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Archbishop snubs bill supporters

Cebu prelate says he has no time for 'unauthentic' Catholics

Archbishop snubs bill supporters
Archbishop Jose Palma reporter, Cebu City

June 9, 2011

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Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu has refused to meet members of a Catholic group that support the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill pending in Congress. Mark Molina, a member of Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH), announced yesterday that his group planned to meet with Archbishop Palma to discuss the controversial piece of legislation. The group was conducting a forum yesterday to gather views on the proposed RH bill. However, Archbishop Palma later said he would not meet them. "No, if they think they represent Catholics, I am not giving them an audience," he said. "Catholics for RH are not authentic. They are not recognized as Catholics," Archbishop Palma said. Earlier, Bishop Leo M. Drona of San Pablo also warned Catholics to distance themselves from the C4RH group because it opposes traditional Church teachings. Bishop Nereo Odchimar, president of the Catholic bishops' conference, has said the group’s support for the bill is threatening unity within the Church. "Public espousal of measures that directly undermine... non-negotiable principles of the Catholic faith is a sharp wedge that cuts the unity of the Church," he warned. "Any Catholic who freely identifies him or herself with this group gravely errs," the bishop said. In a statement last month C4RH said it intends “to bring Catholics into full harmony with their faith and realize that there is no dissonance with their being Catholic and simultaneously believing in the advocacy and goals of reproductive health and rights.”

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