While participating in the General Assembly of the Bishops Conference of Chile, the Conference’s president, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, insisted that the country’s government facilitate the civil registration of religions weddings and he lamented the petitions for divorce in the country.
Speaking to the daily “La Tercera,” the Cardinal said he was not surprised by the first official statistics on divorce in Chile. Last Thursday, when a new law granting divorce took effect, 52 petitions were filed.
“I expected them. It’s always this way. There are people who wait and then a large number is presented. What is surprising is that these are not from just the first month, but rather many times a large number is maintained. This is way it is in many countries,” he lamented.
During their assembly, the Chilean bishops are analyzing the issue of divorce and preparing a pastoral letter on the family which will call on Catholics to protect this institution.
Regarding the new law that allows for divorce in Chile and for Chileans to register their religious wedding as the only bond in the country, the Cardinal insisted that the process of registration be facilitated.
“We need to reflect on the law regarding the Civil Registry, which dates back to 1930 and therefore does not take into account today’s responsibilities. I hope the government understands it needs to update some parts of the law to reflect today’s situation,” the Cardinal said. A few days ago he issued a statement outlining the obstacles that law poses for those who wish to register their civil marriage.