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Fight bill with prayers, says bishop

Bishop says praying is the best weapon against controversial health legislation

Fight bill with prayers, says bishop
An anti-RH bill poster at a protest march in the southern Philippines
D'Jay Lazaro, Manila

May 3, 2011

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A southern bishop is calling on Catholics to pray the rosary each day to prevent the passage of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill in Congress. Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Cotabato said prayer is still "the best weapon" to oppose a proposal which the Catholic Church believes could open the door to artificial contraception. "Let us storm heaven with our prayers and pray that the minds of our legislators will be enlightened," the prelate said. He also called on Catholics to put up "No to RH Bill" streamers and posters outside their homes to show their opposition to the bill. "That’s one way of at expressing our position together," he said. The Archdiocese of Manila this week started a nine-day "vigil for life" in a bid to show its disapproval of the proposed law. Similar activities are also being held in other dioceses. The prayer vigil is scheduled to end on May 9 when Congress resumes and is expected to debate the bill. One left-leaning legislator meanwhile accused anti-bill advocates of raising arguments to the "point of absurdity" after likening proponents of the measure to terrorists. Representative Liza Maza of the Gabriela Women’s Party said the comparison was "over the top." Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma over the weekend said those who favor the bill are no better than terrorists and its passage could lead to deaths. "We are far from becoming terrorists who do not value life," Maza said, adding that the bill is "respectful of, and sensitive to, the traditions and religious beliefs of individuals." PM14081

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