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Access level constrains in php5 really suck

I can't understand why I'm being forced to keep the access level of a class's method when I extend it.

class SomeFactory extends PEAR_Delegator {
    protected function __construct() {
    public static function instance() {

... would make perfectly sense IVHMO. But it throws ...

"Fatal error: Access level to ActivePdo_Relation::__construct()
must be public (as in class PEAR_Delegator)"

What's the reasoning behind this?

That's because I'm "doing something terribly wrong", is it? Not the "php way"? Boy, this sucks.