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Church says 'no war of words'

All have right to opinion over reproductive health, bishops' say

Catholics join a rally against a proposed birth control law Catholics join a rally against a proposed birth control law
  • Lourdes Abelardo, Manila
  • Philippines
  • April 26, 2011
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An official from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCP) said today that the Catholic Church is not out to engage in a "war of words" with other religions over birth control.

Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said those trying to engage various religions in a “war of words" should think again because the Church is not about to play that game.

"[Reproductive health] is a moral issue and therefore all, regardless of faith, sector, who will be affected by the reproductive health bill, have the right to speak on the matter," Father Castro said.

He said the Catholic Church would rather focus its energy and prayers in convincing legislators not to support the pending bill in Congress.

"We will target the legislators. They are the ones who need to be enlightened," Father Castro said.

He also questioned why birth control advocates are not shouting about the separation of Church and State after other religious groups backed the proposed birth control law.

"They should be consistent… because when it’s the Catholic Church talking, they cry for the separation of Church and State, but when the one talking backs their point of view they keep quiet," the priest said.

"We are all stakeholders in this issue. Everybody has the right to speak, so they should not criticize the Catholic Church if it speaks against [reproductive health],” he added.

Members of the Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood Inc. which includes the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, among others, have issued a statement calling for the swift passage of the bill.

The Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, a group also supporting the bill, said today they are "certain" the bill "will finally be passed by this Congress."

"The Catholic hierarchy knows that the bill's passage is imminent. This may be the reason for the seemingly desperate acts by some bishops and priests against it," said Elizabeth Angsioco, the group's chairperson.

END

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