Catholic bishops threaten to campaign vs pro-RH lawmakers in 2013
CBCP secretary general Msgr. Joselito Asis said officials of the Catholic hierarchy in the country plan to issue a “catechesis on elections” to serve as checklist for voters in next year’s midterm elections.
He added that bishops may also issue separate pastoral letters endorsing candidates who will oppose the RH bill.
“We will identify the pro-life candidates and convince voters against electing the anti-life ones… For the bishops’ part, they can separately issue pastoral letters, reiterating the Church’s call not to vote supporters of RH bill, especially in Congress,” he added.
The CBCP official’s statement came two days before the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote whether or not to continue debates on the RH bill, formally known as House Bill 4244.
Asis added that the CBCP will be “more aggressive in influencing” voters next year. He, however, acknowledged that the Roman Catholic Church cannot dictate upon its faithful.
“Whether or not the voters heed the Church’s advice, it’s up to them. All we’re asking is for them to stand firm in their pro-life convictions in choosing who to vote [for] in the elections,” he said.
On Saturday, the CBCP spearheaded a prayer rally, attended by at least 10,000 people, to oppose the approval of the RH bill.
The RH bill endorses the use of both natural and artificial modes of family planning. It is being opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, which promotes only natural family planning methods.
Other religious groups in the country have also expressed their opinions on the RH bill. The Imam Council of the Philippines, a group of Muslim religious leaders in the country, meanwhile said that it is against artificial contraception, which the RH bill promotes.
In contrast, the Episcopal Church in the Philippines—the largest alliance of Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines—late last year released a statement supporting the measure’s passage.
Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, one of the authors of the RH bill, admitted that the Catholic bishops’ stand on the RH bill will have an impact on Tuesday’s voting.