Wednesday, 23 February 2011 12:17
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is suspending its dialogue with the government on the controversial reproductive health bill.
On February 19, CBCP president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar sent a letter to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, informing him of the CBCP’s decision to withdraw from the talks.
“In view, however, of the pastoral letter that the Catholic Bishops issued on the matter last January 31, and considering the speed in the ongoing legislative processes both in the Lower House and the Senate, I deem it prudent to suspend in the meantime further talks with the Executive Department,” he said.
He said the suspension of the CBCP’s participation in the dialogue “is primarily due to the ongoing visitatio ad limina apostolorum of the Philippine bishops with the Holy Father, according to the schedule set by the Holy See.”
Odchimar also thanked President Aquino for his immediate response to the bishops’ earlier invitation for dialogue on reproductive health issues.
Odchimar said the next regular meeting of the CBCP Permanent Council, which will provide the bishops the opportunity to address the developments, will still take place on the last week of March.
Meantime, he called on the chief executive to “pray for the Lord’s guidance as we strive to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of our citizens.” (PNA/PIA9-BST)
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