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Philippine bishop criticizes prayers for lottery victory

Catholic World News - November 04, 2010

A Philippine bishop has criticized as “defective” the practice of praying to win at the lottery or other forms of gambling, according to the news agency of the nation’s bishops. Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez of Caloocan also criticized Catholics who rub their lottery tickets on saints’ images in churches in the hopes of obtaining a winning number.

The nation’s hierarchy “opposes gambling in any form, saying it is a menace to society and deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life,” according to the bishops’ news agency. In its teaching on the Seventh Commandment, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that

games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.

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