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Church 'must push' natural methods

Archbishop says little being done to promote 'better alternative' to reproductive health bill

Church 'must push' natural methods
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma celebrates Mass at the cathedral of Cagayan de Oro

May 19, 2011

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The Catholic hierarchy is not doing enough to promote natural family planning as an alternative to the reproductive health (RH) bill, an archbishop said today. Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro said it’s high time for the Church to walk the talk on natural family planning as a way to defeat the controversial piece of legislation being debated by Congress. “That’s the challenge for us. It’s really part of the role of the Church to also share the good news of NFP,” he said. “We cannot just say no to the RH bill… we have to say a stronger yes to NFP because that is the positive alternative to what the RH bill is proposing,” he added. The Jesuit prelate believes the Church, not just the government, should share the blame for why many couples are not so familiar with natural family planning. While the government is more aggressive in pushing artificial family planning, the Church is not playing its role fully in helping couples be responsible parents, according to the archbishop. “[One reason], I think, is the negligence of Church groups; that we have not been able to reach out to many couples [about natural family planning],” he said. The archbishop called on other dioceses across the country to follow the example of his archdiocese and adopt an “All-Natural Family Planning” program. Since it started in 2006, Archbishop Ledesma said, the response of many couples and even local government officials to the program have been “very positive.” “We are not giving [the people] enough information on NFP,” he said. PM14260
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