Philippines

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

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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.

Church-backed rebel decommissioning program opens in Philippines

The Philippine government on Tuesday started the Catholic church-backed process of decommissioning members of the country's largest Muslim rebel group.

The process was bringing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front a step closer to its goal of self-determination, after more than four decades of fighting. But the effort still must contend with Christians who are anxious about a proposed law that would create a self-governing region in the country's Muslim-majority south.

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.

Radio Veritas Asia's acclaimed Vietnamese communicator remembered for a life of service

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Vietnamese Msgr. Pietro Nguyen Van Tai will be remembered as a successful communicator who spent all life serving the church in Asia for decades.

Tai died of abdomen cancer Tuesday at age 67 in a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. His funeral Mass was scheduled for Friday at the Assumption Cathedral of his native Vinh Long diocese.

He was considered the cornerstone or one of the pillars of Radio Veritas Asia, the 45-year-old continental short-wave radio station owned and operated by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference in Manila, Philippines.

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.

Filipino Cardinal Tagle named head of Catholic Biblical Federation

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Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, has been named the new president of the Catholic Biblical Federation.

While Tagle was elected unanimously as head of the federation at an Oct. 24-25 meeting in Rome of its executive committee, Pope Francis confirmed his election March 5.

He will assume his office at the federation's plenary assembly, to take place June 18-23 in Nemi, Italy. Tagle will succeed Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who has been president of the Catholic Biblical Federation since 2002.

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.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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