World Meeting of Families opens

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1. Wide of Eucharistic celebration at the opening of the 4th World Conference on Families
2. Religious delegates to the conference
3. Cardinal Alfonso Trujillo (middle) – Pope John Paul II’s representative to the conference
4. Foreign delegates
5. Mass celebrant
6. Wide of altar
7. Foreign religious participants
8. Breaking of the Bread
9. Wide of conference delegates
10. Cardinal Trujillo seated
11. Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin speaking
12. Religious delegates listening
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Jaime Cardinal Sin, Manila Archbishop
“How can the family be good news when today even the basic family structure of father, mother, and child is put into question by proponents of same-sex marriages? Is the family really good news when traditional values of fidelity, and commitment are frowned upon as vestiges of an antiquated past?”
14.Delegates listening
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Jaime Cardinal Sin, Manila Archbishop
“The Holy Father states that the relationship between a man and a women – a mutual and total bond, unique and indissoluble, is part of God’s original plan, and therefore, the church cannot yield to cultural pressures, no matter how widespread and even militant, they may be”
16. Wide of small protest by gay and children outside conference venue
17. Placard “end discrimination now”, pan to gay protester
18. Banner “a parade of the Filipino family”
19. Child protester
20. Wide of protest
21. SOUNDBITE (Tagalog) Michael Urbano, Pro-gay Philippines
“When will the church and the government admit that in reality, in this world of ours, here in the Philippines and in other countries, there really are homosexuals. So, I think, in these times, we appeal that homosexuals be accepted by their families, the church and the government”
22. Police talking to protesters.


Manila’s archbishop called on Roman Catholics to promote a return to Christian family values amid a rise in broken families, divorce and same-sex marriages at an international conference in the Philippines .

More than five-thousand Catholic clergy, lay workers and the faithful were attending the triennial World Meeting of Families.

Attendance by foreigners – 475 from 82 countries – was far lower than the 4,000 originally expected, because of security concerns and Pope John Paul II cancelling his plans to attend.

Police said more than 2,000 security personnel were guarding against attacks.

In his opening address, Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jaime Sin criticised the idea that family values had become outdated.

As the conference opened inside the Philippine International Convention Centre, dozens of gays and lesbians rallied outside to protest alleged discrimination.

Church officials said gays and lesbians were welcome at the conference as long as they did not attend as couples.

Pope John Paul II originally was scheduled to attend, but the Vatican said last year that he would not come for unspecified reasons.

He is scheduled to address the gathering via a live satellite feed Saturday.

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