A Catholic lay organization has joined calls against divorce which has been approved by the House of Representatives.

In a manifesto released on its 43rd anniversary on Saturday, the group Couples for Christ (CFC) said numbers do not make a policy stronger.

“The rest of the world has chosen to adopt a divorce law. However, sheer numbers are not an indication of stronger and truer beliefs but rather a reflection of human weakness. They do not reflect the fortitude that God has promised to those who follow His word,” it said.

The Lower House approved House Bill 9349 or the Absolute Divorce Act on May 22 with a slim margin of 126 to 109, with 20 abstentions.

Dr. Jose Yamamoto, chairman and president of Couples for Christ.

Instead of divorce, the group rallied for strong implementation of existing laws concerning family relations.

“We strongly urge our country’s leaders not to weaken the marriage bond but instead to work more aggressively to strengthen the family,” the CFC said.

“Supporting and working for the more vigorous implementation of the Philippine Family Code is a more viable option by which to elevate our people into a society of law-abiding, and emotionally stable citizens.”

CFC is composed of over 900,000 members in 160 countries, with 800,000 in the Philippines alone.

While the group admitted that no marriage is perfect, it said couples must commit to make their marriage work despite their differences.

Dr. Jose Yamamoto, CFC chair and president, said divorce is not the ultimate answer to domestic violence, infidelity, abuse, abandonment and deceit, which are some of the major reasons why the measure is being pushed.

“There are many possibilities by which dysfunctional marriages can be addressed. For example, there’s always something like therapy,” he said.

“But the most important thing is for the husband and wife to really commit to making the marriage work. Because if they are going to rely on external factors, even a divorce law will not resolve fundamental differences, fundamental flows in character.”

The CFC head said they have helped couples who were on the verge of being separated.

“Here, we have helped countless marriages be preserved and protected. The benefit is not only to the husband and the wife but the long-lasting and the everlasting effects are really on the children,” he said.

The Catholic Church in the country has repeatedly opposed moves to pass a law on divorce as they believe it is against family and God’s teachings.

The measure is pending in the Senate. Congress is currently adjourned and will resume on July 22. (PNA)