Aquino to meet with Catholic bishops tonight-A A +A
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III has invited officials of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to a dinner meeting Tuesday night in Malacañang.
"It was an invitation by his household. And also him. It was at his order," said CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, adding that members of the CBCP Permanent Council are joining the meeting.
The Church and the State had a falling out in the past due to their conflicting stance on issues, particularly the controversial reproductive health law, which was signed by Aquino last December.
Asked for the meeting's purpose, the Cebu archbishop said he has no idea. "Wala kaming agenda pero palagay ko, usually common reading and stand on many issues. Kapag tinanong kami, lalabas na lang yun," said Palma.
He said that another possible discussion is the recent pastoral statement of the CBCP issued last January.
In the said pastoral statement, the CBCP had slammed the continued presence of political dynasties, pushed for the Freedom of Information Bill’s passage, rejected the passage of the Reproductive Health Law, and assailed the continued use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines in the elections.
"Inaasahan namin, dahil naglabas kami ng pastoral letter at nabasa niya, parang madami siyang gusto I-explain sa mga Obispo," said Palma.
Aside from Palma, also expected to meet with the President are Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg, Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon, Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, Kabankalan Bishop Patricio Buzon, Surigao Bishop Antonieto Cabajog , Digos Bishop Guillermo Afable, Dumaguete Bishop John Du, Msgr. Joselito Asis and Fr. Marvin Mejia. (HDT/Sunnex)