09/10/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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DVD and a million signatures against new anti-life bill

by Santosh Digal
Congressional committee adopts bill on artificial contraception. The Church launches a set of DVDs about sex education, marriage and family life to better explain its reasons for opposing the legislation.
Manila (AsiaNews) – The Filipino Catholic Church launched on Tuesday a DVD set that tackles issues like sex ed, marriage and family life. It is a “highly recommended” and “indispensable catechetical tool” according to the Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. It is meant to raise Christian awareness of the issue as well as oppose a bill approved by a congressional committee that is in favour of the use of artificial contraception to manage population growth.

Titled Subtle Attacks Against the Family Explained or SAFE, the DVD is available at a cost of 1,500 Filipino pesos (about US$ 30). It covers every aspect of human sexuality according to “God’s Plan”. Anyone interested can write to familyandlifeministry@yahoo.com.

Despite strong opposition from the Church and Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Congressman Edcel Lagman Edcel Lagman calls the committee’s decision a “victory for reproductive health advocates who have been waiting for the enactment of this bill for almost a decade”.

The bill is not about condoms and pills and neither is it about religion. It is primarily about health and rights,” Lagman said, “an indispensable development tool given that rapid population growth impacts negatively on all aspects” of our development.

For the Church in Manila the bill is instead anti-life and pro-abortion and for this reason it wants to raise awareness among the faithful.

As part of this it has sent a circular signed by Chancellor Fr Rufino Sescon to all parish priests in the archdiocese telling them to “adequately teach our people the scriptural, theological and even scientific foundations of our position,” by means like these DVDs.

The Church also plans to gather a million signatures against the reproductive health bill and present them to Congress.

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