SAN PABLO City, Feb. 5, 2011—The church leader in San Pablo diocese has urged his more than 2.6 million Catholic constituents to pray the Oratio Imperata for the “Respect of All Human Life” daily starting this week until the Reproductive Health Bill pending in Congress has been totally rejected.

San Pablo Bishop Leo M. Drona in a Circular Letter mandated that in all Masses all over Laguna, the Oratio Imperata be prayed again after the Post Communion prayer.

“All parishes are obliged to pray the mandatory prayer until the RH Bill and all similar bills currently pending at Congress have been rejected,” he said.

The Oratio Imperata was also prayed throughout the diocese last Christmas day 2010 until January 2011 to protest the RH bill.

Meanwhile, the prelate said, in support of the latest Pastoral Letter of the Philippine Bishops urging Catholics nationwide to reject the Reproductive Health Bill pending in congress, the diocese is also launching a massive Signature Campaign among its Catholic constituents to oppose the bill and respect human life.

In his circular, Drona exhorted the Clergy, Religious and Members of the Laity of the Diocese to support the Diocesan Commission on Family Life which will spearhead the province-wide signature campaign against the RH Bill.

“We urge the Episcopal vicars and all the vicars forane to see to it that this signature campaign is well-received in all parishes. This will be our proof that the laity of the Diocese rejects the RH Bill,” the Bishop wrote.

The prelate also directed vicars forane all over the diocese to organize simultaneous preliminary Walk for Life Prayer Rallies in the vicariates level between last week of February and March as a prelude to the province-wide Walk for Life 2011 slated on March 26 and spearheaded by the Knights of Columbus.

“We are requiring all Parish Pastoral Council Officers, under the direction of their respective parish priests, to mobilize a huge number of their co-parishioners and to actively participate in the Diocesan Walk for Life Rally on March 26 which will be held at 6:00 a.m. at the patio of the San Pablo Cathedral. This will be our collective response against the threat of the pending passage of the RH Bill in Congress,” Drona said.

The Bishop urged all priests in the diocese to “read in its entirety the Pastoral Letter of the Bishops (CBCP) in all Masses this February 5 and 6 (Saturday and Sunday) in place of their regular Sunday homily. Since the month of February is Pro-Life month, we are (also) obliging all priests and deacons in the diocese to expound some of the important points of the Pastoral Letter in their homilies on the preceding Sundays of February.”

Drona also mandated all Catholic schools in the Diocese to organize within the month of February conferences, seminars, catechesis explaining the official stand of the bishops, making sure that this is explained not only to students and teachers but also to the students’ parents and guardians.

According to figures from the 2009 Catholic Directory of the Philippines, there are 73 Catholic elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Laguna, with some 38,856 students.

The same source also revealed that there are more than 2.6 million Catholic constituents in the Diocese of San Pablo. (Fr. Romulo O. Ponte)