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Fewer couples embrace marriage, study finds

Filed under: Headlines,Life News,Top Story |

MANILA, Oct. 11, 2012— Filipino family life has changed drastically as marriage is losing ground and more couples live together without tying the knot.

This means that a growing number of children are born in the country with unmarried parents.

The finding comes after a survey figures showed that most Filipinos living with someone have not tied the knot in the church.

Commissioned by the Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas, the study that was conducted during the second quarter of 2012, showed findings that alarmed even the church leaders.

The survey showed that 57.7 percent of the 2,500 Catholic respondents were found to be unmarried in churches.

Using random sampling, the “Truth Survey” was conducted in 85 archdioceses and dioceses covering the country’s 17 regions for the topic “The Filipino Catholicity. It has a +/-2 percent margin of error.

The result of the nationwide survey results were released Thursday, in line with the church’s celebration of the Year of Faith.

In breakdown, 7.5 percent of the respondents openly admitted that they are not married in churches while another 50.2 percent did not reply.

But sociologist Bro. Clifford Sorita, who presented the study in a press conference, believed that those who answered “N/A” (not applicable) were unmarried and just “shy” to admit it.

“For Filipinos, if you are married, why would you not say that you are married? They are embarrassed, they are not comfortable. They would rather hide in anonymity,” said Sorita, referring to those who did not reply.

He said there is also a possibility that a portion of those who answered “no” might be married in civil rites or living in together, thus might even add to the growing number of Catholic couples who are cohabiting.

According to him, a civil wedding was not considered as a “marriage” since “the precept is you have to be married in a church.”

The poll also showed that for those belonging to salary class D or those early P4, 999 and below, there were 47 percent who said they got married in the Church.

This could be attributed to the Mass weddings organized by various local governments or organizations to help those in financial struggle to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani, vice chairperson of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Doctrine of the Faith, lamented the findings of the survey.

He said the survey just confirmed what he has known all along and demands for “serious pastoral concern.”

“The survey results show the need for an apostolate to get Catholic couples to get married in the church. For the foundation of the Christian family is Christian marriage, you cannot form Christian families without Christian marriage,” said Bacani.

CBCP Media Office director Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, for his part, said the results of the survey is “very alarming”.

He even lamented that many unmarried couples continue to receive Holy Communion during Masses even if they were not married in the Church.

“The Catholic Church would have to focus on this problem (not married in Churches). This is a serious problem and we have to do something,” Quitorio said. (RL/CBCPNews)

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