Synod of Bishops on the family – Logo

October 20, 2014

VATICAN CITY – The separation of married couples is a huge issue in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

Such separations often occur, not because of divorce, but because poverty pushes couples to separate in search of jobs abroad, Tagle said in an Oct. 4 interview.

The cardinal said he hopes members of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops give appropriate consideration to the impact of poverty and migration on families and to a host of other issues that help or hinder family life.

"Poverty is not just an external context" for family life, but it "affects relationships," he told Catholic News Service.

"One dramatic effect of poverty is migration," he said. Couples "get separated because they love each other and the best way for some of them to show concern and love and support is to leave and find employment elsewhere."

The separation of families "definitely creates a wound and leaves a wound," the cardinal said. Obviously the children suffer because of their parent's absence, but the parents suffer from not being present in their children's lives, and they are challenged to remain faithful to spouses they may not see for years.