Bishop calls all faithful to Dec. 12 Mass, Congress watch

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MANILA, Dec. 11, 2012—Life and family advocates gear up for Wednesday, December 12, as they respond to the call of Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), to unite in prayer at a noontime Holy Mass before proceeding together to Batasang Pambansa to support pro-life lawmakers as House Bill 4244 is put to a vote.

“Let us come together to offer our continued prayers for the non-passage of the RH bill through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with some bishops on December 12, 2012, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” the prelate announced in a statement addressed to all the faithful, to Diocesan Family and Life Directors in the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila and nearby arch/dioceses, Family and Life organizations, MAPSA, and lay religious organizations and associations.

The Mass will be offered at St. Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders, Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City at 12 noon.

After meeting with pro-RH and pro-life House members and discussing the fate of the controversial measure last Wednesday, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte committed to December 12 as the date the bill would be put to a vote.

The period of amendments on the RH bill has so far seen most of the proposed amendments shot down by principal author Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and by pro-RH solons via nominal voting.

The amendments included moves ensuring government’s respect for the people’s religious freedom, assistance for pregnant women and their unborn babies by way of referrals to adoption centers, deletion of a clause that showed discrimination against the poor, ensuring the voluntary requirement as far as beneficiaries of RH services are concerned, and confining free birth control supplies and services to married couples. Each of these proposed amendments was rejected.

Fr. Melvin Castro, ECFL executive secretary, said that aside from hundreds of life and family advocates who will be making the trip to St. Peter Parish on Wednesday, some pro-life legislators are also expected to attend the noontime Mass.

“In a way it’s also a blessing and prayer to them before they go to Congress to vote,” Castro was quoted as saying.

In his letter announcing the Wednesday activities and inviting all the faithful to participate, Reyes also said that aprocession going to the House of Representatives together with the Bishops will follow immediately after the Eucharistic celebration.

Everyone is encouraged to come in red. (CBCP for Life)

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