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2 Philippine bishops endorse pro-life presidential candidate

Catholic World News - February 25, 2010

Breaking with the tradition of offering commentary on election-related moral issues without endorsing candidates, two Philippine bishops have endorsed the candidacy of John Carlos de los Reyes of the Ang Kapatiran political party.

“You can’t separate faith from political life,” de los Reyes said in October. “As a Catholic, my role is to assert my principle and values to the society.”

“I am against abortion in all cases and the use of birth control pills and condoms even among married couples,” he added. Instead, de los Reyes has supported the use of natural family planning.

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, who has called for the resignation of the nation’s health minister because of her promotion of condom use, said that the presidential election “is not between two lesser evils, because there is a choice.” Commenting on the endorsement, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president of the Philippine bishops’ conference, said that “there is no canonical violation strictly, but it could be pastorally imprudent.”

Without mentioning specific candidates' names, the Philippine bishops as a body have urged Catholics to vote for pro-life candidates. "It would not be morally permissible to vote for candidates who support anti-family policies, including reproductive health (in the particular understanding being presented in the recent debates, which includes, among others, promotion of abortifacients, penalties for parents who do not allow their adolescent children to engage in sexual acts, etc.), or any other moral evil such as abortion, divorce, assisted suicide and euthanasia," they said in their 2010 election statement. "Otherwise one becomes an accomplice to the moral evil in question."

81% of the nation’s 88.7 million people are Catholic.

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