- Raised to the altars: one who fell for the poor
A champion of the poor or someone mixed up in politics? A man who died for the faith or because he was a political inconvenience? Archbishop Oscar Romero’s beatification today confirms his stature and illuminates his model of holiness
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Pope Francis on giving up television, speaking without thinking and refusing to cry in public
- A broken marriage still a source of grace because Christ remains in it, says Cardinal Nichols
- Church needs a reality check, says Dublin archbishop after Irish vote in favour of gay marriage
- 106 arrested over brick kiln murder of Pakistani Christian couple
- Even the gangs declared a truce for Romero’s beatification Clare Dixon in San Salvador
- Irish vote shows the Church needs to rethink its theology of sexuality Ursula Halligan
- Greatest threat to Palmyra is Western apathy Nadim Nassar
The Supreme Court in the Philippines has approved a law long fought by the country’s Catholic bishops that will make contraception freely available, make sex education compulsory in schools and provide medical care for women who have had illegal abortions.
The Reproductive Health bill requires government health centres to distribute free condoms and contraceptive pills.
But a spokesman for the Philippines’ bishops' conference said the ruling was not a “lost cause” because the court declared unconstitutional the inclusion of abortifacients as contraceptives, a requirement that church-run health facilities provide contraception, and a ban on health-care providers who refuse to offer contraception.
The court had deferred implementating the law when it was passed in December 2012 after the Catholic Church and other religious groups questioned its constitutionality.
The Philippines is about 80 per cent Catholic, and with a population approaching 100 million, has one of the highest birth rates in Asia.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Philippines’ bishops’ conference, said that although the court had upheld the Reproductive Health (RH) law, “it has truly watered down the RH law and consequently upheld the importance of adhering to an informed religious conscience even among government workers.”