Former president calls for prayer, archbishop for justice, in Manila scandal
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.- Former president of Manila, Corazon C. Aquino called the entire nation this week, to prayer over the scandal and political turmoil caused by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is charged with rigging last year’s election.

“Prayer and prayerful reflection”, the former Chief Executive said, “have never failed me or failed our country. It will not do so now. I repeat, without any embarrassment, my call for prayer and prayerful reflection so that in the days and weeks ahead the steps we take will be the right ones toward truth, justice and peace."

President Arroyo has taken steps recently to diffuse the turmoil surrounding her presidency including publicly apologizing for phoning an election official during last year's vote count, calling it a “lapse of judgment”, sending her corruption-tainted husband into exile, and removing a member of her cabinet accused of tax-evasion.

In a recent statement, Manila’s Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales added his voice to the debate saying, "despite expressions of regret, many remain angry, confused, hurt."

He also added, "Forgiveness does not eliminate the need for justice, nor should it block the search for truth,” and said, "Genuine forgiveness demands more than an apology, and those who seek forgiveness should be ready to be called to accountability."

The archbishop was quick to qualify his strong words however, adding, "any proposed solution to our present situation that relies on or leads to violence is unacceptable," and said "the pursuit of truth regarding the grave charges against leaders and officials should be conducted within the provisions of our constitution."

Use all legitimate means against anti-family laws, Spanish bishops say
MADRID – After approval by the country’s parliament of gay “marriage” and “express divorce,” the Bishops’ Conference of Spain called on the faithful “to oppose these unjust laws by all legitimate means which the rule of law” puts at their disposal.

Calling the situation “tragic and grave,” the bishops expressed hope that “Spanish society would know how to come to the defense of marriage, the family and children,” and they emphasized, “it is necessary to oppose these unjust laws through all the legitimate means which the rule of the law places at the disposal of citizens.”

“We must work so that those rights that have lost protection and have been trampled upon may again be recognized and guaranteed.  We must collaborate in the establishing of justice and abstain from all complicity with injustice.  For that, we can count on the help of God’s grace, which strengthens our hope,” the bishops stated.

They called the reforms of the Civil Code adopted by parliament “very negative for marriage,” noting that the union between one man and one woman “is no longer recognized by our laws.”

Regarding the reform of the country’s divorce laws, allowing either one of the marriage parties to finalize a divorce three months after a motion has been filed, the bishops lamented that marriage has lost it’s “legal stability” and has been “reduced to a flimsy contract.”

“Our laws, therefore, have ceased to adequately guarantee the rights of parents, children and teachers.  At the same time, by leaving the decision of whether or not to remain in a conjugal relationship to arbitrary individual freedom, they leave the marriage bond unprotected and open the legal path for the violating of the rights of the other spouse and of the children,” the bishops maintained.

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January 26, 2015

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