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Latest News Philippines: ‘TRAGIC’ – Journal.com.ph:

MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has described as “tragic” the House of Representative’s approval of the controversial “reproductive health” bill,  but he and other Catholic bishops vowed to continue to fight.

Tagle issued the statement before he left for Vietnam for the meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences after lawmakers voted 113-104 in favor of the controversial population control measure on second reading via a nominal voting that lasted for around five hours.

“The vote in favor of the RH bill in Congress is unfortunate and tragic,” Tagle said.

However, the head of the Philippine Catholic Church’s most influential archdiocese stressed that the RH bill’s approval will not change the truth.

“We do not take it as a defeat of truth – for truth shall prevail, especially the truth about human life, marriage and the family,” he said.

As the Aquino administration is aggressive in pushing the measure, the Cardinal said they will also continue to teach the sanctity of human life.

“This vote leads us to further commit the Church, specifically the Archdiocese of Manila to the service of the poor, of the family, of women, of infants and children. We will work harder to promote the sanctity of human life and of the human person, the integral education of the youth, the access of the poor to social and medical services, the preservation of the true meaning of marriage, and stewardship of creation,” he said.

The archbishop also lauded the lawmakers, lay people and organizations who “worked hard and tirelessly in a variety of ways to expose the flaws” of the measure “to form consciences and to contribute to the search for the common good.”

Other Catholic bishops also said that they will continue the fight and catechesis against the RH bill.

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, former CBCP president, said, “whatever is God’s will be done, whoever wins or whoever loses, God’s will be done.”

Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, for his part, called on the faithful “to be more vigilant and responsive to the ways of the Holy Spirit.”

“(The Holy Spirit) who can transform (initial) setbacks into more lasting and life-giving though surprising outcome,” he said.

He also rallied the people to have faith and take courage as “we continue the struggle for life.”


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