Pope Francis urges Zubiri to safeguard the family

Former Senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri was asked by Pope Francis to “protect the family” during a recent visit to the Vatican. This request comes amid the approval of the absolute divorce bill by the lower chamber of Congress in the Philippines.

Zubiri, who identifies as being pro-family and pro-life, expressed his commitment to upholding family values. “I am always going to remember his reminder and I am going to do my best to protect the family values that hold our nation together,” he said.

The Philippines, a secular state, is one of the few countries in the world, along with the Vatican, that has not legalized divorce. Zubiri is currently in Europe on a break from politics, spending quality time with his family.

Accompanied by his wife Audrey and their three children, Zubiri had the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis during the weekly catechesis and prayers for world peace. The meeting was also attended by the Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Myla Grace Ragenia Macahilig.

Reflecting on the encounter, Zubiri shared, “Our Catholic faith is so important to our family, so it was very humbling to have the Pope give us so much of his time and attention. He seemed especially fond of our youngest boy and even asked him to learn Spanish.”

During their meeting, the pope urged Zubiri to protect the family. This comes after the House of Representatives approved the absolute divorce bill on third and final reading on May 22 with a vote of 131-109 and 20 abstentions. The bill’s transmittal to the Senate is currently on hold as questions arise about how the votes were counted.

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