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Philippine bishops’ conference: reproductive health bill is ‘wake-up call’

Catholic World News - January 03, 2013

The recent passage of controversial reproductive health legislation in the Philippines is a “wake-up call” to the Church that will lead to clearer preaching about contraception, an official of the bishops’ conference said.

The legislation requires the government to promote contraception and mandates sex education in schools beginning in fifth grade.

“I believe it’s providential when we lost because if we won, we will again be complacent,” said Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life. “It’s a great awakening on the part of Church leaders that it’s about time to re-win the hearts and minds of the people. For so long a time there’s silence on the issue on contraceptives — I think this time the teaching that it is not acceptable will be much clearer.”

“This is a wake-up call to Catholic voters, for them to choose the right leaders who will truly represent their beliefs,” added Msgr. Joselito Asis, the secretary general of the bishops’ conference. “That’s our call to Catholics to stand up [for] their faith especially in this Year of Faith. They must show how strong their faith is.”

Referring to Catholic legislators who voted in favor of the measure, Father Castro said that “It’s painful to hear that, because it seems our congressmen have a different view of what a Catholic is, so it’s a great awakening because you’ll see a society that is only devout externally but do[es] not really embrace the teachings of the Church.”

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