Church can't be forced to honor something that's against its belief, says CBCP exec


The State could not force the Church to honor something that is against its belief, an official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Friday, amid a Senate bill seeking the institutionalization of same-sex unions.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs executive secretary Fr. Jerome Secillano said forcing the Church to do so is a violation of its rights.

"Kailangan malaman natin ano ba ang nilalaman ng panukala ni Senator Robin Padilla kasi possible naman na hindi naman din talaga pinipilit na pati yung mga religious groups ay talaga i-honor yung ganyang panukala," he said.

(We need to know the content of Senator Robin Padilla's bill because it is possible that it is not forcing religious groups to honor such proposal.)

It was Padilla who filed Senate Bill 449 or the proposed Civil Unions Act, which seeks to institutionalize civil unions of same-sex couples.

"Magiging infirmity 'yan. Ang ibig kong sabihin ng infirmity, puwede maging violation yan ng religious right din. Ano ba ang karapatan ng isang relihiyon? Na hindi siya puwersahin ng Estado na gumawa ng bagay-bagay na labag sa kanyang paniniwala," Secillano said.


(It would become an infirmity. What I mean is it could be a violation of religious rights. A church has a right not to be forced by the State to do actions that are against its beliefs.)

Secillano made the statement when asked if partners who would undergo same-sex civil union should leave the Catholic faith.

The CBCP official said even if the bill is already a law, the Church could still not honor same-sex unions.

Asked about countries that allow same-sex unions like the United States, Secillano said legality is different from morality and stressed the Church's stand that union should be only between male and female.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, expressed support for Padilla’s bill, adding that the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill is the most important measure that shoud be passed to end discrimination.

“I am thrilled to have a passionate ally in Sen. Padilla and I look forward to working with him in championing equality and LGBTQIA+ rights on the Senate floor,” Hontiveros said in a statement. —KBK, GMA News