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Church must tackle drug menace

HONG KONG (SE): “In the name of God, stop the killings! May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings! For the good of the country, stop the killings! The toll of ‘murders under investigation’ must stop now”, was the cry for peace from Bishop Socrates Villegas, the archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, urging the Duterte administration for a stop to the killing of drug suspects. 
 

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Philippine democracy under threat

The young man, Jake, 22-year-old and single laughed when I asked him whom he voted for in the local elections for mayor. He said he abstained, but he went to the house of the mayor and received a payment all the same. “Why not?”, he reasoned, “It was for free everyone was going there.” 
 

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Continued martial law in Mindanao legal Supreme Court says

MANILA (UCAN): The Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled on February 6 that there were sufficient grounds for the extension of military rule in the region following a terrorist attack in the city of Marawi last year.
 
“Public safety requires the extension (of martial law) as shown by facts presented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the Supreme Court ruling said.
 

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Philippine priests need improved formation

CEBU CITY (UCAN): Beniamino Cardinal Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, said priests should “undertake, in a unique way, ongoing human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation” in his message to four-day National Conference of Seminary Formators on the Promotion of the New Ratio held in Cebu City, the Philippines, at the end of January.
 
The cardinal said Filipino priests need to discover wider horizons in their evangelisation work.
 

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Lenten dispensation for Manila’s Chinese Catholics

MANILA (UCAN): Luis Cardinal Tagle of Manila, issued a circular granting dispensation from the Lenten discipline abstaining from meat on the first Friday of Lent to Chinese Catholics in the archdiocese of Manila as this year, it falls on February 16, the first day of Chinese New Year in 2018.
 

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Those displaced by eruption in urgent need

LEGAZPI (Agencies): Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi said providing food for 84,000 people has become a “tall order” especially because of the constant threat posed by the erupting Mayon Volcano, UCAN reported on February 6.
 
The bishop said that Church leaders and government officials have been cooperating closely over the past few days to provide for the needs of displaced residents.
 

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Philippine bishop requests image and relic of Japanese blessed

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag wants an image of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, a Japanese candidate for sainthood, to be enshrined in his church in the town of Badoc in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte. 
 
Blessed Takayama, who was a kirishitan daimyo and samurai, died in Manila in 1615 after fleeing the persecution of Christians in Japan.
 

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Bill seeks civil recognition of Church annulment of marriage

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippines’ Lower House of Congress is fast-tracking a bill that seeks to recognise as civilly legal and binding the nullification and annulment of marriages by the Catholic Church. The House of Representatives approved the bill on its second reading on January 24. 
 
Once the proposed measure becomes law, a declaration of nullity by the Catholic Church will hold as much weight and have the same effect as a court decreed civil annulment.
 

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Church leaders appeal for help as Mayon volcano blows top

ALBAY (UCAN): Caritas Philippines has appealed for donations for the relief and rehabilitation of families affected by the ongoing eruption of Mount Mayon in the Albay province.
 
As at January 25 over 70,000 people had been evacuated to temporary shelters as the volcano started spewing columns of ash as high as 10 kilometres into the atmosphere.
 

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Cardinal calls for digital detox

MAKATI (SE): “Some people are proposing a digital detox… I don’t know how to do it. But they say, through silence, return to reflection and prayer life,” said Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the archbishop of Manila on January 19, CBCPNews reported.
 

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