Not all marriages are put together by God
The 13TH and 14th Congresses of the Philippines tried to pass the Divorce Bill but each attempt was choked to death right at the start. The present 15th Congress is making a similar bid, but chances are the bill may yet meet the same fate because the mighty Catholic Church in the country looks at divorce as a “forbidden fruit,” and may throw its weight against the bill again as it did in the past. We hope that our new set of lawmakers will have the guts and political will to keep an open mind on this bill, unperturbed by the fear that a vote for it will alienate them from disgruntled Catholic voters in future elections.
The Catholic Church and some hard-core moralists maintain that a matrimonial bond is a lifelong commitment—“What God has put together, let no man put asunder.” In other words, all marriages are blessed by God.
On the surface, this argument may seem to be true, but what the Catholic Church does not understand is that not all married couples are put together by God, and not all marriages are with God’s blessings. Because if this were true, not a single marriage on earth would fail because God’s blessing is infinite and once God has put something together and blessed it, no form of earthly dominion can separate, destroy and defile it. Does this make sense?
We may not have the statistics on hand to show how many marriages are being abandoned each day, but we can be certain there are so many marriages in the Philippines that are in shambles, and there are more couples breaking up and leaving the matrimonial home; and they will consequently sink deeper into other sins like fornication, adultery and concubinage, because there is no legal way for them to get out of a beleaguered marriage and enter into another matrimony. Legal separation which could be an option is seldom availed of because it only allows the husband and wife to live separately, but it affords no legal mechanism to completely end the marriage and allow each spouse to remarry. Annulment which is a process of terminating a marriage bond sanctioned by the Catholic Church can be the other option, but this procedure is so extravagant that only the rich can afford it. It is not for the poor, and it is beyond the reach of a wage earner.
The divorce law is not mandatory in character. It is optional in practice, and is resorted to only in extreme cases, when a broken marriage has no hope of restoration. If the Catholic Church can allow annulment with the end result of terminating all vestiges of marriage, why is it so upset about divorce which works the same way, produces the same result (it ends the marriage contract) and is more accessible to the poor.
Both annulment and divorce are two different words, but they are the same decaffeinated coffee. The only difference is the brand.
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