MANILA, April 28, 2011â€” Philippine Catholic Church officials stressed that Pope John Paul II will be remembered as a great “lover of life” and defender of the unborn.
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales expressed joy at the late popeâ€™s upcoming beatification on Sunday, calling him a â€œholy man.â€
He noted that no other than John Paul II, who visited the Philippines twice, in 1981 and 1995, embraced the idea that nobody has the right to eliminate an innocent person.
â€œThereâ€™s no doubt about that because he loves life. Thatâ€™s the teaching of Jesus, and that is the position of the Church,â€ Rosales said.
The cardinal said that by beatifying John Paul II, the Church is providing a model for all the people.
â€œHe is a gift not only for the Church but for to the whole world. So letâ€™s thank God for the giftedness of the life of this man,â€ said Rosales.
â€œHe is a shepherd at the time when [the] Church is being attack. He was the man who did not allow them. He should be beatified. There were signs of that giftedness,â€ he added.
Another official of the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of the Philippines also made a similar reaction to John Paul IIâ€™s upcoming beatification on Sunday.
â€œThe Coalition for Family and Life and the entire Church in the country find great consolation that the Pope who so defended and promoted the culture of life would be raised to the altar,â€ said Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCPâ€™s Commission on Family and Life.
â€œJust [as] he never based his preachings on popular acceptance, neither [should] we rely our advocacy to defend family and life on what is convenient and comfortable for our people to hear,â€ Castro said.
The Catholic hierarchy along with other pro-life advocates are currently fighting the passage of the controversial reproductive health bill which pushes artificial contraception. [CBCPNews]