THE simplified version of the divorce bill approved by the House committee on population and family on February 21 is not favorable to the stand of the Church, which is against any form or attempt to destroy the sanctity of marriage.

This was the reaction of Rev. Fr. Felix Pasquin of the Diocese of Bacolod, adding that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines will surely come out with an official statement regarding the controversial bill.

“We take this as another challenge to the doctrine of the Church but we stand firm on the teachings of God,” he said.

“I foresee against the decision of the House will ensue a Church-led protest,” he added.

Pasquin said the Church will continue to teach the people and public officials of the need to uphold the sanctity of marriage.

“We cannot compromise on that. Pope Francis said that for those whose marriages have failed, the Church should show a pastoral concern for them. They are part of the Church concern and they should not feel that they are being ostracized. There is a move to invite them for counseling so that the Church can assist them in their difficult situation,” he said.

The basic ground for divorce was reduced only to the physical separation of couples for a minimum period of five years.