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Pray for Duterte Philippine bishops say

MANILA (UCAN): Catholic bishops in the Philippines have asked people to pray for the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, so that he can be “healed and forgiven” and not to engage him in a war of words after he called God stupid and found fault with the creation story during a summit in Davao on June 22 (Sunday Examiner, July 1).
 
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, a vocal critic of the president, said on June 27 that Duterte “could be a victim of his scarred past and his wounded background.”

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Philippine Church leaders denounce killing of priests

MANILA (UCAN): Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila, said “freedom is fake” because people are “toying around with justice” amid the spate of killings in the country as Church leaders in the Philippines railed against the attacks and killings of members of the clergy in recent months.
 
“We repeat: It is against the will of God to destroy life. Killing is not a solution to personal and societal problems,” said the cardinal in his Philiippine Independence Day message on June 12.
 

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Duterte descends to slandering the dead

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, the Philippines condemned speculation by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, in which he attempted to insinuate that the murdered priest, Father Mark Anthony Ventura, was having an affair with eight women. 
 
The bishop lamented that Father Ventura had been murdered a “second time” by the comments. 
 

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Don’t use violence or spill blood but share life say Philippine bishops

MANILA (UCAN): “Today, many follow the ‘kings’ who use violence, arms and intimidation, but are without any understanding and oneness with the weak,” Luis Cardinal Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said during Passion Sunday celebrations to start Holy Week in the Philippines.
 
In his homily during an early-morning Mass for the blessing of the palms, the cardinal poured scorn on leaders who are “full of cockiness and devoid of humility.”
 

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Politicans rapped for amending term limits

MANILA (UCAN): Circumventing the limits to terms of office established by the constitution “would be a grave moral wrong and a tremendous injustice,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said in a pastoral statement in mid-January in which he protested the decision of the Philippine Congress to amend the constitution to extend the terms of office of elected officials.
 

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Lord heal our broken land

MANILA (SE): Thousands of people flocked down EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos) Avenue in Manila on November 5 retracing the footsteps of the massed crowds that formed the giant demonstration of People Power in 1986, forcing the president at the time, Ferdinand Marcos, to allow himself to be removed from the country by the United States of America.
 

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Beware the leaven of fake news bishops say

MANILA (SE): In a June 25 statement Bishop Ruperto Santos, from Balanga, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, described fake news as a form of escapism to spread lies, UCAN reported. 
 
“False news is sinfulness,” he said, reminding Filipino workers abroad “to avoid false promises.”
 

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The last of a Catholic nation in Asia?

HONG KONG (SE): “Some of my friends in other countries say that they are worried about the government in The Philippines,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Philippine bishops’ conference, says in his message for Easter, but while he admits he is not worried about the government, he confesses he is worried about the Filipino people.

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Defending self not the country

MANILA (SE): The bishops of The Philippines regret that there seems to be a language gap between them and their shoot-from-the-hip president, Rodrigo Duterte, as they say they both aspire to achieving the same benefits for the country, but cannot seem to agree on anything.

There certainly is a language gap, as the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, admitted some months ago.

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The hero is the villain

MANILA (SE): “The hero is now the villain,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in lamenting what he termed the new spirit of a now splintered EDSA Remembrance Day.

“History books are rewritten. Historical memory is revised. The hero is the villain. The plunderers are now the heroes,” he said in pointing out that the real spirit of what was a bloodless coup just 31 years ago has evaporated into a relentless killing spree of the poor in the name of change.

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