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Elderly Filipino cardinal returning home to work against family-planning bill

CWN - April 08, 2011

A 91-year old Filipino cardinal who has lived in Rome for the past 25 years is returning home to join in the battle against an aggressive family-planning bill.

Cardinal Jose Sanchez said that he was returning to the Philippines to join the country’s bishops in their campaign to defeat the legislation, which the nation’s hierarchy has roundly criticized. Although the bill’s sponsors failed to secure approval in the last parliamentary session, they have promised to redouble their efforts in coming weeks. The bishops of the Philippines have condemned the legislation and warned that they would endorse a civil-disobedience effort if it is enacted.

Cardinal Sanchez left the Philippines in 1985 when he was named secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization. In 1991 he became prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. He retired from that post in 1996 at the age of 76, but elected to remain in Rome. He is one of 3 living Filipino cardinals.

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