Church still firm vs RH law but wants no enemies because of it
MANILA, Philippines—The Catholic Church remains firm in its stand against the controversial reproductive health (RH) measure, the head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said to clarify the speculations that it has softened its position.
“We must stand by the truth, but we must always be loving as we stand for the truth. The position [on the reproductive health bill) does not change but the reaching out is added into it,” CBCP president and Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan Socrates Villegas said in a press briefing following the CBCP’s 108th plenary assembly Monday.
“We respect those who have a different opinion and, more than that, we reach out to them and let us be friends beyond the RH law,” Villegas said.
Earlier in his speech to the Catholic bishops during the three-day assembly, Villegas called on the 120 bishops to reach out to the Church’s critics, particularly those advocating the RH law.
But Villegas said even though there will be more disagreements, the Catholic prelates should still bridge the gap between opponents and proponents of the population control policy.
“There will be many more disagreements but let us not allow our disagreements to disunite us further. Because we have enough disunity already, so let us look for the things that unite us. That is the spirit,” he said.
The RH law or the Republic Act No. 10354, which was signed by President Aquino, has yet to be implemented due to a status quo ante order issued by the Supreme Court last year.
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