01/26/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference begins in Manila

by Santosh Digal
Three-day meeting begins today bringing together all of the country’s prelates. The next local elections, anti-poverty and anti-gambling programmes are on the discussion table.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The 94th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) starts today. Local and Senate elections as well as anti-poverty and anti-gambling programmes will be on the table for discussion.

“There is nothing earth-shaking in the agenda, just the usual reporting of the different commissions. On the last day, we will talk about elections, but it’s not clear whether we will come out with a statement or not,” Mgr Pedro Quitorio, CBCP spokesman, said.

Mgr Antonio Ledesma, CBCP vice president and Cagayan de Oro archbishop, agrees. “There’s this possibility of coming out with several pastoral statements on the current situation. One is certainly on the coming elections [and] bishops are concerned with having clean, orderly, honest elections.”

Other prelates however are more interested in thinking less about politics and more about the Church’s charitable activities which is necessary in the Philippines and important for the population of any faith.

Bur for all the issue of gambling must be addressed head on, because it gives false hope to most of the unemployed, destroys families and drags them down into further poverty.

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