not the first time the divorce bill was introduced in the Philippine Congress.

The last time a divorce bill had cleared final reading was during the 17th Congress in 2016, but it languished in the Senate.

Solving troubled marriages

Groups who expressed support for its passage said reinstating divorce would help distressed couple get a second chance in marriage.

They pointed out that present options to nullify or dissolve marriages – through nullity, annulment or legal separation – are not enough to address present issues surrounding marriages.

But for Palma, couples could seek programs offered by the Catholic church if it meant solving their marriages.

“We must be well-informed about harms of divorce and aware of the existing means to address the problems that divorce purports to solve,” he added. /clorenciana

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TAGS: Archbishop Palma, Cebu, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, divorce bill

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