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Philippines: bishops, president resume talks on family-planning bill

Catholic World News - March 30, 2011

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have renewed their talks with President Benigno Aquino III about proposed legislation to promote family planning.

The bishops, who have adamantly opposed the "reproductive-health" bill, had broken off talks with the president's staff after reaching a stalemate on the provisions of the legislation. But after a legislative session ended without approving the legislation, the bishops answered an invitation from Aquino to resume talks about the bill.

A presidential spokesman said that the talks would emphasize the areas of agreement between the government and the hierarchy. He said that Aquino would consult with the bishops about the appropriate moral principles to be conveyed in sex-education classes.

In March 30 talks with the president, the hierarchy was represented by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the retired Archbishop of Cebu; Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila; and Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, the president of the episcopal conference.

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