MANILA, Jan. 31, 2011â€”The Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said on Monday that it might walk out of dialogue with MalacaÃ±ang once the Aquino administration insists in supporting contraception.
After all, CBCP President Bishop Nereo Odchimar said, the ongoing dialogue has shown how far their positions are on reproductive health issue and it may be futile to pursue it.
â€œAgain, it is a possibility,â€ Odchimar said. (But) at this point in time, we have not yet agreed to pullout. We have to still make formal agreement from this dialogue.â€
In a pastoral letter released at the conclusion of the CBCPâ€™s plenary assembly today, the bishops expressed sadness over how the talks have been going on.
â€œSadly, our dialogue has simply revealed how far apart our respective positions are,â€ part of the statement reads.
MalacaÃ±ang insists on its pro-choice stance and clarified that its proposed â€œresponsible parenthood billâ€ is only to reduce poverty and not as a birth control policy.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also said there will be no â€œcompulsionâ€ on the part of the government to insist upon one particular method.
But the church officials said that based on the recent dialogues on the reproductive health (RH) bill, they feel that is seemingly going nowhere.
The prelates are also dismayed over MalacaÃ±ang claims that it already reached consensus with the CBCP in so far as the provisions of its bill are concerned and that the church is not against it.
â€œTherefore, instead of building false hopes, we wish at the present time to draw up clearly what we object to and what we stand for,â€ said the CBCP.
Odchimar, however, stressed that they have yet to fully decide on the matter as they are still open to at least one more dialogue.
He said the CBCP panel will still be attending the next meeting next month before deciding on its fate.
â€œProbably in the next meeting, the two panels will decide whether it is futile to go on or there is still hope,â€ said Odchimar.
To recall, the CBCP and MalacaÃ±ang have agreed to hold a series of dialogues on the RH bill amid the heated word war late last year.
In the statement, the CBCP also strongly urged Aquino to reconsider his pro-choice stance and totally reject the RH bill. (CBCPNews)