The 51st International Eucharistic Congress takes place in Cebu, Philippines starting Jan. 24. The weeklong congress will take place where Catholicism took root in the Philippines nearly 500 years ago.
Church leaders in the southern Philippines said the killings of tribal leaders and the harassment suffered by indigenous peoples in Mindanao are related to mining operations in the area.
Philippine church leaders have warned the faithful against making money out of reported "miracles" and "apparitions" of Mary.
Fr. Melvin Castro, director general of the Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, noted that stories of weeping images of the Jesus' mother had surfaced in the media.
The stories followed a church declaration that a reported apparition of the Mary in the province of Batangas in 1948 has a "supernatural character."
Philippine environmentalists and advocates for farmers, fishers and the poor praised "Laudato Si'" and said that, using it as a guide, they were ready to get to work.
Philippine bishops meeting in Manila will decide whether or not to establish a "climate change desk," part of a push by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.
The federation wants each bishops' conference in 22 countries to set up such a desk to support action plans to mitigate the impact of climate change and also study Pope Francis' “Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home” encyclical.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.