National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Manila, Philippines

Philippines not likely to recognize same-sex marriage, spokesman says

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The predominantly Catholic Philippines, a U.S. colony for 50 years, is not likely to recognize same-sex marriage despite its legalization in the United States.

"Our laws are clear. The Family Code only recognizes the marriage between a man and a woman," presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said two days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States.

Philippine bishops urge voters to reject 'corrupt' politicians in 2016

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The country's Catholic bishops urged voters to reject "notoriously corrupt" politicians running in next year's national elections in a pastoral letter sent to parishes.

The bishops, in the letter read at Masses Sunday, also sought to remind the voters that voting was not merely a political right, but "a moral obligation," reported the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com.

Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law

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Lawmakers said a proposed law to legalize divorce in the Philippines would face stiff opposition in Congress despite growing public support for the measure.

"The proposal to legalize divorce will not pass under my watch," said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., reported the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com.

Marriage "should be saved and should guarantee the proper guidance of children," he said.

Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, deputy speaker, said there was little support for the measure among legislators.

Archbishop: Philippine president should pray over resignation decision

The head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said it was up to President Benigno Aquino III to decide whether he should resign, "after prayerful discernment."

Aquino was facing a growing cry for his resignation, with a few individual bishops joining the call, a week-and-a-half after 44 police troops were killed in one of the bloodiest encounters with Muslim rebels in recent history.

Pope's words on family draw praise

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Leading Filipino Catholics welcome pronouncements Pope Francis made on contraception, family and marriage when he met with thousands of families in Manila Jan. 16.

Francis reiterated at the Manila meeting the church's teaching on human life, marriage and family promulgated by Pope Paul VI in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.

At the same time, the pope "offered leeway" for particular cases where the ban on artificial contraception may not apply, noted Benedictine Sr. Mary John Mananzan.

Francis tells Filipinos to evangelize, fight 'insidious attacks' against family

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Addressing a record-setting millions of Filipinos under pouring rain in his last public appearance during his four-day trip to the country, Pope Francis called on them to be "outstanding missionaries of the faith" to Asia.

Speaking Sunday during a homily at an open-air Mass in Manila's Rizal Park, Francis also asked them to protect the family against what he called "insidious attacks."

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