11/07/2005, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Filipino Catholics pray rosary to stop abortion

by Santosh Digal

The bishops' conference invites the faithful to join Rosary for Life, an association which promotes "respect for life from the womb to the tomb". One member said: "Today, human life has become cheap."

Manila (AsiaNews) – Catholics in the Philippines "are invited to pray the rosary to stop abortion" and to join the Rosary for Life, a prayer group "whose mission is to promote respect and reverence for the God-given of human life from the womb to the tomb".

Michaelle Gabriel, an official of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines told AsiaNews that "the   specific objective of the organization is that of spreading respect for the life of the unborn" through the "invocation of Mary, Mother of God, and recitation of all the mysteries of the Rosary once in a week".

Founded in America by Wyn Rowers, the organisation landed in the Philippines on 11 November 2003, and is endorsed by Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

Fr Augustine Singh, a priest at Saint Clara Parish, Manila, said: "Apart from reciting the rosary, parishes throughout the nation are creating greater awareness on abortion and the church's stand on it and promoting church doctrines on abortion and on other moral-ethical issues on birth control and contraceptives in the light of faith and church teaching and gospel values."

"During our lives we are often asked to take stand, be it concerning politics or the education of our children," said parish lay leader Sebastian Singson. "Taking a stand may involve much opposition, but we know we are living in a very difficult time, which the Holy Father so accurately calls 'the culture of death'".

Margaret Sancheg, a lay member of Rosary for Life, told AsiaNews: "Human life has become very cheap and disposable. It used to be said that the safest place a child could be was in its mother's womb. Not so today!

 "God gave us Ten Commandments, not Ten Suggestions, and the fifth says 'you shall not kill'. God's laws still stand and no government, no doctor, no mother, no human being has the right or the power to interfere with God's human creation. Only God can give or take a life. We do not have the right to say who lives and who dies. That right belongs to God alone."

"In this direction, praying the rosary to stop abortion is a good way to create awareness among Catholics and the public at large about what life is," said Thomas Lim, who joined the prayer group recently.

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