MANILA, AUGUST 5, 2012 (STANDARD) By Vito Barcelo -Today’s prayer rally a show of force vs RH

The Catholic church on Friday called on the faithful to stand up for life in a prayer rally at the Edsa Shrine today to oppose the Reproductive Health bill that Congress will vote on next week.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines would lead the rally to oppose the provisions of House Bill 4244 that violated God’s commandments and the Church’s teachings on marriage and life.

He said the Church supported the program for responsible parenthood as long as it respected the dignity of marriage and the right to life and its provisions were in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Malacañang, meanwhile, on Friday appeared to see no need for a fresh round of talks with the CBCP amid the debates on the RH bill.

“At this point, the President has made his position known,” deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

“At the President has said, we are all pro-life and the President is against abortion.”

[PHOTO -A mother’s love. A young mother hugs her new-born child at the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital as the debate rages in Congress on the reproducutive health bill. Photo at left shows vials of injectable contraceptive that are being distributed in government community clinics. DANNY PATA]

But a congressman on Friday said Mr. Aquino’s allies in the House were divided on the RH bill, and that absences could mar the crucial voting on Tuesday to decided on fate of the measure.

“The majority is divided on the RH bill, Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II said.

“While I am pro-RH, my greater responsibility as majority leader puts me in a dilemma [because] I would go up against the majority [who are not pro-RH but] whose support I will need in shepherding other measures of equal importance.”

To ensure a quorum next week, the House leadership has launched a text brigade so that all the 284 House members will attend the sessions especially on Aug. 7, when the House votes on the termination of interpellation on the RH bill.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he was hopeful they would have enough warm bodies to determine the fate of the RH bill.

“I am confident that we will have a quorum on Tuesday,” Belmonte said.

“The House members have responded very well to the House brigade.”

But Siquijor Rep. Orlando Fua, a member of the opposition who withdrew his support of the RH bill, said Congress would have a hard time having the bill enacted into law because the “strong objections from the Catholic Church.”

Lagdameo, meanwhile, on Friday also encouraged those who could not join the rally to participate in the Holy Hour celebrated in all parishes and which started Aug. 3, the First Friday of the month, and would end on Aug. 7, the day the RH Bill is expected to be voted on in Congress.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle urged the faithful to fill the Edsa Shrine so they could demonstrate their opposition to the RH bill.

“Relying on the power of prayer and the necessity of informed awareness, we will gather together to be informed, enlightened and emboldened once more,” Tagle said.

CBCP president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, earlier said the nationwide prayer rally was “to show our sentiments about our advocacy for life.” With Joyce Pangco Pañares and Maricel V. Cruz

2,000 join Legazpi rally By Florencio P. Narito | Posted on August 05, 2012 | 12:01am | 211 views

Legazpi City — Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon and retired Bishop Lucilo Quimbao, held a prayer rally at the Penaranda Park here.

The participants included teachers and students of Catholic colleges and secondary schools, among them Aquinas University, Divine Word College-Legazpi, St. Agnes Academy, and St. Raphael Academy.

Catholic lay organization, including the brotherhood of christian businessmen took part.

Baylon in his message denounced the use of contraceptives like condoms.

“The issue against the RH bill is beyond Congress. Our concern here about life and family is beyond Congress,” he said.

“We need a responsible government, not responsible parenthood,” Baylon said, alluding to President Aquino’s message in his state of the nation address.

Dr. Ligaya Acosta, director of Human Life International, said to be the biggest Pro-life Organization in 100 countries, hit President Aquino for suppurting the Responsible Parenthood Bill. She called the RH bill “diabiological.”

Denouncing abortion, she said that at a US congressional hearing, Secretary of the State Hilary Clinton was quoted as saying that the “RH bill is pro-abortion.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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