A Letter from the Christian Family Movement

December 20, 2017

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:

A blessed Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

May we take this opportunity to bring to your attention three (3) important issues that gravely threaten two fundamental institutions in our country – the Family and the Judiciary. These 3 issues are the following –

  1. Marriage Dissolution Bill
  2. Same-Sex Union Bill
  3. Impeachment against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno

Please read and study our opposition to each of these issues, which opposition are attached to this letter.

If you agree with us that we should oppose these 2 Bills and the impeachment, we prepared a draft petition letter for you which you can sign. Kindly have that letter signed by the members of our organization and other groups in your diocese. Try to gather as many signatures as you can. Then you can bring that petition letter to your Congressman or District Representative. Try to confer with your parish priest and explore how you can work together on this matter.

Kindly document your visit to your Congressman/Representative by doing the following, and send us copies –

  • Take photo of your signed petition
  • Take photo of your visit with your Congressman
  • Make some short notes of your visit

This Christmas vacation gives us a good opportunity to do this.

It is crucial that your Congressman, as well as all the other District Representatives in the country, should realize that the Catholic Christians vigorously oppose these 2 Bills and the Impeachment.

Our Faith requires us to oppose these measures. Our Church needs us to stand solidly by it on these issues.

Thank you very much.

JORGE & JOSIE SANTAMARIA
National President Couple
CHRISTIAN FAMILY MOVEMENT (CFM)


Draft Petition Letter to your Congressman

December ____, 2017

HON. ___________________
________________________
________________________

Dear Rep ________________:

Peace be with you.

As your constituents in the district, please know that we strongly oppose the following measures –

  1. Marriage Dissolution Bill
  2. Same-Sex Union Bill
  3. Impeachment against the Chief Justice

Please find the summary of our opposition in the Attachments.

The Marriage Dissolution and Sam-Sex Union Bills are against our Faith.

It is our duty to stand with our Church on these issues.

As our Representative in Congress, we fervently hope that you will stand with us in these three (3) important issues.

NAMES                                                                          SIGNATURES

 

 

 


Attachment # 1

Marriage Dissolution Bill

HOUSE BILL NO. 6027 (AN ACT PROVIDING FOR GROUNDS FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF A MARRIAGE) provides that “a marriage may be dissolved based on –

  1. irreconcilable differences, or
  2. severe and chronic unhappiness, of the spouses which shall have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage.” (Section 1, Paragraph 1)

WE STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS BILL for the following reasons –

FIRST, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

The Philippine Constitution clearly states that “Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.” (Article XV, Section 2)

The Constitution clearly guarantees protection for marriage as an inviolable institution. The mandate of the State is to protect rather than diminish the Marriage as institution. The proposed Bill lessens, rather than increases, the protection for marriage, which is contrary to the intent and spirit of the Constitution.

SECOND, it is against our FAITH.

The proposed Bill is clearly a DIVORCE Bill, just labeled a different name. The two (2) grounds for marriage dissolution as cited above, namely – a) irreconcilable differences, or b) severe and chronic unhappiness – would be make it easy for couples to separate and file for marriage dissolution. “Irreconcilable differences” would be easy to claim. “Severe and chronic unhappiness” may not even be due to the marriage.

Our Catholic Church has been unequivocal on its stand against Divorce.

As it is, Philippines is the only remaining country in the world today that does not recognize divorce.

THIRD, it would cheapen the sanctity and value of Marriage in our society.

The primary intent of the proposed Bill is to make it easier for couples to file for marriage dissolution. The effect of that is marriage, as a sacred and inviolable institution, would lose so much of its value and sanctity to couples.


Attachment # 2

Same-Sex Union/Marriage Bill

WE STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS BILL for the following reasons –

FIRST, it is against our Faith.

Our Catholic Church is strong against having sex with a person of the same gender, or living with another person of the same gender as one’s spouse. In the Bible, such act is an abomination to the Lord. (Romans 1:26-28, Jude 1:7, 1 Tim, 1:8-10, I Cor. 6:9, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13).

According to the Bible, harsh punishment is assured upon those who do it, promote it, legitimize it. The Noah’s flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah – two of the most grave judgments of the earth and of a city in the Bible – were all brought about by, among others, sexual perversion.

We should protect our people and nation from God’s wrath for sexual perversion.

SECOND, it will adversely offend and affect the great majority of our people.

Christianity and Islam, two of our country’s most predominant religions, consider same-sex union/marriage as an abomination, a sexual perversion and grave sin.

Since the Christians and Muslims comprise approximately 95% of our country’s population, this proposed Bill will offend the great majority of our people.

Since we are in a democratic, open and pluralistic society, we respect other people’s sexual preferences and decision to cohabit with those of the same sex. But to pass a law to place their cohabitation on the same plane and level as the marriage between a man-woman and husband-wife relationship is what we cannot respect and accept, as it is against the clear teachings of our God in the Bible.

THIRD, It Is AGAINST THE LAW.

Under the Family Code of the Philippines, it is defined that “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman . . .” (Section 1, Article I)

Section 2 of the same Article I states that no marriage shall be considered valid unless all the essential requirements are present. “A man and a woman” are among the essential requirements of a valid marriage.


Attachment # 3

Impeachment vs Chief Justice Ma. Lordes Sereno

WE STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS MOVE for the following reasons –

FIRST, the charges made by private complainant Atty Larry Gadon do not constitute impeachable offenses under the law.

In fact, even the four (4) Associate Justices of the Supreme Court who appeared at the House of Representatives’ Committee Hearing did not claim that Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno committed impeachable offenses.

The said 4 Associate Justices are supposedly the star or most important witnesses against the Chief Justice in the impeachment proceedings. But even they did not argue that the Chief Justice should be impeached.

SECOND, the impeachment proceedings is an attack on the independence of the Judiciary, a co-equal branch by the Executive and Congress.

It is obvious that Chief Justice Sereno, for taking positions that are contrary to that of the President and the administration, has angered the President. Prior to the filing of impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice, President Duterte had attacked Sereno publicly a number of times. The private complainant himself, Atty Gadon, is known publicly as a die-hard supporter of President Duterte.

If the Chief Justice is removed from the Supreme Court, or is silenced, the voice of reason, objectivity and justice in the Highest Court in the country will take a severe blow. The independence of the Supreme Court will gravely suffer.

THIRD, the impeachment proceedings is a personal vendetta against the Chief Justice.

As earlier noted, President Duterte had publicly attacked Sereno several times after the Chief Justice took positions contrary to the President’s or Administration’s positions on certain issues.

Thus the impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice is clearly a move to oust her, or to silence here, for being perceived as anti-Duterte and anti-Administration.

This is not what the impeachment is all about. This is a violation of the spirit and the sanctity of the impeachment as a constitutional process.

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