(CV) The largest gathering of pro-life leaders in Asia and Oceania will convene in the Philippines on November 24-26, according to the pro-life advocacy group Human Life International.
“A massive effort is underway to promote and defend life and family throughout Asia and Oceania,” stated the November 20 press release. “This assembly of life advocates is the largest of its kind in the Pacific region, encompassing participants from more than 20 countries and drawing authorities from around the globe.”
Pro-life leaders will meet in Cebu City, Philippines, for the Human Life International 23rd Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life, and Family where they will receive training and discuss pro-life leadership strategies. Human Life International, which will run the event, is a U.S.-based pro-life advocacy organization that spans more than 100 countries.
“The Philippines is one of the most Catholic countries on Earth. For this reason, Filipinos enthusiastically celebrate life and faith,” said Dr. Brian Clowes, the Director of Education and Research at Human Life International. “And thus, for three decades this island nation has been under heavy attack by the culture of death… Human Life International exists to fight these evils and to arm the people to do the same.”
According to 2023 Pew Research, there are as many Catholics in the Philippines as there are in the U.S.: about 76 million. Meanwhile, 93% of Filipinos oppose abortion on moral grounds, and two-thirds believe divorce is morally unacceptable.
“We live in a global culture that is deeply confused and holds many serious errors about the fundamental truths of human life, sexuality, marriage, and the family,” stated Human Life International President Fr. Shenan J. Boquet. “If we are to authentically cultivate and sustain a Culture of Life, we must influence those who will impact society at every level, providing formation to groups that have the greatest potential to influence the structures of society.”
“To this end, the Asia-Pacific Congress brings together leaders from across the regions of Asia and Oceania to educate participants on bioethical issues, to discuss strategies in how to address these ethical issues, and to unite the pro-life and family community,” he continued:
By asserting Catholic teaching and principles, we heal the wounds that these ethical dilemmas have created and foster authentic renewal within the institutions of marriage and family, which give shape to our global societies and cultures.”
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Dr. Ligaya Acosta worked for the Philippine Department of Health and actively promoted contraception until she was assigned to oversee Natural Family Planning in 2004.
“The extensive research I conducted, and the stories told to me by public health midwives, nurses, and doctors, brought me a firm realization that the promotion of contraceptives and population control does great damage to people and society,” said Acosta, who is now Regional Director of Asia and Oceania at Human Life International.
“The life issues are at the center of our polarized society,” said Fr. Francesco Giordano, the Director of Human Life International’s Rome office. “It is paramount that we keep them at the forefront of our teachings in the Church and in our outreach to those not yet in relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Editor's note: This article was published by CatholicVote and is reprinted with permission.