Supreme Court has “truly watered down the RH Law”, says CBCP President

By Raissa Robles - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President, Archbishop Socrates B. Villages, issued today the statement below to "encourage our Catholic faithful to maintain respect and esteem for the Supreme Court."

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Prayers in the storm

Church---prayers-in-the-sto

Typhoons, landslides and earthquakes; political instability, massive corruption and economic crisis. The tragedies and misfortunes that crowded the Philippines this year would be enough to shake anyone's faith in God. Anyone other than the Filipinos, that is. In Asia's only majority Catholic country, adversity and suffering drive believers closer to their church, rather than away from it.

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Pope to priests, nuns and bishops: Use “more humble” cars

By Raïssa Robles It takes a Pope to deliver the message to our Catholic bishops to live more simply. This time, Pope Francis zeroed in on the trappings of influence and power that some of our bishops are fond of. Yesterday, he told novice priests and nuns: “It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the […]

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Catholic Church in the Philippines turns openly political to crush RH Law

For the Catholic Church, the elections this May is only about one issue – the Reproductive Health Law. It is openly endorsing senatorial candidates who they think will repeal this law and conducting a negative campaign against those who had approved the law or now openly back it. To contribute to the raging political discussion on this issue, I would […]

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Illegally parked priest asks for his parishioners’ forgiveness

By Raïssa Robles Although he wouldn’t talk to me. Last Tuesday, I wrote about Reverend Father Jose Eliseo Buenviaje who had illegally parked his car despite a “no parking” sign, while prominently displaying the sign “Priest on Call” on his windshield. My reporter’s instinct told me it was the priest driving the car. A number of commenters criticized me for […]

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What, pray tell, is a “Priest on Call”?

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles Because as far as I know, from personal experience, priests are barred from making house calls. Also, they don’t get the same privilege that doctors have, sources from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) told me today. Last Sunday, while walking along Katipunan Avenue (the other side of Ateneo de Manila University), I chanced upon this […]

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Father Bernas: Can congregations’ religious feelings also be ‘notoriously offended’ by ranting priests?

By Raïssa Robles Jesuit priest-constitutionalist Joaquin Bernas poses today an intriguing question triggered by Carlos Celdran’s conviction of “notoriously offending the religious feelings” by holding up the sign “Damaso” before top bishops. Fr. Bernas wrote in his column today at the Philippine Daily Inquirer: Finally, Article 133 also raises an intriguing question: When a priest or bishop castigates or consigns […]

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Ex-Comelec chair Christian Monsod thinks Carlos Celdran is not guilty

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles Celdran was neither obnoxious or offensive. And Christian Monsod should know — he was there when Carlos Celdran staged his protest before some 20 senior Catholic bishops. “He looked like Charlie Chaplin to me”, Monsod said laughing, when I asked why he did not find Celdran’s action offensive. Chaplin is a well known American comedian and mime […]

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Criminal law professor questions constitutionality of the crime of “offending religious feelings”

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles The crime of “offending religious feelings” – for which Carlos Celdran was convicted is unconstitutional – believes Ibarra Gutierrez III, a criminal law professor at the University of the Philippines. “I don’t think it’s constitutional,” he told me in an interview.   Gutierrez gave several reasons. “First of all, it is strangely placed. It appears in […]

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