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Priests should ‘meddle’ in marriage issues—prelate

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MAKATI City, April 21, 2015 – Despite critics questioning their competence in issues like marriage, a high-ranking member of the clergy has defended the right of priests to intervene in matters affecting this sacrament, stressing that in doing so they only emphasize what Christ Himself taught, and not their own opinions.

A canon law expert, retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz argues that clerical intervention in matrimonial affairs is grounded on Christian principles. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

God’s teaching, not priests’

“I perfectly understand where these critics are coming from. But they must realize also that whatever it is we say concerning marriage is never our own personal views, but God’s,” explained retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz in a recent interview over TV Maria’s Know The Truth program.

“What we know and share about marriage comes only from Jesus,” stressed the prelate, who formerly headed the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and who is presently the judicial vicar of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal (NAMT).

Products of marriage

Cruz invited secularists to see that even though they are single, priests are themselves products of what he referred to as a “conjugal covenant” just like many other people.

In view of this, the canon lawyer stated clerics cannot be accused of ignorance when they happen to “meddle” in other people’s domestic affairs, something bashers insist are no business of celibates.

Based on experience

“We have entered so many homes. We have been a part of many families’ lives. We have seen things,” argued Cruz.

“Therefore, the complaint that we are mere ‘outsiders’ with respect to marriage cannot hold water. In fact, right inside the confessional, we are always confronted with countless stories relating to the married life,” he declared.

Sacrament

Moreover, the prelate pointed out marriage is the sacrament from which the others derive.

“Without marriage, whom will priests baptize? Without marriage, who will be the next generation of clerics, brothers, and nuns? To tell you the truth, the Holy Father himself is a fruit of his parents’ marriage,” he said.

“We have parents and siblings who are married, so we are aware of the problems that beset couples,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)


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