‘Divorce could worsen declining marriages’

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MANILA, August 26, 2012— A Catholic archbishop lamented the decreasing number of couples heading down the aisles and warned that legalization of divorce could aggravate the situation.

Archbishop Oscar Cruz, head of the church’s National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, said that aside from the weakening sanctity of marriage, many couples worry about the consequences of splitting up later.

“With this administration wanting to introduce divorce, why get married at all? It will further destroy our culture,” Cruz said.

“More and more people don’t believe in wedding anymore as long as they live together then split up if they want. The culture is getting destroyed,” he said.

The Philippines remains the only nation in the world where divorce is illegal although there are moves in Congress to push a law for its legalization.

Last week, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported that fewer Filipino couples are getting married during the past decade due to rising poverty.

Government data showed that the number of registered marriages had dropped by 13 percent from 559,162 in 2001 to 482,480 in 2010.

But the church official stressed that poverty is a lame reason since getting married does not require being lavish.

He said that if couples really want to get married, they can have their opportunities without spending much.

“In the Church, all parishes offer free weddings at least once or twice a month. But it’s just a simple one… no more flowers, balloons, singers. Others, however, still prefer a special wedding so it’s really expensive,” Cruz said.

He added that some even haggle with church expenses but spend extravagantly in the receptions.

This is the reason why, Cruz stressed, that the Church must further teach the faithful that spending excessively is not a requirement in getting married.

He also said there is nothing wrong with couples planning a lavish wedding “but not beyond their means.” [RL/CBCPNews]



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