Human Life International’s Brian Clowes: Defending life in the Philippines

Dear friends,

I would like to share with you a report from Dr. Brian Clowes, HLI’s Director of Research and Training, detailing a recent mission trip to the Philippines. As the largest Catholic nation in Asia, the Philippines has managed to avoid much of the decay of the rest of Asia, but this fact also makes it the bulls-eye for pro-abortion NGOs and politicians from the West. The fight for life in this pro-life, pro-family nation is intense, and we are called to pray for and with our Filipino brothers and sisters.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula
Interim President, Human Life International
__________________

Defending Life in the Philippines

Human Life International: A baby on the palm of man's hands

Human Life International: A baby on the palm of man's hands

After effectively fighting for Faith and family for decades against the Culture of Death, the Church and the people of the Philippines find themselves in a truly desperate situation. For the first time, there is a distinct possibility that this most Catholic of nations might embrace abortion.

For more than a decade, the death peddlers have pushed for the so-called “Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill),” which provides for the universal distribution of all methods of birth control, including abortifacient pills, injections, and IUDs. The promoters of the RH Bill allege that it will prevent abortions through the widespread promotion of contraception, but its sponsors are well aware that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that “… reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”

The RH Bill provides for heavy fines and imprisonment for Catholic and other hospital personnel who refuse to distribute contraception or perform sterilizations. Additionally, anyone who distributes “malicious disinformation” about the RH Bill itself can be jailed. Naturally, the bill’s sponsors refuse to define this term, but we can be certain that they consider all opposition to the RH Bill to be “malicious.” The RH Bill also provides for mandatory comprehensive sex education beginning in fifth grade, which its proponents know is the best way to destroy the innocence of the children and get them “hooked” on contraception.

In other words, the RH Bill is a complete package designed to integrate the anti-life mentality into the fabric of the nation. It is plainly a “lethal injection” to the soul of the Philippines, as the European experience has shown us.

Benigno Aquino III (“Noy-Noy”) is the first Filipino President to say that he supports the RH Bill. Like John F. Kennedy, he says that he will keep his “Catholic” faith separate from his public life, and that the Church will play no role in shaping his decisions. Naturally, the population controllers and other anti-lifers are ecstatic over this, and anticipate legalized abortion in the Philippines in less than three years.

The purpose of my tenth mission to the Philippines was to speak at Human Life International’s 17th Asia-Pacific Congress, and to help our Regional Coordinator, Ligaya Acosta, assist the Church hierarchy and large Catholic lay groups in organizing and synchronizing their efforts.

The pre-Congress training sessions kicked off with an opening Mass celebrated by a dozen priests. We had pro-life representatives from Laos, India, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Uzbekistan and, of course, the Philippines. The three-day pre-Congress was designed to train pro-life leaders from each of the countries in the basics of the anti-life assaults, and to awaken and inform them as to the many directions they may come from. We also hosted a meeting of more than 150 high-level pro-life leaders, including bishops, senators, congressmen and judges, as well as large numbers of businessmen, doctors and lawyers.

The worst fear of the population controllers is a vocal Church working hand-in-hand with large and activist lay groups. The head of the Knights of Columbus of the Philippines was at the meeting, and he said that the combined strength of 300,000 fourth-degree Knights will be marshaled against the RH bill. They will be joined by the powerful Couples for Christ group, El Shaddai, and the Focolare, among others. Between them, these groups represent millions of Filipinos.

The 17th Asia-Pacific Congress officially began on November 6. Among the many bishops staying through the entire conference were Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, recently retired from the post of Archbishop of Cebu City; Archbishop Jose S. Palma, his successor; Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila; Archbishop Tomash Peta, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Kazakhstan; Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands; Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Director of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life; and Bishop Nerio P. Odchimar, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The two and a half days of talks stretched from early Saturday to noon on Monday. We had eleven different talks, and the open forum discussions were extensive. As usual, the most important work happened behind the scenes with meetings and networking.

One of our speakers was Congressman Roilo Golez, the author of House Bill 13, which would protect all human life from fertilization. He presented me with a thick pile of papers proving statistically that the main causes of high maternal mortality in the provinces of the Philippines is not the lack of “safe” abortion, but a lack of attended childbirth. But the population controllers do not care about this; all they want is fewer Filipinos.

Cardinal Rosales encouraged all of us during his homily at the closing Mass of the Congress, emphasizing that prayer and action are both needed in the world today. We also outlined our plans for the next Congress, which will be held in Kazakhstan in September of 2011.

This was definitely the most productive trip we have had to the Philippines. More than 500 people attended the Congress, and there were more high-ranking Church officials there than at any other HLI conference we have ever held. We also helped achieve more strategic goals than at any other conference, the most important being the organization of the pro-life leaders of the entire nation to fight the Reproductive Health Bill.

To lose the Philippines to the culture of death would not only be a devastating blow to the morale of pro-lifers all over the world, it would open the floodgates to funds pouring in to devastate Filipino families. So we are appealing to all of our friends to support our efforts in the Philippines with generous donations. Please also pray fervently for the future of the Philippines. If the RH Bill passes, there will be abortion mills all over the country within three years, and the soul of this most Catholic nation will quickly wither and die. The West will have occupied the Philippines yet again, but this time the occupation would be in the form of anti-life resources and structures that would destroy what is so beautiful and unique about this great country: its faithful and joyful families, and indeed, its future.

Join us – don’t let it happen!

Sincerely,

Brian Clowes, PhD

Director of Research and Training
Human Life International

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Catholic Apologist Steve Ray visits Manila and Davao

From Bro. Marwil N. Llassos, O.P. of the Knight of Mary blog:

My dear friend, MR. STEPHEN K. RAY (popularly known as STEVE RAY) a Baptist convert to Catholicism and now a world-renowned Catholic apologist will be in the Philippines for a series of talks. This author and producer of the series FOOTPRINTS OF GOD will arrive on July 9, 2010.

Steve Ray will speak to the seminarians of San Carlos Seminary on July 10, 2010 (8:00 a.m.). He will then be the main lecturer during the Apologists Forum on the same day at Virra Mall from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On July 12, 2010, Steve Ray will talk about Mary from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the chapel of Megamall.

The next day, July 13, 2010, Steve Ray will talk at San Pedro Poveda College from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and to the Couples for Christ from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. On July 14, 2010, Steve Ray will preach at Rosehill at 8:00 a.m.

From July 15 to 17, 2010, Steve Ray will have a series of talks in Davao City.

He will be back in Manila on July 18, 2010 to talk before a large crowd at the Philippine International Convention Center from 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Then on July 19-21, Steve Ray will give talks at St. James the Great Parish in Ayala Alabang, from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. He will also give a talk at De La Salle Zobel from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on July 19-21, 2010.

For schedule of the series of talks of popular preacher Mr. Steve Ray, please call Totus Bookstore at (02) 7234326.

Update: Steve Ray talks about Mama Mary on DZMM this Sunday at 8:30 pm. You can listen to him on radio, or you can watch him on DZMM Teleradyo on Skycable or you can watch the video stream live at http://www.dzmm.com.ph/dzmm-stream.html. Mark your calendar.

CBCP recognizes the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFC-FFL) of Frank Padilla

MANILA, October 26, 2009—The Episcopal Commission on the Laity (ECLA) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has given formal recognition to the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFC FFL) as a National Private Association of the Lay Faithful.

In accordance with Canons 321-320 of the Code of Canon Law, the recognition was approved by the Chairman of ECLA and Antipolo bishop Gabriel Reyes.

“May Our Lord Jesus Christ… continue to bless abundantly the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life as an instrument for the sanctification and strengthening of the family,” Reyes said.

In another development, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has re-appointed CFC FFL Servant General Francisco Padilla and his wife Geraldine Padilla as members of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The servant couple will be extending their term as council members for another five years.

CFC FFL is an organization of faithful committed to the work of evangelization and family life renewal

It envisions for restoration, perpetuation and intensification of the true Couples for Christ charism that is focused on “evangelization and family life renewal.” (Kate Laceda of CBCP News)

Pro-Life Philippines will hold a youth congress on the demerits of the Reproductive Health Bill

MANILA, September 24, 2009—While the proponents of the Reproductive Health bill try to convince the House of Representatives to pass the much debated legislation, the advocacy group Pro-life Philippines will hold a similar session except that it will discuss the demerits of the proposed law in a congress attended not by lawmakers but by Catholic youth who were reared to value life and practice morality.

An afternoon learning about the pro-life way of life awaits the 500 participants of Pro-life’s youth congress, which will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. on October 24 at the Parks and Wildlife center in Quezon City.

According to Xavier Padilla, secretary of the board of trustees of the organization, Pro-life Philippines planned the congress in the light of certain anti-life issues that have been making news in the country.

“The past years have been eye-openers to the plight of people who love life. There have been constant attacks and obstacles to promoting life and family as important. There is a continuous barrage of media messages pushing contraception, pre- and extra- marital sex. There is a non-stop push for the legalization of abortion and other such methods of terminating life at its early stages; and there is also a global decline of those who care and fight for the sanctity of life—in all its forms,” he said.

Padilla was referring to the continuous heated debates on the Reproductive Health bill and other legislations pushing for legalization of contraception and abortion, adding that the youth congress will be a timely gathering where the youth can be guided in keeping their Catholic values and morality intact against the propaganda of pro-choice mentality.

“It is time to show our youth what it means to be pro-life. Teach them the values of keeping life precious. And empower them to bring this message and lifestyle to their own daily lives,” said Padilla, who is also from the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life.

Padilla invited the youth to join the congress, which will be attended by Environment and Natural ResJources Secretary Jose “Lito” Atienza, Jr., who is also the president of Pro-life Philippines.

In lieu of an admission fee, participants are encouraged to bring canned goods and other donations in kind that can be given to victims of recent calamities.

For more information, please contact the Pro Life Philippines office at life@prolife.org.ph or via fax at 734-9425. Interested attendees call the organization 733-7027 or 0919-2337783 and look for Ellen or Malou. (Kris Bayos)

Source: CBCP News