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Filipino bishops urge ’people power’ on RH bill
Time has come for to make another moral call for society, they sayBishop Nereo Odchimar (second from left) reads the CBCP pastoral letter
- Bu Hernan Melencio and Julian Labores, Manila
- January 31, 2011
Bishop Nereo Odchimar, CBCP president, clarified while reading out the bishopsâ€™ pastoral letter titled Choosing Life, Rejecting the RH Bill - Pastoral StatementÂ that bishops are not urging people to stage another revolution.
â€śThat is not our purpose. But 25 years ago we made a moral callâ€¦somehow it significantly helped open the doorâ€¦and a window of political integrity,â€ť he said.
Bishop Odchimar said they have come to a new national crossroads and â€śwe now have to make a similar moral choice.â€ť
He said they â€śhave not agreedâ€ť to pull out from a dialogue with government officials on birth control measures. â€śBut it is a possibility,â€ť he said, adding that the final decision will be made in the next meeting with government representatives.
The bishops said they also reject President Benigno Aquino IIIâ€™s â€śResponsible Parenthoodâ€ť bill as they feel that it is just a â€śnew nameâ€ť for the reproductive health bill in Congress.
In their pastoral statement, the CBCP urged the government not to equate poverty with population, or seek to address poverty with a â€śreproductive healthâ€ť agenda.
â€śAs religious leaders we have deeply and carefully reflected on this burning issue. We have unanimously made the moral judgment to reject the RH agenda and to choose life,â€ť the CBCPâ€™s pastoral statement said.
The bishops reminded the government of its constitutional responsibility to respect human rights and uphold and strengthen the family. They said a fundamental transformation of attitudes and behavior toward human life is needed.
In their pastoral letter address, the bishops urged the government to effectively address the â€śreal causes of povertyâ€ť such as corruption, lack of social and economic services, lack of access to education and the benefits of development as well as social inequalities.
Church eyes natural family planning drive
Filipinos urged to protect families from state control
Church forms alliance against RH bill