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Philippine Bishops Clash Over Gambling

19 Oct 2004

PHILIPPINES – As reported by the (Philippine) ABS-CBN News: "Two leaders of the Roman Catholic Church on Monday clashed on how the bishops should view gambling—whether legal or illegal—with one saying it is alright to deal with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and the other saying there can be no exception.

"Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said he sees nothing wrong in referring poor people to PAGCOR for financial help.

"…He admitted that it may look like the Church is compromising its stand against gambling, but added that PAGCOR can serve as a last resort for poor Filipinos.

"…Former CBCP president and Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Dagupan disagreed.

"Cruz, who has been calling for PAGCOR's abolition, denied that the CBCP has no common stand on all forms of gambling.

"He cited three statements from the bishops' organization released in 1972, 1996 and 2003—all saying that the CBCP is against all forms of legal and illegal gambling…"

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