Manila Archbishop Advincula to flock: Rethink pro-life strategy

Manila Archbishop Advincula to flock: Rethink pro-life strategy

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:55 AM February 19, 2024

‘JOURNEYINGTOGETHER’ Jose Cardinal Advincula (left) presides over theMass for the annual“Walk for Life” held on Saturday night. Around 3,000 people fromvarious Catholic groups joined the march fromWelcome Rotunda in Quezon City to the campus grounds of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. —CBCP NEWS

‘JOURNEYING TOGETHER’ | Jose Cardinal Advincula (left) presides over the Mass for the annual “Walk for Life” held on Saturday night, Feb.17, 2024. Around 3,000 people from various Catholic groups joined the march from the Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City to the campus of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. (Photo from CBCP News)

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Archbishop, Cardinal Jose Advincula, has cited the need for the Catholic Church to “rethink” its pro-life strategy, which should include the use of new approaches to protect some of its faithful from further judgment and condemnation.

During a Mass at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila on Saturday, Advincula talked about the “challenge” for the Church and its community to “explore new pathways to respond better to the dominant values of our contemporary times.”


“We need to face the hard truth that there are a lot of issues in our families and in society that cannot be shrugged off by telling them not to ask more questions, but to just blindly follow. We need to engage in more listening and dialogue,” he said in remarks that were also reported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on its news site.


“Yes, we are clear about teachings on the different issues connected with life and family. But we also need to rethink our approaches, methodologies and strategies,” the prelate added.

“How do we deal with the dilemmas and complexities of modern families, irregular situations in the home, the diversity and understanding of identity and personhood, the wounds caused and inflicted because of polarization even in the home?” he asked.

‘Walk for Life’

Saturday’s Mass, however, was also held for the annual “Walk for Life” assembly that gathered at the Welcome Rotunda landmark in Quezon City and marched to the open grounds of UST.

Around 3,000 participants from various Catholic groups took part in the activity aimed at “demonstrat[ing] solidarity in upholding the dignity of human life.”

Nevertheless, Advincula pointed out that Pope Francis himself said the Catholic Church should follow the “style of synodality,” or the journeying together as one people of God, “so we can listen and discern together.”

He also cited a passage from St. Luke on how Jesus dined and dialogued with known sinners.


“Our society today needs teachers that can lead others to the right path and to the right choices. We must not abandon this mission of being teachers and catechists of the gospel of life,” Advincula told the crowd.

He said families, especially the youth, “need accompaniment in their journey.”

“They don’t need more judgments and condemnations. To lead people to the truth, we must do so in love, truth in charity, walking together for life, this is where the Holy Spirit is leading us today,” he added.

Advincula still called on the faithful to unite in defending the sacredness of life “in a rapidly changing world that is oftentimes more welcoming to a civilization of death and so hostile to a civilization of life and love.”

“I encourage you to continue to be passionate in your ministry. Do not be disheartened if sometimes you feel what you have been doing is not even noticed or ends up in an apparent failure. Take courage. You are not alone,” he said.

Blessings on LGBTQ+

Concelebrating the Mass with Advincula were CBCP president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity chair Bishop Severo Caermare of Dipolog.

Organized by the Council of the Laity of the Philippines and initiated by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, the first Walk for Life in 2017 was in response to the drug war killings and a campaign at that time to restore the death penalty.

According to Caermare, this year’s event also “raised important family and life issues and opposed attempts to revive the death penalty, divorce, and same-sex unions in the Philippines.”

READ: Observe health protocols, protect the vulnerable, says Manila archbishop

“Our participation, our presence today is a demonstration of how we value the sacredness of life,” he said.

Pope Francis had earlier said that he saw “hypocrisy” in the criticism of his decision to allow priests to bless same-sex couples.

LGBTQ+ blessings were authorized in December by a Vatican document called Fiducia Supplicans (Latin for “Supplicating Trust”), but it was met with significant resistance within the Catholic Church.

The Pope said he “always” welcomed to the sacrament of confession the LGBTQ+ community and remarried divorcees.

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“No one should be denied a blessing. Everyone, everyone, everyone,” he said.

TAGS: Catholic Church, Jose Advincula, pro-life stance

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