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Divorce bill 'aims to soften Church'

Senator claims proposed legislation will 'intimidate the Catholic Church'

Divorce bill 'aims to soften Church'
A Catholic church wedding reporter, Manila

June 1, 2011

A senator yesterday claimed the divorce bill pending in Congress is being used to intimidate the Catholic Church into softening its stance on the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill. Vicente Sotto III said there seems to be a "political agenda" behind the scheduling of preliminary deliberations at the House of Representatives for the proposal. Sotto said threats of possibly approving the divorce bill could be used "to weaken the knees” of the Church and force it to give in on the RH bill. He said he is afraid that pro-RH bill lawmakers will threaten to pass the divorce bill if the Catholic Church continues opposing it. The divorce bill authors, however, said a divorce law can help put an end to domestic violence prevalent among many married Filipino couples. “Let us not keep our country in the dark ages. I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to let the legislative mill run its course on the divorce bill without further delay and give Filipino couples in irreparable and unhappy marriages this option,” said one of its sponsors Luz Ilagan. Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran said divorce has no place in the Philippines. “The Catholic Church strictly opposes this. What God has joined together, no man can destroy. If the husband and wife have a misunderstanding they should resolve it together,” he said over Church-run Radio Veritas on Tuesday. PM14366
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