MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles® ) – The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) announced today that it was seceding from The Vatican over recent pronouncements by Pope Francis.
The final straw for the Filipino bishops was the pope’s instruction allowing priests to absolve Catholics of the sin of abortion.
In a statement, CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the Church still considers abortion a mortal sin and that aborting a baby merits excommunication. Villegas said, “Choosing to terminate innocent, unborn life is not among a woman’s options, because her right to privacy and to make decisions about herself do not extend to the life in her womb, over which she enjoys no dominion at all.”
Other papal pronouncements that led to the decision of CBCP to cut ties with The Vatican include welcoming homosexuals and divorced (and remarried) Catholics into the fold of the church.
The Philippines, home to 100 Million people, about three quarters of whom are Catholics, is the only remaining country where divorce is still illegal. Homosexuality, while largely tolerated, is still frowned upon by many.
CBCP will soon convene a local Synod of Bishops to elect a titular head that will be fully independent of The Vatican. It will be held at the Philippine Arena, owned by the second largest religious group in the country, Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).
Filipino Catholics are looking forward to the white smoke that will billow out of the arena to signal the election of a Filipino pontiff.
The Adobo Chronicles® will be bringing you live coverage of the Manila Synod.