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Archbishop Soc: Church is ‘not social troublemakers’

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Archbishop Soc Villegas

MANILA, July 8, 2013— Catholic bishops on Monday said the Church will continue to oppose the Reproductive Health (RH) Law no matter what happens because they have to.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said the Church has the duty to protect the sanctity of life and they will continue to fight the contraception law because that is what they are supposed to do.

But incoming president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines stressed that they are only doing their role as pastors and not as a ‘lobby group’ or ‘social troublemakers.’

“The Church is not an NGO. The mission of the Church is truly spiritual so if we get involved in bills like the RH which is now a law, it’s because our spiritual mission mandates us to do that,” Villegas said.

“We are not social troublemakers. We are conscience troublemakers. We want to trouble consciences and let every consciences listen to the voice of God,” he said.

The bishops also invoked God’s blessings and guidance in defending the sanctity of life for lawyers of the petitions against the Reproductive Health (RH) law.

Villegas, the current CBCP vice president, made the statement during a press conference held after the 107th CBCP plenary assembly at the Pius XII Center in Manila.

In a Mass early this morning at the St. Maria Goretti Parish Church inside the Pope Pius XII compound, the bishops also invoked God’s blessing and guidance for lawyers of the petitions against the RH law.

Several lawyers of the 14 anti-RH law petitions attended the liturgical celebration, a day before Supreme Court will hear the case.

Before going to SC, the lawyers and petitioners will also attend a Mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia in Ermita, Manila at 9 a.m.

“Our first support for the SC process will be a Mass and a prayer vigil because that is our first priority. Our first contribution is to show to the world that prayer has power to change the world,” said Villegas.

“There will be a prayer vigil and a Mass will be offered because we believe in the Church that the Mass can change and enter cosmos,” he said. “If it can change and enter the cosmos I’m sure it can teach many consciences as well.

“Our second act is to encourage our lay people who will be doing the oral arguments and to bless them,” the archbishop added.

Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the CBCP’s Commission on Family and Life, said some will be at the SC “to observe the oral arguments.” (CBCPNews)


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