Catholics urged: Pray for SC to declare RH law unconstitutional

A CATHOLIC prelate has urged his fellow bishops to ask the faithful to pray for the Supreme Court (SC) to declare the Reproductive Health (RH) law as unconstitutional in its summer session in Baguio City on Tuesday.

"Make it a part of the prayer of the faithful in every mass until the end of the celebration and decision on the RH law," said Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, meanwhile, called on churches in his diocese to hold simultaneous prayer vigils on Monday evening for the same reason.

“The Diocese of Bacolod has been consistent in its defense of the sanctity of human life in the face of the evil of Reproductive Health policy that some of our government leaders have been staunchly advocating,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

Navarra also ordered that at noontime of April 7 and April 8, all the churches must ring their bells as the faithful pray for the intercession of the Blessed Mother that the SC justices will be enlightened on the real objective of Republic Act 10354.

Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Parish, said they will also hold a prayer vigil on April 7 at 7 p.m. at the San Sebastian Cathedral courtyard.

The church will peal bells every hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. of April 8 as the Prayers to the Divine Mercy and the Oratio Imperata against the RH Law are recited.

During the prayer vigil, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed with the faithful praying the holy rosary.

Fr. Kunegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, urged the young to oppose the implementation of the law since it would have a big effect on their future.

Akbayan party-list, for its part, will bring a bus load of RH advocates to Baguio on the midnight of April 8 to join other RH supporters in what it deemed as the “final battle” to defend the law, which guarantees the delivery of RH services such as sexuality education among teenagers and distribution of artificial contraceptives.

Enacted in December 2012, the RH law has yet to be implemented due to the status quo ante order (SQAO) issued by the High Court in March 2013.

The law was seen as the Aquino administration’s answer to high infant and maternal deaths, teenage pregnancies and even rising cases of human immunodeficiency virus infections but the Catholic hierarchy, its staunch critic, said it must be junked for allegedly violating constitutional principles on abortion, religious freedom and marriage. (Virgil Lopez/FP/Sunnex)

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