Catholic bishops in the Philippines on Tuesday warned they would support protests against President Benigno Aquino if he pushed through with his plan to promote contraception.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said it was offended by Aquino’s statement on Monday in which he said his government would provide artificial birth control methods to the poor.
"It is their right to manifest their protest in any legal or moral way," said Father Melvin Castro, a spokesman for the bishops.
Although not directly looking to march (the bishops) in the streets they would be morally supporting and encouraging such protests. An executive secretary of the bishops commission on Family and life said “church lay leaders were already meeting to plan their protests”.
The catholic church which has over 80% of the population of the Philippines as its followers still remains opposed to any artificial birth control even though in recent surveys over 60% of the population of the Philippines is in favour of such controls.
Aquino comes from a strong Catholic family where his mother the late Corazon Aquino was a strong political ally of the church. Aquino mainly won his vote on anti corruption grounds in May of this year taking office during June.
A statement made on Monday Aquino said his government would provide contraceptives to poor couples, to curb the Philippines’ high birth rate. He went on to say the bishops wielded considerable power in the Philippines where they often lock horns with officials who promote contraceptives.
This could be the change in tide if followed through that could break the poverty cycle for many as well as put the church back into a place of worship instead of meddling in politics.