ovc4MANILA, June 17, 2013— The number of annulment cases nationwide is declining, the head of the Catholic Church’s National Appellate for Matrimonial Tribunal said Monday.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, NAMT Judicial Vicar, estimated the number of annulment cases over the years by at least 10 to 15 percent.

“I think it’s less than 10 to 1 5 percent as far as our cases here are concerned because there are also cases that go directly to Rome that do not pass by us,” Cruz said.

The former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines revealed that majority of couples seeking to nullify their marriages are from Metro Manila.

He also said unlike in the provinces where the number of church weddings is increasing, it’s totally not the case in urban areas.

According to him, many couples have opted for cohabitation without marriage “precisely because of the trend that if they do that, they could also part whatever time they like.”

“Marriage is more difficult here (Metro Manila) precisely because of the influence of the First World countries which allow divorce and same-sex marriage, among others,” he said. (CBCPNews)