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PHILIPPINES: ‘Unchristian values’ to blame for decline in marriages

A leading Catholic bishop in the Philippines blamed what he dubbed as an “invasion of unChristian values” for the decline of the number of people getting married in church. Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan (in photo) said a lot of Filipino couples are opting to just “live in” instead of getting married.

“Some are thinking, why get married in church if there is no divorce here?” said Archbishop Cruz, head of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Philippine Bishops’ Conference. The Tribunal handles cases of annulment of Catholic marriages.

Aside from divorce, Archbishop Cruz said, the “unCatholic value system” of North America, including the idea of a “renewable marriage contract,” is starting to influence Filipino couples. The Prelate also noted a lot of Filipinos are also contented with “civil marriage” because it is easy to nullify.

“There is definitely a decline in the number of those getting married in church,” said Archbishop Cruz. The Prelate, however, noted that people who are not married in church are attending Sunday Masses. “Of course, they don’t receive Communion but they have their children baptized in church,” said the Archbishop, adding that there is “some kind of division in [the people’s] feelings and belief.”

A study released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that fewer Filipinos have been getting married in the past decade. Reported marriages declined by 20.1 percent from 2005 to 2015 while registered marriages declined by 2.9 percent in 2014 and 3.6 percent in 2015.


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