MANILA, March 25, 2011â€” There will no Masses in Manila on Friday afternoon to give way for a huge prayer rally against a proposed birth control measure.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Manila said Masses are being cancelled for priests and the faithful to participate in the demonstration.
â€œAll Masses in the afternoon of March 25 in all churches and chapels in the Archdiocese of Manila are being cancelled to enable priests to accompany their flock at the prayer rally and also for them to concelebrate in the Mass,â€ it said.
The priests will also hear confessions starting at 5pm to highlight the call for conversion in the Season of Lent.
No other than Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales will lead the rally against the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill at the Quirino Grandstand, in Manila.
Rosales earlier called on the pro-life sectors, organizations and communities to join the rally which coincides with the observance of the Day of the Unborn Children.
â€œThe prayer rally is for all those who value life, family and life values. Your presence will deliver the message that our country will never allow the repressive RH Bill to be passed,â€ said Rosales.
The archdiocese noted that among those invited are bishops and priests of the Metropolitan See of Manila that is comprised of 13 dioceses, prelature and the Military Ordinariate and other archdioceses and dioceses in Luzon.
Also expected to come are contingents from the parishes and shrines of the Metropolitan See, from all Catholic organizations and sectors, trans-parochial communities, including El Shaddai, CFC-FFL and Couples for Christ, pro-life groups, catechists, students, youth, and the urban poor.
Activities include the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 4 p.m., followed by the Station of the Cross, Inter-Faith Prayer, Declaration of Opposition to the RH bill, and the symbolic tearing of an anti-RH bill effigy by different sectors.
Rosales will then preside a concelebrated Mass at 7 p.m. along with several bishops and priests.
People coming to the Prayer Rally are being requested to bring candles and food for sharing.
Also lined up to give their testimonies against the bill are Representatives Aliah Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte), Lucy Torres-Gomez (Leyte), Roilo Golez (Paranaque), and via video message Manny Pacquiao (Saranggani), Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Bro. Bo Sanchez. (CBCPNews)