National Catholic Reporter

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Socrates Villegas

Philippine bishops mull establishment of climate change desk

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.

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


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


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

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.

Church must reach out to gays, divorced, Philippine bishop says


The church must widen its reach to gays and divorced Catholics, said the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, in an Oct. 21 statement after the Synod of Bishops on the family, called for a merciful approach to ministering to the faithful by emulating Christ and not casting stones at sinners.

Nuncio warns against scams as church officials gear up for papal visit


The papal nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, has asked the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines to warn the public about the unauthorized sale of tickets to Masses and events during Pope Francis' visit to the country next year.

In a letter addressed to bishops' conference president Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Pinto talked of the "unpleasant information" the nunciature has received about groups who might wish "to take advantage of the papal visit to exploit innocent people and enrich themselves."

Philippine church official: Court ruling on health law partial victory

The Philippine Supreme Court ruled a reproductive health law constitutional Tuesday and declared it effective immediately.

But in rendering the decision, the court also struck down some provisions of "The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012," leading an official of the bishops' conference to call it a "partial victory."

New Philippines bishops' head: Church marches to the beat of Pope Francis


Steps taken by Pope Francis, including several pronouncements, are seen as a model for Catholics in the Philippines about what it means to be church leader and member. Surveys for the 2013 Catholic Directory of the Philippines recorded 76.18 million baptized Catholics amid the country's population of an estimated 96.71 million people.

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In This Issue

October 9-22, 2015


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