October 11, 2010

The president of the Philippine bishops’ conference said the Church was open to dialogue with President Benigno Aquino III about his proposal to distribute contraceptives.

The prelate also denied media reports that he threatened to excommunicate the president.

Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, conference president, noted “the prevailing sentiment of a number of bishops was that of dismay and frustration over the reported stance of the president regarding artificial contraceptives.”

“I maintained that the traditional position of the Church is that human life starts at conception and not at implantation.

Some contraceptive pills and devices are abortifacient.

Any completed act to expel or kill the fertilized ovum is considered to be an act of abortion,” Odchimar said in a statement.

Aquino announced during a late-September U.S. visit that his government “might provide assistance to those who are without means if they want to employ a particular (family planning) method.”