Bishops hail withdrawal of ‘anti-god’ billBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Saturday lauded a lawmaker for withdrawing a bill Church officials claim is “anti-God.”
Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino said Friday he would withdraw his bill, which would have banned religious images and rites of organized religions from government offices, after it met vociferous opposition from various sectors.
“Thank God he withdrew his proposal. God shouldn’t be banned from any place,” said Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.
San Jose City Bishop Roberto Mallari said Patino’s measure was “copied” from similar legislation in the United States.
“That’s a misleading proposal. It claims to pursue religious freedom but bans expressions of religious beliefs,” Mallari said.
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said the people should continue to be vigilant despite the bill’s withdrawal. “Satan is always busy,” he said.
“I commend him for withdrawing his proposed bill and having the maturity and humility to accept correction and listen to the people he represents,” said Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.
“We’re actually a nation that’s very respectful of religious freedom. Banning faith expressions in the public space actually smacks of religious intolerance,” he said.