EVEN if the divorce bill gets through Congress and is enacted into law, hope is not lost yet for the Catholic Church, an official of the Cebu Archdiocese said yesterday.

Msgr. Raul Go, judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu’s Matrimonial Tribunal, told SunStar Cebu that they plan to intensify their campaign against the divorce bill by educating families.

The House’s committee on population and family relations approved the bill for plenary deliberation last Wednesday, February 21.

Go said that lawmakers are trying to approve the bill within their level to test public approval.

But should there be divorce, Go said the Catholic Church must focus on preparing new couples on how to embrace being married and the family life.

In a separate interview, Msgr. Joseph Tan, Archdiocesan spokesperson, urged lawmakers to put the bill under a referendum to gauge the true sentiment of the public.

Upon reading the features of the bill, Tan said some of the proponents are not sure if Filipinos will embrace divorce.

An official of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on the Laity (CACL), for her part, urged Catholics in Cebu to pray that the bill won’t be approved.

Fe Barino, CACL chairman, said she was disappointed at the members of the House’s committee on population and family relation.

The divorce bill will be one of the matters that will be tackled during the Walk for Life With Mary tomorrow.

Under the bill, married couples can seek divorce for reasons such as abuse, infidelity, and irreconcilable differences.

It allows spouses separated for at least five years to file for absolute divorce.

Divorce is permitted if reconciliation is “highly improbable,” unless the separation is due to overseas employment or both spouses are residing in a distant region.

Psychological incapacity, gender reassignment surgery, and irreconcilable marital are also cited as valid reasons for divorce.

The State, however, places importance on the sanctity of marriage by mandating a six-month “cooling off” period “as a final attempt of reconciling the concerned spouses.” (JKV)