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Ignore Duterte tirades archbishop says

Manila (UCAN): In a New Year message framed as an open letter to his godson, Seth, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, former head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, called on people to ignore repeated rants against the Church by the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“Do not listen to him who tells you it is useless to go to church and attend Mass. Whoever teaches you that is an anti-Christ and there are many of them, including those who look at it is a joke,” the archbishop.

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At least 21 million expected at Black Nazarene transfer

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine Church officials are expecting at least 21 million devotees to attend this year’s observance of the Traslacion (solemn transfer) of the Black Nazarene in Manila on January 9.
 
At least five million were expected to join the Traslacion, the procession in which image of the Nazarene is transferred from the Quirino Grandstand to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene—also called Quiapo Church—about three kilometres away.
 

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A test of will for Philippine Church leaders

MANILA (UCAN): It was a test of will and determination to be witnesses of the gospel in the face of the attacks, and even threats to the lives, of both Catholic and Protestant Church leaders in the Philippines.
 
The year 2018 saw members of the clergy being vilified for being corrupt, for being child abusers, and even for having alleged links with drug syndicates and communists.
 

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Filipino advocate wins global environment rights award

KORONADAL CITY (UCAN): Rene Pamplona, a former Church worker and advocate from province of South Cotabato in Mindanao, the Philippines, is the recipient of this year’s Alexander Soros Foundation Award for Environmental and Human Rights Activism.
 
Pamplona garnered the award for his years of work with tribal communities opposing large-scale mining operations, said he was “surprised and humbled by the recognition. The award is a validation of the issues that we’ve been fighting for on the ground for a long time.” 

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Duterte threatens to put tribal people in hamlets

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, warned that he will place tribal people in “hamlets” to keep them from being influenced by communist rebels in a speech on December 18. 
 
“I will hamlet them. Why? Because if they remain scattered, they are really in danger,” Duterte said during a summit of village leaders in the southern region of Mindanao.
“I cannot get their loyalty if they are scattered because they are afraid to be far from each other,” the president said.
 

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Justice for abused children

Hundreds of children are sexually abused in the Philippines daily and millions are abused around the world. Strict justice is needed and an unrelenting crackdown on child abusers is what is needed to protect children from sexual abuse.
 








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Philippine Church rejects placing historic bell in museum

Manila (UCAN): The bishop and clergy of the Diocese of Borongan in Samar, the Philippines have voiced opposition to a government plan to keep one of three bells originally plundered as war trophies by United States (US) military forces from the church in the town of Balangiga in October 1901, during the Philippine-American War.
 
The bells were returned by the US on December 11.
 

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Martial law in Mindanao extended a third time

MANILA (UCAN): The Mindanao, the Philippines, and its approximately 25.5 million population will remain under military rule for another 12 months, or until the end of 2019 after joint session of Congress on approved a request by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to extend martial law across the region on December 12.
 
Voting 235 in favour, 28 against, and with one abstention, the country’s senators and congressmen also extended the government’s ability to arrest “persons of interest” without a warrant until 31 December 2019.

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Manila Cathedral celebrates 60th anniversary

MANILA (UCAN): “The most important thing is the gospel of the Lord bringing us forgiveness and reconciliation with one another,” Thomas Aquinas Manyo Cardinal Maeda of Tokyo, Japan, said as he led the 60th anniversary celebrations marking the reconstruction of Manila Cathedral, which was destroyed by Japanese and American forces during the Second World War.
 
During the December 8 event, Cardinal Maeda, who was representing Pope Francis, expressed hope that the Philippines and Japan would continue to forge stronger ties.
 

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Duterte called out for attacking Church

MANILA (UCAN): Catholics in the Philippines are not letting relentless attacks on the Church and its leaders by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, go unchallenged.
 
The influential Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the Council of the Laity, said “more than ever, (Catholics) are called upon to live a life worthy of our Christian vocation.”
 
The lay organisation has called on Catholics “to stand up for God and defend our faith in Him ... (and) renew our commitment to go and fill our churches.”

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