ANTIPOLO City, Feb. 22, 2013—With the newly-minted RH Law now in effect, the dioceses are getting ready to dig in their heels to oppose more death bills pending for the 16th Congress, such as divorce, same sex marriage and euthanasia.
“Essentially, the response is to step up on evangelization, formation. The catechetical effort should be more comprehensive and intensive,” said CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) executive secretary Fr. Melvin Castro in Filipino.
To kick off this effort, the 4th ECFL National Conference this February 25-28 will focus on the legal implications of R.A. 10354 or the RH Law; the Church’s teachings on marriage and homosexuality; as well as a framework on how Catholics should be involved in political life.
According to Fr. Castro, the passage of the RH Law, despite being truly regrettable, is galvanizing Catholics to stand against the other so-called death bills being proposed in Congress.
More ‘death bills’
House Bill 1799 or the divorce bill, authored by Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan proposes to legalize divorce in the country, amending the Family Code.
Another one of the ‘death bills’, SBN 3156 or the ‘end of life care’ bill, authored by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, notably proposes that patients should be allowed to stop eating and drinking when they are “too sick.”
The conference will feature Bp. Teodoro Bacani who will talk about how Catholics should participate in political life; Fr. Roque Villanueva will focus on what the passage of the RH Law really means; Abp. Oscar Cruz will discuss marriage, divorce and annulment; Rep. Milagros Magsaysay will share insights on the legislative process of R.A. 10354; Prof. Rosa Linda Valenzona will present what the Church teaches about homosexuality and gender issues; and lastly, a testimony of conversion will be given by Rolando de los Reyes.
It is also the first time the ECFL national conference is open to lay groups involved in family apostolate and not just diocesan family and life directors.
More than a hundred diocesan family and life directors all over the country will be attending the conference, which will be held at the St. Michael retreat house in Antipolo City. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]