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Archbishop’s letter provides moral guidelines

Explains why Church opposes Philippine Reproductive Health bill

Archbishop’s letter provides moral guidelines
Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi reporters, Manila

February 7, 2011

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The head of the northern Philippine archdiocese of Nueva Caceres has issued a pastoral letter setting moral guidelines to help the faithful discern the Church’s position on family and life. Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi enumerated moral principles in what is his second pastoral letter on the issue. In “Let the Church Preach the Gospel Lest the Cross of Christ Be Emptied of Its Power,” the prelate stressed the sacredness of human life and why the Reproductive Health (RH) bill being considered in the Philippine Congress must be opposed. “Respect should be given to the sacredness of human life in all its stages, from natural conception to natural death. The Church teaches human life starts from the moment the ovum is fertilized,” said Archbishop Legaspi. He said abortion or the use of abortifacients, sterilization and contraception are wrong in themselves, not because the Church forbids them, but … because they are “intrinsically immoral.” Because the Church regards artificial contraception as wrong in itself, the Church will object to its dissemination and use, he said. In Cebu, retired Cardinal Emeritus Ricardo Vidal said local leaders are supporting the Church in its campaign against the RH bill. Doctor Rene Bullecer, Human Life International coordinator, said a nationwide series of protests will start in Cebu this week. He said there is an urgency in holding these protests soon as the government is expected to move swiftly to approve the bill. Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she aims to build a birth clinic in each town and city in the central Philippine province by the end of 2011. “I fully support the Church,” she said. “I sent the message very clearly, we cannot in conscience adopt a program that in any way imposes control of the family with regards to population,” she added. Related reports Catholics to march against birth control Filipino bishops urge ‘people power’ on RH bill Church eyes natural family planning drive PM13183.1640
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