The Roman Catholic Church reacted harshly [predictably]… to a bill proposed by Mexico City legislators that would require all couples to sign a prenuptial agreement specifying how to handle child custody and other issues in case of divorce — and estimating how long the marriage is expected to last.
Sponsors of the bill submitted this week in the city council say the proposal aims to cut down on the lengthy, nasty divorce proceedings choking the capital district’s courts, by making potential couples decide about monetary and custody issues by mutual agreement before they get married.
But the bill also says “the duration of the marriage will be bound by the terms that the couple negotiate in the familial agreement, which shall not be less than two years…”
“People can specify terms of 99 years, or ’til death do us part,’ if they think the marriage, or their lives, are going to last that long,” Carlos Torres said.
Catholic leaders don’t see it that way…
“This is a proposal made by people who do not understand the nature of marriage,” Valdemar said. “It is not a commercial contract; it is a contract between two people for a life project, and the creation of a family.”
“This denigrates the concept of the family … and makes it more like a pact between friends,” he said…
Equal friends at that. Interested in running their own lives as they see fit – instead of leaving everything in the hands of a sectarian rulebook from the 14th Century.
“We are looking for solutions to problems that are seen every day in family courts … in which there is emotional blackmail, or the children are used as pawns,” Torres said. “This would cut down of the torturous proceedings at the time of a divorce.”
The bill is meant to solve a big problem in the city of 8.9 million people, where divorce proceedings are so costly, painful and time consuming that many people just skip them and start a new family.
The Roman Catholic church has always opposed democracy and the freedom of individuals to order their own lives. The obvious decline of their power and profits speaks volumes of how that opposition has failed.
That the proposed legislation also allows for parents to agree beforehand on what religious education – if any – their children might endure is another challenge to the church’s political power. As it should.