The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either's part. “The theoretical basis for the ruling signals a jurisprudence that can dismantle at will the protection of the family and marriage in the law as we understand them today,” the Venezuelan bishops conference's committee on family and childhood wrote July 9. The bishops were commenting on a June 6 ruling by the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Venezuela's supreme court. The ruling found that spouses can divorce “by mutual consent, without any other conditions,” and called for the civil law to be changed to adjust to its finding. The ruling opens “the doors to a regimen of divorce for any reason, thus weakening the family structure,” the bishops wrote. “This denies the natural rights of marriage and destabilizes the family, and plays down the importance of marriage as the natural foundation of the family.” In the face of this, they pointed out that the Church is Mother and Teacher, and that with the teaching of the Popes and the Magisterium “we proclaim the primacy and inviolability of the family, and of every human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Therefore, the most appropriate place for its natural development is ordinarily the family.” “So to safeguard and protect the family is to safeguard life,” they said. The bishops noted that the Church promotes and defends marriage as constituted between a man and a woman, writing that “marriage and family must be respected according to their actual nature. Today, they both are being threatened by pressure groups working on legislators, businesses, the media, etc. In the face of this reality we affirm the family as a gift from God to humanity; it is the greatest good that each person can have and as such the way for the common good of society.” “The Merciful God who never abandons the spouses when they are having a difficult time, looks after them with tender and paternal love. We believers must rekindle our commitment to protect and support this covenant of life and love that God has desired for man and woman in marriage and, consequently, the family,” they stated. In response to the supreme tribunal's ruling, the bishops encouraged the faithful, as well as persons of good will, “to work for and to commit to spreading, explaining and showing the truth about the beauty of the family and marriage according to God’s plan.” “There are a lot of ways in addition to stating the truth about it. We need to ask God so we can be diligent at our task so we can creatively invent ways of proclaiming the loving plan of God for marriage and family so we can responsibly put them into practice in our lives.” The concluded, “This is a very noble task to which we must commit all our strength with God’s help. The future of humanity is at stake in the family and marriage, in children and our youth, in the solidity of our momeland and of the Church!”