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Philippine bishops break silence on ‘disturbing issues’

MANILA (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines broke what it described as a “collective silence” over “many disturbing issues” that have confronted the country in recent months.
 
In a pastoral statement issued at the end of their biennial meeting in Manila on January 28, the bishops asked forgiveness “for the length of time that it took us to find our collective voice.” 
 

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Relic of St. Camillus in the Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): The heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis, patron of the sick, doctors, nurses, and health workers, is set to arrive in the Philippines on February 2 and remain in the country until the end of March.
 
Bishop Oscar Florencio, of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, called the visit a “grace from God.”
 
In October last year, thousands of Filipino Catholics welcomed the heart relic of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
 

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Philippine lawmakers backpedal on child criminal bill

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine lawmakers were forced to make a compromise in their attempt to lower the minimum age of criminal liability amid fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and child rights advocacy groups. They approved a bill to set criminal responsibility starting at 12 years old during its second reading on January 23.
 
Earlier, on January 19, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, called the bill “un-Christian.”
 

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Manifestations of God’s mercy

Edita T. Burgos
 
The start of the year is always an occasion to reflect on one’s directions and goals. Recollection, reflections and discernment of the past year during the Advent season becomes the springboard for the year’s plans.
 








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Imee Marcos rebuked for trying to politicise Sinulog festival

MANILA (UCAN): Tomas Osmeña, mayor of Cebu, in the central the Philippines, rapped Imee Marcos, daughter of former president and late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, for attempting to politicise the city’s celebration of the feast of the Child Jesus, or Sinulog festival.
 
On January 18, authorities took down a huge poster of Marcos, who is a candidate for senator in this year’s mid-term elections. 
 

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Mindanao votes on creation of new Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN): Muslims and Christians in the southern Philippines cast their votes on January 21 on whether to approve Bangsamoro Organic Law which will expand the current Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.
 
The creation of a new political entity in the predominantly Muslim region is part of a peace deal entered into by the Philippine government with Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.
 

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Children are the victims of a globalised world economy

The Philippines is a country with some of the greatest inequity in the world. Sixteen million Filipinos suffer serious poverty out of a population of 107 million. Six million live in extreme poverty. 
 








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Cardinal appeals to doubting Christians in Mindanao

MANILA (UCAN): Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato, called on Christians to support the proposed creation of an autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines, saying it will address “historical injustices” committed against the people of Mindanao.
 
He said it was unfortunate that many Christians in the region want to reject the the Bangsamoro Organic Law which aims to facilitate the creation of a new political entity for the Moro people.
 

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Thousands turn out for pre-election prayer rally

MANILA (UCAN): The challenge is “for everyone to be on guard and always to maintain peace,” Father Lucio Rosaroso Jr., vicar-general for the police from the Military Ordinariate, said, as an estimated 6,000 of people, from religious leaders, policemen, soldiers, students and poll candidates turned out for a unity walk whih culminated in interfaith prayer rally at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Quezon City, the Philippines, on January 13. 
 

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Philippine Churches fear escalation of conflict

MANILA (UCAN): Failure of the Philippine government and communist rebels into enter into peace talks risks an escalation of violence and rights’ abuses, the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, an ecumenical group of Churches, has warned.
 

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