ABS-CBN News, MANILA, Philippines - Pope Benedict XVI praised the Catholic Bishops' Conference in the Philippines (CBCP) for its effort in blocking the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
The Pope, as quoted by CBCP News, said: “I commend the Church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death, and in defense of the integrity of marriage and the family.”
“In these areas you are promoting truths about the human person and about society which arise not only from divine revelation but also from the natural law, an order which is accessible to human reason and thus provides a basis for dialogue and deeper discernment on the part of all people of good will,” he said. .
The Pope made the statement during the “ad limina” visit of Filipino prelates in Rome on November 29.
In issuing the Pope’s message, CBCP seems to be clarifying his earlier statement with regard to the use of condoms.
The Pope said HIV-carrying prostitutes could use condoms to avoid infecting their partners. This is part of their moral responsibility, he said.
Staunch advocates had earlier welcomed the statement, prompting the Church to go on the defensive.
Some RH bill supporters said the Pope’s statement would show that the Church is now trying to wean itself from conservative ideologies.