CBCP clears air on excommunication issue for P-Noy

October 13, 2010 7:16 am 

MANILA, Oct. 12 – There was no intention on the part of the Catholic Church to excommunicate President Benigno Aquino III over the issue of artificial birth control.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) cleared Monday during a meeting with the President at the Bahay Pangarap in Malacanang.

The meeting between the prelates and the Chief Executive was confirmed by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a news briefing Tuesday.

Present in the meeting according to Lacierda were His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop of Cebu; Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag; Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Imus; and Most Rev. Antonio Ledesma, Bishop Prelate of Ipil.

Representing the government he said were Presidential Management Staff chief Julia Abad, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman and Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

During the discussions, Lacierda said the prelates made it clear that there was no intention to excommunicate the Chief Executive, which stemmed from previous allegations that the President supports artificial birth control measures.

“The dialogue was very pleasant. Yun po ang description ng Pangulo sa atin, he was able to mention his position at saka maayos naman po ang pag-uusap so it will lead to further dialogue pa,” said Lacierda.

He added that President Aquino, for his part, explained to church officials his stand on responsible parenthood.

“He repeated his position at wala siyang pinapanigan,” explained Lacierda.

The President also clarified that he is not supporting any form of artificial method of family planning. Both parties, according to Lacierda, realized that it would be better for them to communicate directly to each other.

“They decided to appoint coordinating persons from both sides. Bishop Odchimar was appointed lead person for the Church while Secretary Abad will be his counterpart on the side of the government,” he said.

Lacierda noted that one of the most important results of the dialogue was that the communication lines of both sides are now open. (PNA) vcs/PCOO/jcl/utb

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