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Philippine Church says only singles should work abroad


The Catholic Church in the Philippines has said only single Filipinos should work abroad, and married couples should stay and work in the Philippines for the solidarity of their families.

Bishop Socrates Villegas in a press conference on the World Meeting of Families in Manila, to be held next year, said: "Only those without spouses and children should take up the challenge of working abroad (because the family becomes more vulnerable in the absence of parents)."

Those who leave and work abroad have a mission apart from earning money, said Villegas.

"Overseas Filipino workers have been known to practice their faith while living in a foreign land, and so they could act as missionaries to evangelise people," he said. Villegas said married couple should stay and reconsider their plans to emigrate or work abroad, because they should preserve the integrity of their families.

"This (separation of families because of one spouse working abroad) is not just a social, but a spiritual problem. It has destroyed so many families," Villegas explained.

Meanwhile, authorities in Manila have announced that Pope John Paul II will receive extra security when he visits the Philippines in January, his third trip to the Catholic country and the scene of a foiled suicide bomb attempt on his life in 1995, officials said on Sunday.

The Pope is scheduled to visit from January 23 to 26, but final confirmation "will depend on the state of his health", presidential adviser on religious and media affairs, Conrado Limcaoco, said by telephone.

LINKS
4th World Meeting of Families (Manila)
Overseas Filipino Workers Online

SOURCE
Gulf News/Reuters



1 Jul 2002