Bishop on Aguilar’s new love: Age doesn’t really matter
MANILA—For love or marriage to work out, age does not really matter.
This was Pangasinan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz’s two cents worth on the controversial relationship of singer Freddie Aguilar with a 16-year-old girl he plans to marry.
But Cruz, a retired bishop, was quick to point out that he was voicing neither approval nor disapproval of the affair but was simply pointing out a reality he encountered in his long experience as head of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal (NAMT) of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.
“There are people who are old but behave like children and there are children who are young yet they behave like adults. I don’t remember any case that the marriage did not work simply because one of them was young,” Cruz told reporters. “No, I am not supporting, neither am I objecting. I am just accepting reality. These are just my thoughts based on my experience in the NAMT.”
Aguilar admitted recently that he was dating someone 44 years his junior and that they planned to marry and have a baby.
The news of the veteran musician dating a young girl circulated after he was seen with her while attending the 5th Star Awards for Music last weekend at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City. It quickly drew negative criticism from the public, especially from the netizens, some of whom called him a “cradle snatcher.”
Cruz said it was easy to criticize someone like Aguilar who fell in love with someone much younger. “But the moment you are already the ones involved in such a relationship, it’s not easy to be very objective about it,” he said.
“Love is never objective… for those involved, it is not that easy because there’s a lot of emotional ingredients which are personal and not really objective,” he added.
But if Aguilar has plans to marry his young girlfriend, he must wait until she turns 18 as required both by civil and canon laws or the marriage will be considered void, said Cruz.
“The civil and church laws provide that the minimum age requirement for marriage is 18 years old. Therefore, he should wait at least for the girl to reach that age,” he said.
He also added that should the couple push through with their plans to marry in two years’ time, there would be no reason why the marriage should not work. “Provided that really, they open their persons to one another and become patient toward each other,” he said.
He added that they could avail themselves of the Church’s many activities or workshops for couples, such as seminars given by the Family Life Apostolate and pre-marriage seminars to help strengthen their relationship.
“It’s not always a guarantee that when two adults marry, it will automatically work,” he said, citing a case he handled in the tribunal in the past in which a couple, both aged 34, separated immediately after their honeymoon.
“It’s not something that happens daily but what I am saying is it is not necessarily true that if you’re both old, everything is okay,” he said.
As for Aguilar and his young girlfriend, Cruz said: “They need to be very prayerful about it. They cannot afford not to pray about this matter because this is not something ordinary. Knowing really that age difference carries also maturity difference and consequently a lot of special help is needed here.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.