SORSOGON City, Oct. 12, 2014—A high-ranking member of the Church believes the ongoing Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family is a big step towards shedding light on various issues affecting the lives of today’s Catholic families like marriage, contraception, poverty, and others, especially in the Philippines.
In a recent interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo M. Bastes agreed with Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, one of the Synod’s three “Delegate Presidents” that poor Filipino families will benefit greatly from this meeting.
Like Tagle, the prelate, who chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Mission (ECM), pointed to forced separation due to economic constraints as a leading cause of “broken homes” in the country.
Bastes lamented that children of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are more likely to engage in premarital sex, and teenage pregnancies are more common among daughters of OFW parents.
While the Church is doing everything she can to help, the bishop stressed all the more must the government find ways to improve the lot of economically disadvantaged Filipinos by ensuring them of jobs available at home, eliminating the need to find work abroad.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the number of registered OFWs in 2013 is estimated at 2.2 million.
Themed “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization,” the Synod which opened on Oct. 5 at the Vatican, will end on Oct.19 .
Its Preparatory Document mentions that the Synod aims “to define the ‘status quaestionis’ (current situation) and to collect the bishops’ experiences and proposals in proclaiming and living the Gospel of the Family in a credible manner.”
The docuent “Instrumentum Laboris” adds the it “will thoroughly examine and analyze the information, testimonies and recommendations received from the particular Churches in order to respond to the new challenges of the family.” (Raymond A. Sebastián)