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CBCP official urges Catholics to defend life

MANILA, August 17, 2011— A ranking Catholic Church official urged the faithful to defend the sanctity of human life now that the reproductive health bill is one of the Aquino administration’s priority measures.

Filipinos must oppose measures that go against the basic values of life and marriage, said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“I personally would like to exhort the many people who believe in the cause of the Lord, the values that the Gospel preaches, and the stand that we have been defending through these months to rally to this cause,” he said.

The people, especially if they are Catholics, he said, must strongly fight the bill “if indeed they believe that this is what Christianity asks of us and to believe that our efforts would be rewarded.”

President Benigno Aquino III asked lawmakers to give priority to the passage of the RH bill and 12 other measures in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) Tuesday.

During the first LEDAC meeting this year, the controversial birth control measure was not included in the agenda causing dismay among the pro-RH bill lobby groups.

The Catholic hierarchy opposes the RH bill which requires government to guarantee wide access to reproductive health care services, methods, devices, and supplies to the people.

The bill also pushes the use of “modern” methods of family planning, including condoms, birth control pills, intra-uterine devices (IUDs), and injectables.

The Church only accepts natural methods of family planning.
“I am saddened upon learning that RH bill is one of the priorities submitted in Congress,” said Palma. “However, I trust our congressmen especially from Cebu that they will be there to defend our stand for life, for God and of course for the sanctity of marriage.”

“We believe that this is a long battle and we trust that with people of goodwill and with God blessing our efforts, the sanctity of human life and marriage would prevail,” he said. [CBCPNews]