By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

MANILA, April 8, 2010 ( – A press release from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has warned the public to “become wary of a catholic group that endorses the use of condoms.”

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes has called on Catholics to be cautious of the Washington D.C.-based pro-abortion group called Catholics for Choice (CFC), which has given its full support to the recent condom distribution program of the Department of Health (DoH).

“Be wary of this group. Let us not allow ourselves to be misled. The Church has been clear from the beginning why it is against the condom program of the DoH,” the bishop said.

Bishop Bastes said the CFC's advocacy of abortion and contraception “is against the will of God, against the teaching of the Church. We have to respect life which God has given us. We cannot simply play with the divine power of human reproduction, that’s why the Catholic Church is really against it.”

The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines have condemned the government's initiative to distribute free condoms in an attempt to fight the spread of HIV and STDs in Manila and other regions of the country, as well as the introduction of mandatory sex education in the country's schools.

The distribution of condoms started on 13 February this year, in anticipation of St. Valentine's day, which critics of the program said was a duplicitous way of promoting promiscuity.

In response, Bishop Bastes called on church groups to take to the streets to protest.

“Church organizations (such as) Knights of Columbus, Couples for Christ, Catholic Women’s League and the Parents and Teachers Association should unite. This (government policy) is destroying our country. We have the right to protest. Let’s take it to the streets,” the bishop said in an article on the CBCP website.

Bishop Bastes advised Catholics to think and reflect well on their stand on condom distribution.

“If you support condom distribution, you have to examine your life if you would remain Catholic. As a Catholic, you must follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. There is no such thing as half Catholic,” he said.

The bishop called on the faithful to promote marital fidelity, abstinence and responsible sexuality, and respect for life from conception, rather than encourage irresponsible sexual activity and the use of contraceptives.

“Life is a sacred gift from God. We have to value and respect it,” he said.

See related LSN articles:

Filipino Bishops: “Condoms and Irresponsible Sex Increases Spread of AIDS”

Catholic Doctors Confirm Pope's Statement: Statistics Prove Condoms Ineffective Against HIV

'Catholics for Choice' Demands Abortion in Canada's G8 Maternal Health Plan


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