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Philippine bishops blast ‘culture of death and promiscuity,’ will inform voters of candidates’ stances

Catholic World News - January 30, 2013

Noting that “our country continues to suffer grave crises, disasters and challenges,” the bishops of the Philippines have issued a pastoral statement lamenting “the promotion of a culture of death and promiscuity,” “the continuing corruption and abuse of power,” and “the widening practice of political dynasties.”

President Benigno Aquino III, who backed a reproductive health law opposed by the bishops, is the grandson of a Philippine house speaker and the son of a former president.

The “promotion of a culture of death and promiscuity” is “due to the slavishness of our political and business leaders to follow practices in Western countries that promote, in spite of examples that we clearly see in the West, divorce, resulting in more break-up of families and the dysfunctional growth of children; contraceptives, leading to more abortions; the use of condom, aggravating HIV-AIDS infection; and school sex education, bringing more promiscuity and teenage pregnancy,” the bishops stated.

“We denounce the passage of the Reproductive Health Law, the political and financial pressures imposed on lawmakers, and the imperialism exercised by secularistic international organizations in the legislative process,” the bishops added. “We admire and commend the valiant efforts of lay people and lawgivers to prevent the passage of the law,” and “we support and encourage the participation of the laity in electing competent and morally upright candidates who are faithful to their correct and informed conscience.”

“We commend and support lay initiatives to form circles of discernment to choose worthy candidates and even to run as candidates in order to bring values of God’s kingdom in the public discourse,” the bishops continued. “We will help the people to know the stance of those who run for office on important issues of the country.”

The bishops also rued the “inability and unwillingness of those in power to take the road of social justice. This has resulted in failure to share the resources in the country to meet basic rights of the poor, such as secure jobs, decent housing, adequate medicine, ownership of lands that they till, and quality education. New ‘rights’ are being pushed while the most basic rights are being ignored.”

“We see ourselves in the boat with the Apostles buffeted by stormy waves,” the bishops said in the concluding portion of their statement, in which they expressed gratitude for efforts to promote chastity and natural family planning and for “the great clamor among the people to do away with political dynasties.”

“We are tossed about by the waves created by the secularist spirit, which continues to reduce the role and place of religious faith in the public sphere,” they continued. “Our cherished moral and spiritual values are at grave risk … We must voice out their concerns, be their moral guide, be with them – the unborn and ‘little ones,’ the young, the women, the farmers, the indigenous peoples, the slum dwellers, the workers, the fisher folks, the migrants. Our love has to bring them the Good News – the Gospel – with all its social, political and ethical implications.”

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