MANILA, Philippines ? Retired Cardinal Jose Sanchez, one of the country?s three living cardinals, has returned to the country from Rome to help the Catholic Church fight the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.
The 91-year-old Sanchez said he left Rome, his home for 25 years, because he wanted to lend his voice and help Filipino bishops campaign against the birth control measure, which would allow the distribution of free condoms to Filipino couples.
Sanchez, a native of Catanduanes and the fifth Filipino cardinal, arrived in the country in December, according to Peachy Yamsuan, the Archdiocese of Manila?s communications director.
"I left Rome to come here in the Philippines precisely of these problems the country is facing especially on family,? Sanchez told CBCP News, the official news service of the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines.
?I?m 91 years old already but I said I want to go home to the Philippines and somehow use my voice in the pastoral life of the church,? the retired cardinal added.
Sanchez was appointed as Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization or Peoples in Vatican in 1985. He was appointed cardinal in 1991 and later came the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. He retired from this position on June 15, 1996.
Sanchez said the bill being pushed in Congress ?is a destruction of Christian family.? The RH bill now renamed as Responsible Parenthood bill?if passed, would be the beginning of more ?immoral? and ?anti-Christian laws,? he added.
?I only pray that the Filipinos become more aware of this? we have our tradition and that is protecting our family from the beginning,? he said.