Benedictine priest Father Ranhilio Aquino. (Photo credits: Rappler)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Hard-line Catholics are up in arms against Albay District I representative Edcel Lagman for refiling the proposed law on divorce and reigniting debate over the sanctity of marriage as based on God’s teachings.
According to Catholic priest Father Ranhilio Aquino, who is the dean of Benedictine-run San Beda Graduate School of Law, there was no need to pass a divorce law if the reason alone is that the Philippines is the only country in Asia with no divorce law.
Supporters of the said law had argued that the Philippines is the only remaining country in the world that has no divorce law and in reaction, the Albay lawmaker had refiled the bill last July 12.
“Edcel Lagman, who has made himself notorious for advocating measures diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching, is at it again. He has reignited the divorce debate by filing a bill in Congress that would allow divorce into the Philippine legal system. The paramount question, therefore, is whether we need it!” Fr. Aquino reiterated on Facebook.
“If the most ‘compelling’ argument is that we are the only jurisdiction that does not have it (divorce), the (non) argument is pathetic. It is nothing more than a perpetuation of the “gaya-gaya” (copycat) syndrome, or the sickening mantra today: “Sana all!” he added.
“It is also argued by its proponents that divorce rescues the partners of failed marriages, trapped in a loveless, perhaps even harmful union. But we have laws that amply provide for such situations,” the Benedictine priest, a respected jurist and legal scholar, further stressed.
Meanwhile, Catholic supporters of the bill, however argued that clergymen opposing the proposed measure could never understand what is meant to be in an abusive relationship because they themselves were not married.
“It’s easy for any priest to say that marriage should be preserved. But the truth remains that priests are not even married so they will never know how it is to live with someone who is so abusive. They really wouldn’t understand,” a Catholic from Manila, who wished to remain anonymous, cited..
He likewise said that legal separation and other legal remedies were “expensive” that only the rich could afford.
“Legal separation and a case for declaration of nullity of marriage is tedious and involves a lot of money because there is a presumption on the validity of marriage. But if there is divorce law, the law on divorce erases that presumption,” he concluded. .” (This article first came out in UCA News on July 14, 2022) ai/mtvn