MANILA, March 31, 2015—While it is something people know all too well, an official of the Catholic Church has nonetheless reminded troubled couples and parents anew that their children are the ones to suffer most once they decide to part ways, adding their well-being must come first despite domestic hardships.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, judicial vicar of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, has called kids the “biggest casualty” of any marital breakdown.
“Couples who fail to patch up their differences, make their marriage work, and choose to separate, have no other victims but their own children. I repeat: The first and biggest victims of a broken home is neither the father nor the mother. It’s the kids!” the prelate stressed in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
Trauma of separation
Cruz went on to give some reasons why this is the case, pointing out that separation of their parents adversely affects the children’s values system as well as their mentality.
He lamented that given the situation they are in, these kids are more likely to catch their elders quarrelling, even hurting each other physically; in some cases times, they see either of their parents with a third party.
Prioritize kid’s welfare
In this regard, the retired prelate appealed to parents to make the welfare of their children their top priority, and to always set a good example to them.
Meanwhile, in an earlier CBCP News post, Cruz was quoted as saying that those who argue that the Church should change her teachings on divorce are “asking [for] the impossible.”
Two become one
“The Bible says what God has joined together let no man put asunder,” he exclaimed.
According to him, the Church is duty-bound to observe and to promote the teachings of Her founder, Jesus Christ, who taught that marriage is sacred.
Affirming what’s right
“Whether it will win or not in promoting the Gospel truths, that’s not her problem anymore. Her problem is to speak when things are wrong and to affirm when things are right,” he added.
Cruz’s comments came after petitions to make divorce legal in the Philippines resurrected recently, with one legislator, Senator Pia Cayetano, reportedly stating that the lack of legal provisions for divorce is not something Filipinos should be proud of.
For his part, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales explained the Catholic Church cannot conform her teachings on divorce to the “dictates of the world,” reiterating a position she has held since the time of Christ.
Even if a new survey showed 60 percent of Filipinos want divorce made legal, the prelate said people cannot change God’s teachings to suit what they want.
“Even if it is 99 percent (surveyed favor divorce) what is wrong is wrong,” Rosales added, emphasizing that the Church’s doctrine on divorce is unalterable since it is a Divine Law, and those pushing for it are asking the institution to overrule God. (Raymond A. Sebastián with reports from Roxanne Dela Rosa/CBCP News)