01/27/2009, 00.00
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Filipino bishops: fight corruption, help rural population

by Santosh Digal
The episcopal conference announces the creation of offices dedicated to rural populations within its charitable organizations, and calls on institutions to follow this example.

Manila (AsiaNews) - "We must encourage our faithful to intensify their battle against graft and corruption, and accompany honest public officials in their effort to serve the people in a transparent way, and in truth." Angel Lagdameo, archbishop of Jaro and president of the Filipino bishops, expressed in this way the main concerns of the Church in the country at the end of a two-day plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

In this period of global economic crisis, the bishops are emphasizing honesty and the application of "social justice measures" on behalf of the poor as the most urgent needs for the good of society.

On January 25, in order to highlight the Church's concern for the neediest segments of the population, the CBCP also published a pastoral document specifically on this topic. The bishops stress their intention of intensifying the Catholic community's commitment to the poor in rural areas. They have also announced the upcoming creation of dedicated offices within the Church's charitable organizations, at all levels: from the parish to nationwide.

The bishops are also asking the institutions and organizations of civil society to follow this example, and "step up efforts in works of solidarity, justice, and charity" on behalf of the rural population - farmers, landless laborers, fishermen, indigenous - in order to create more job opportunities for them.

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