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Church’s shame, a ‘small story’ for Malacañang

MANILA, July 15, 2011— The shame suffered by the Catholic hierarchy over wrongful accusations made by a state-run lottery against some bishops is not a big deal for Malacañang.

Even if the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office misled the public that seven bishops got luxury vehicles from the agency, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said there’s nothing to apologize for.

Lacierda was defending PCSO chair Margarita Juico over calls for her to publicly apologize for dragging the Church into the so-called “Pajero” scandal.

As far as Malacañang is concerned, according to him, the case is closed and they will never ask Juico to apologize, much more to resign.

“I think it’s a small story. I think we have greater problems, bigger problems to solve and to address so it’s not something that we would like to dwell on," Lacierda said.

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines earlier said they are not keen in asking an apology from their critics now that the accusations hurled by the PCSO have apparently backfired.

Msgr. Juanito Figura, CBCP secretary general, said that while the bishops were admittedly “hurt” when their names were dragged into the issue, this does not necessarily require their accusers to apologize.

“I think it would be better that if they will apologize, it should be voluntary,” Figura said.

Many bishops believe the recent attack on the Church’s credibility was connected with its position against the controversial birth control measure, known as the reproductive health (RH) bill.

They said more attacks would certainly be made against them by groups lobbying the passage of the RH bill but stressed no one can stop them in their desire to protect the sanctity of life and the family. [CBCPNews]