Asia News report: Card Ricardo Vidal launches the ‘Rosary Christ Crusade’. The message by the archbishop of Cebu is now available around the world online. It urges Catholics to place in God’s trust the destiny and life of millions of Filipinos threatened by a birth control bill now before the Filipino Congress.
Manila (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church and the Filipino government are still at loggerheads over a birth control bill currently before Congress. Card Ricardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, and other prelates have posted a message on YouTube urging Catholics around the world to recite a rosary for life and the family. Their goal is to have a million prayers, sent by e-mail or regular post, to force the Filipino Congress to abandon the draft bill. Dubbed ‘Rosary Christ Crusade’, the initiative was launched on 31 October at the parish level and is set to last until 16 January 2011.
Not all Catholics agree with the hard line taken by the bishops. For them, the Church hierarchy should accept the government’s offer of mediation, after the latter said it was ready to eliminate those parts viewed as pro-abortion.
For his part, Card Vidal said on YouTube that with “this movement [. . .] we offer authentic offerings [. . .] to God, to the Blessed Mother [. . .] for the sake of our country”.
Other prelates have followed the archbishop of Cebu and released their own message. They include Mgr Paciano Basilio Aniceto, archbishop of San Fernando, head of the Episcopal Commission for life and the family, who describes the bill as a great danger because it spreads a culture of death.
The debate over the Reproductive Health bill has lasted for four years. The law bans abortion, but promotes family planning. It encourages couples to have only two children and favours voluntary sterilisation. Medical professionals who do not uphold the law could be fined or jailed.
The Church and Catholic associations are instead in favour of the Natural Family Programme (NFP), which aims at encouraging a culture based on responsibility, love and Christian values.
This Saturday, Catholic lay organisations and pro-life associations will hold a prayer vigil in Lipa City (Batangas) to protest against the bill and show their support for the bishops’ media campaign. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bishops-launch-a-million-rosaries-against-abortion-law-20008.html