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Lord Heal Our Land

MANILA (SE): “The killings continue to rise. The divisions seem to widen even more. The indifference to the violations of the commandments of God is spreading. We must not give up,” the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said in issuing a prayer to be said at all Masses on August 25.

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Bishop cries for lost humanity

MANILA (SE): Will the Filipino people progress from being a generation of drug addicts to a generation of street murderers is the question the lonely voice in the episcopal wilderness of Archbishop Socrates Villegas asked his flock at all Masses in his archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in The Philippines on August 7.

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Bishops’ language doesn’t talk

MANILA (SE): The bishops of The Philippines began their 113th plenary meeting at the Pius XII Centre in Pasay City on July 9 comparing themselves with the biblical voice crying in the wilderness and Archbishop Socrates Villegas lamenting that bishops’ language no longer talks to the people, saying they find it archaic.

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Call to axe two bishops

Manila (SE): A diehard supporter of president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, is calling on people to support a petition to have Archbishop Socrates Villegas and his predecessor in Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Oscar Cruz, fired.

An online petition signed by Lorbertson Borres Jr. was posted on change.org on May 26 and by 5.00pm on May 28 had garnered 8,394 signatures.

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Vigilant collaboration with new government Philippine bishops say

MANILA (Agencies): Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines (CBCP), issued a post-election statement saying that the Church promises “vigilant collaboration” with winning candidates.

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Mercy does not have to wait for guidelines

MANILA (UCAN): “Mercy cannot wait. Mercy should not wait,” the Philippine bishops said in response to the exhortation of Pope Francis, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), released at the Vatican on April 8.

In a pastoral letter issued on April 10, the bishops said that even before they can come up with concrete guidelines on the implementation of the exhortation, everybody must open welcoming arms to those who have kept themselves out of the Church.

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Appeal for pro-life vote

MANILA (SE): The Church in The Philippines has issued an all-out call to people to vote pro-life in the upcoming May 9 election.

In a strong letter dated March 31, the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, says that it is a grave sin to vote for a candidate who opposes the Lord’s teachings on the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

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Casinos and bank heists

MANILA (Agencies): The casino industry in The Philippines is growing at an alarming rate, as it encourages the activities that corrupt politicians can easily profit from; money laundering, drug running and prostitution—all of which assuredly are more fun in The Philippines.

The Philippine bishops have released a statement in the wake of a US$81 million ($627 million) bank heist that saw the money spirited away from Bangladesh to a commercial bank in the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

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Bishops’ policy on sex abuse

MANILA (SE): The bishops of The Philippines have assured the public of their cooperation with civil authorities on cases of sexual abuse by priests.

In a pastoral letter entitled Pastoral Exhortation on the Pastoral Care and Protection of Minors, published on February 6, they said they are determined to make sure the Church is always a safe environment for all people, especially children.

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Searching for the light of Christmas

HONG KONG (SE): A longing for peace, security and the freedom to be ourselves dominated messages from religious and world leaders in the run up to Christmas in 2015, with the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, saying in his message to the city that peace is becoming more tenuous and seems to be moving beyond the stretch of our fingers.

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