01/11/2006, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Evangelisation and pastoral renewal are the main topics at the plenary assembly of Filipino bishops

by Santosh Digal
The country's prelates meet at the end of the month for their 92nd plenary assembly. "God is with us . . . but . . . we must do our part," says the chairman of the Bishops' Conference.

Manila (AsiaNews) – Mgr Angel Lagdameo, Archbishop of Jaro-Iloilo and chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said he will push his fellow bishops to confront the pressing issues facing the Church at the CBCP's forthcoming 92nd plenary assembly scheduled for the end of the month.

"I am hoping that we could focus on national pastoral renewal in the Philippines which had been set as an important objective of the Church in 1992 and was again stressed in documents released in 2001," Archbishop Lagdameo said.

The CBCP chairman said that during the plenary he intends to reiterate the two important parts of the Church's mission in national renewal and social transformation: changing hearts and minds of Filipinos and insisting on the importance of evangelisation.

For Archbishop Lagdameo, such actions on the part of the Church will help Filipinos move forward leaving behind the socio-political and economic crises they are currently facing.

Furthermore, "conversion does not stop with the self," he said. "All of us must serve as instruments of change in our society and the Church."

"God is with us so let us not lose hope. We should always ask for His help but in doing so we must do our part," he said.
CBCP members meet regularly twice a year, once in January and again in July, to discuss issues facing the Church and their respective dioceses.

When they must respond to pressing issues on morality and politics, they issue pastoral statements through the CBCP.

In the latest statement released on July 10, last year, the bishops refused to join the growing calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign after she was accused of government corruption and graft allegedly involving her family.

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