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Bishops want Cabral’s head over condoms

First Posted 08:17:00 02/23/2010

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MANILA, Philippines?Catholic bishops continue to be on the war path against the government?s distribution of condoms, and now want Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral kicked out of office because of the project.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said a leader like Cabral should not be heading a vital government agency, since her condom-distribution program could endanger the people?s morals.

The DoH distributed free condoms on Valentine?s Day as part of its campaign to stem the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

?It is immoral for a government official to support the distribution of condoms which we know do not really reduce or stop the spread of HIV-AIDS,? Arguelles said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said Cabral should not remain as health secretary up to June, the end of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?s term.

Gutierrez said Cabral was not a good Catholic?if she was one in the first place?if she backs the distribution of the prophylactics.

?Secretary Cabral should not continue serving until June because the culture and morality of society will be endangered under her. First, she does not respect the big number of Catholics in the country who oppose the distribution of condoms. Second, is she Catholic? I doubt that she is. Because if you are a Catholic and in the government, you should be living the teachings of the Church. But she is doing the opposite,? he said.

Biblical Apostolate chairman and Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes also felt strongly about the DoH program and agreed that Cabral should resign. Bastes said condoms were not the solution to HIV-AIDS.

He said the way to stop the spread of the disease was to follow the teachings of the Church and to respect the sanctity of the human body.

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