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Ang pag-aasawa'y 'di biro'.

Byline: Minyong Ordonez

Di tulad ng kanin na isusubo at iluluwa kung mapaso. May crucifixion na naman ang Catholic church. Katatapos lang ng birth control (RH Bill), eto na ang kasunod, divorce! Today our lawmakers are at it again, pushing for the enactment of a divorce law.

It's meant for married couples viciously incapable of fulfilling their marriage vows. Once divorced, they can take another crack at marriage (but retaining the same old character defect), or renounce married life forever as a hard-boiled skeptic.

It's about time we got real, fans of divorce say. They rue the Philippines for being the only country without a divorce law, as if joining the bandwagon for marriage losers is the latest fad in the crazy world.

Our government has already established the law on legal separation to solve the problem of failed marriage.

The Catholic church accommodates the annulment of marriage provided the conditions for a Catholic marriage were not met before or after the matrimonial rites.

Partnership endowed by God

Catholicism believes marriage is a partnership of man and woman endowed by God with transcendence for the fulfillment of selfless love and the miracle of procreation. A mystical union not only of body and mind but also of heart and soul.

"They shall be two in one flesh." The sacrament of matrimony is so revered in the Gospel, Catholicism deems it doctrinal that the matrimonial bond is indissoluble, broken only in death. "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder," says the Holy Book.

To make sure there's no misunderstanding of the marriage vows, let's make it more specific.

"To have and to hold from this day forward for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part." Maliwanag ito sa ating mga mahal na ninuno. Paalala nila.

"Ang pag-aasawa ay gawang di biro tulad ng kanin na isusubo at iluluwa kung mapaso." Catholicism confers on the wedded man and woman the resolve for optimism and strength of unity.

The Church is duty bound to proclaim the integrity and sanctity of marriage vows. Bishops and priests are only the messenger. The message comes from God through the Holy Scriptures. The Church adopts a futuristic concern on the domino effect of a communal mind-set for divorce once it sinks into the society's culture.

Broken homes

In western societies where divorce becomes the custom, the high incidences of broken homes, loveless children, teenage delinquency and solitary lives are incontestable.

Many homes, which are the domicile of formative values and virtues, become clueless and leaderless. 'Pag natuloy ang divorce law at umiral na ang RH, dalawa na ang pang-wasak ng pamilya at kulturang Pilipino.

Sana'y ang mga mambabatas at namumuno sa gobyerno ay mas bigyan ng halaga at importansya ang batas ng Diyos, kaysa batas ng tao at mas pahalagahan nila ang common good ng buong sosyedad kaysa sa kagustuhan ng isang maliit na sektor lamang.

If Catholics wish to obey the laws of God instead of manmade laws, they need humility to surrender their will to their maker. Manmade laws for social engineering such as the RH Bill may be done by the government because of mandate for the people's welfare, but if it violates Christian morality and religious tenets, the mandate of God must be accorded preeminent role by Catholics, especially those who profess their Catholicity when they pray the Creed during Mass, and the pledge they made in Baptism, and follow Christ's teachings in the Gospel concerning the sanctity of marriage.

It is unfortunate that in the principle of Church and State separation, sometimes it's the State that persecutes the Church rather than the Church engaging in theocratic practices.

The Church fully respects man's free will. Its ultimate empowerment from Jesus Christ is the power to forgive sins. It will always be against sin and the promotion of sin.

Huwag nating hayaan na sirain ng divorce law ang ating matibay at magandang kultura na maging sandigan ng ating sambayanan sa pamumuhay na mapagmahal, marangal at may takot sa Diyos. Call it Filipino culture, Christian culture or Filipino family value culture na binuhay ng ating mga magulang at ninuno sa loob ng daan-daang taon.

Ipinamana nila sa atin ang matibay na pamilya at strong society. Hindi tayo nagising sa ideya ng divorce. We learned that family should stay solid and united. The virtues that our grandparents and parents bequeathed are pagmamahalan, pagtutulungan, paggalang sa matanda, paggalang sa babae at paggalang sa authority, paglilingkod, kasipigan at pagbibigayan sa isa't isa.

Divorce is another name for being disloyal and cowardice. It is a monument to failure. It's a tribute to skepticism. It's a real shame if Filipinos have a divorce law. Hindi natin pwedeng ipagkapuri ito.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 3, 2013
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