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Philippines: bishops, president agree to tone down dispute-- for now

October 04, 2010

President Benigno Aquino III and the Catholic bishops of the Philippines have agreed to tone down their dispute over plan for a government family-planning drive, at least until the bishops can discuss the issue with the president.

“We are acceding to the request of the President not to issue unnecessary statements while the face-to-face dialogue between the bishops and the President has yet to take place,” said a spokesman for the episcopal conference. “It does not mean that the Church is compromising,” he emphasized, but only that both sides want to discuss the issue in a calm setting. The “truce” was declared after the secretary-general of the bishops’ conference said that the hierarchy might back a campaign of civil disobedience against the new family-planning law, which is now pending legislative approval. Bishop Nereo Odchimar, the president of the bishops’ conference, emphasized that the Church would vigorously oppose the legislation. “We don’t have to be complacent,” he said.

Bishop Odchimar had earlier disclosed that the bishops have sought a meeting with President Aquino to discuss their concerns, but have not yet received a reply. The president’s office assured that the bishops would soon have an opportunity to speak with Aquino.


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  • Posted by: Obregon - Oct. 04, 2010 11:02 PM ET USA

    “It does not mean that the Church is compromising,” that's what the Filipino Bishops said and I hope they are right. The Spanish bishops compromised themselves when they didn't condemn King Juan Carlos of Spain when the king signed an abortion law to go into effect. They made excuses for him and let it be known His Majesty could not be treated the same way "all" Catholics should be treated when they openly betray their faith by signing or supporting a law contrary to Catholic moral teaching.