CEBU CITY, Philippines - Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal urged lawmakers to stop the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, certified urgent last week by President Benigno Aquino III.
In his homily during the first Misa de Gallo on Sunday, December 16, Vidal said God gave man a duty to serve his brethren religiously.
“Society cannot be run by consensus; it must also refer to laws higher than the will of men… For if laws are merely products of human will, and then they are nothing but claims to power,” Vidal said.
The Catholics Bishops' Conference of the Philippines is strongly opposed to the passage of the legislation that seeks to make contraceptives more accessible to the poor.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill on second reading on Monday, while the House of Representatives is expected to approve it on third and final reading also on the same day.
Aquino wants the bill signed into law before both chambers go on Christmas break on Friday.
'Observe the law of God'
Vidal asked the faithful to keep their faith: “No matter if they subvert the laws of the land to serve the whims of men, we must always observe the law of God and submit to him in every way."
The cardinal said he was disappointed with last week’s outcome in the House, when 113 congressmen voted for the passage of RH Bill, defeating 104 who voted no.
“I thought they would try their best so it [the RH Bill] would not reach the second reading. They [lawmakers] could put it down before the second reading, tapos na. Let us see in the future,” Vidal said.
The first day of the dawn Masses in Cebu on Sunday was focused on the reiteration of the Church’s stand against the controversial legislation.
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