Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto, a prominent bishop from the Philippines, on Thursday said he is confident the country’s lawmakers will not pass a “reproductive health” bill that recommends a “two-child policy” and funding sterilizations and contraceptive distribution.
The 71-year-old archbishop heads the Archdiocese of San Fernando (Pampanga) and is chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Commission on Family Life, CBCP News reports.
Speaking in an interview with Catholic-run Veritas 846 Radio, he recounted his meeting with pro-life lawmakers at the Philippines’ House of Representatives, where he concelebrated a Mass.
“We asked for God’s blessing and graces that lawmakers be able to discern, pray and listen to their constituents, for them to respect the rights and dignity of their constituents, the majority of whom are Catholics,” the archbishop said, adding he believes that lawmakers will continue to believe in the moral law.
Archbishop Aniceto accused the bill of being anti-poor, claiming that the Philippines’ “human resources” are a great advantage.
“Filipinos are industrious, intelligent, creative, and just give them the opportunity to work and they make themselves productive,” he stated.
The archbishop encouraged Catholic lawmakers to support publicly the pro-life convictions of their faith.
Since they were elected by a great majority of Catholic voters, he said, “It is expected they will listen to their conscience and remember the Ten Commandments.”
He alleged that pharmaceutical companies have backed the lobbyists for the bill, as they expect huge profits from the sale of contraceptives, according to CBCP News.
Further, Archbishop Aniceto claimed European countries and even the Americas have begun to suffer from a “demographic winter” in which the elderly population significantly outnumbers the younger demographic.