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Leading Philippine bishop pledges continued opposition to reproductive health law

Catholic World News - July 10, 2013

The new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines pledged to fight the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, which mandates government promotion of contraception and the implementation of sex education beginning in fifth grade.

“The Church is not an NGO,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan. “The mission of the Church is truly spiritual, so if we get involved in bills like the RH which is now a law, it’s because our spiritual mission mandates us to do that.”

“We are not social troublemakers,” he continued. “We are conscience troublemakers. We want to trouble consciences and let [all] consciences listen to the voice of God.”

“The Church will always speak when human rights are denied, when human dignity is violated when the family is attacked, the poor suffer unfairly or children are abused,” Archbishop Villegas added. “We are against anyone who wants to destroy the stability, integrity and sanctity of the family.”

As opponents of the law continue to challenge its constitutionality, “our first support for the [Supreme Court] process will be a Mass and a prayer vigil because that is our first priority,” he said. “Our first contribution is to show to the world that prayer has power to change the world.”

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