ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Bishops: confidence in the new government and respect for life

Manila (Agenzia Fides) – The Catholic Church in the Philippines is confident about the new government and calls on the new President Aquino to promote policies which “respect the sacredness of human life, human sexuality and the family”: this was said in a statement issued at the end of the 101st General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines held in Manila from 8-11 July. A copy of the statement was sent to Fides.With the help of experts invited to the meeting, the Bishops discussed certain issues, “concerning the common good of the people”: poverty and marginalisation, climate change and exploitation of mineral resources; issues connected with what is termed “sexual and reproductive health”; the situation of the national school system.Seeing the particular attention given recently by the national media to the question of sexual education in schools and a Document on sexual and reproductive health, discussed earlier in Parliament, the Catholic Bishops reiterated “the position of the Church has not changed: human life is a gift from God and shall be respected from the moment of conception to natural death ”. In this regard – the statement reads – a complex issue such as poverty “cannot be solved with contraception programmes or campaigns”.With regard to the new government the Bishops say they feel “encouraged by the opening discourse of the President” and her intention “to listen to the voice of the nation”. United with the people of the Philippines, the local Catholic Church stresses the need for policies which respect the sacredness of human life, human sexuality and the family. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/7/2010)

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