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Bishops call for Philippine health minister's resignation over condom distribution

Catholic World News - February 23, 2010

Less than two weeks after the Philippine government distributed condoms for Valentine’s Day, some Philippine bishops are calling for the resignation of the nation’s health secretary, Esperanza Cabral.

“It is immoral for a government official to support the distribution of condoms which we know do not really reduce or stop the spread of HIV-AIDS,” said Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa. “It’s worrying because it is the morality in society, especially among the youth, that is at stake.”

“Secretary Cabral should not continue serving until June because the culture and morality of society will be endangered under her,” added Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel. “Is she Catholic? I doubt that she is. Because if you are a Catholic and in the government, you should be living the teachings of the Church. But she is doing the opposite.”

President Gloria Arroyo has rejected the bishops’ call for Cabral’s resignation.

“We should remember that public officials should be judged by standards of public policy interest as set forth in our laws and legal precedents and not the morality of this or that institution,” said spokesman Gary Olivar.

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