THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) maintained that same-sex marriage is against the teachings of the Scriptures and the law of nature.
CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas pointed out that the Church only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman.
“Marriage is a permanent union of man and woman, in the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual fulfilment that the union of a man and a woman brings into the loftiness of the matrimonial bond,” Villegas said in a pastoral letter.
The prelate was reacting to the growing number of countries that allow same-sex marriage. Last week, the US Supreme Court legalized same-gender union in all states.
But Villegas said marriage is an indissoluble bond between man and woman.
“This is the way the Church has always read Sacred Scriptures. This is the way it has lived its faith, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in that living normative found called Sacred Tradition,” he added.
“The US Supreme Court decision will not go unheeded. We shall study it with assiduousness, and revisit our concepts and presuppositions, always with an eye to being faithful to the Gospel and to the mission of the Church,” Villegas said.
There are pending bills in Congress that seek to legalize divorce and gender equality that some members of the Church fear may also lead to same-sex marriage.
But Villegas said that while the Church will support measures that mandate equal treatment for all, it will strongly oppose any move that will recognize same-sex marriage.
Former CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, in his “Viewpoints” column, said moves to legalize same-sex marriage in the Philippines are bound to fail because they go against the teachings of Christ and the law of nature.
“No Church and no Pope, no government and no president, no people of any race, color and creed can really change it. Why? Ground realities as categorically and concretely determined by nothing less than the Law of Nature are beyond denial or contradiction by any contrary human opinion, by any opposite human authority or legislation,” Cruz added.
“Therefore, to think and affirm, to promote and proclaim that marriage is between a man and a man or between a woman and a woman, this is an excellent example of an exercise in futility,” the former CBCP president said.
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao (Quezon City) and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo expressed the same sentiment.
“Same-sex marriage is against the natural law. On the part of the Catholic Church, such a marriage is against our canon law,” Lagdameo said.
Malacañang said the Philippines does not recognize same-sex marriages abroad.
“The law is clear. In the Family Code of the Philippines, the marriage we recognize is just between a man and a woman,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
“There is no change in our national policy regarding that. If there are proposals, it should go to Congress,” said Coloma, echoing an earlier statement by a fellow Palace official.
WITH JOEL M. SY EGCO