Catholic Arguments against RH Bill are Spiritually Backward and Misinformed

Sith Pope

Religion and darkness... do they sometimes mix?

House Bill No. 5043, also called the RH or Reproductive Health Bill, is probably the first bill to address the overpopulation problem of the Philippines. It requires the provision of sex education as well as reproductive health services to the general populace. While this response may be a bit late, and the RH Bill is not prominent on the controversy radar, it is still relevant as the bill has not yet been passed and it continues to raise a storm of controversy, especially from the Catholic church.

I will focus on one prominent response from a Catholic entity because of how it alarmed me. Fr. Bing Arellano, spiritual director of the Alliance of the Holy Family International, posted a video response on Youtube stating why the RH Bill should be opposed. The video can be found here:

Fr. Arellano on the RH Bill

I believe each point he made deserved strong refutation, because those points are based on biased, poorly informed views and could do harm, despite the good intentions.

First, Fr. Arellano refutes the RH Bill’s two-child policy. He says the ideal family is from 5 to 7 children. Now this is only an opinion of a person, and for the church to dictate the ideal size of a family reflects an imperialistic attitude. Looking at it factually, 5 to 7 children is hardly ideal; it is more likely to put more children into poverty, given the economic condition of many families today. But the killer is this; nowhere does the RH Bill enforce a 2-child policy! It encourages two children, but “attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory.” Fr. Arellano most likely depended on hearsay and did not read the bill. And hey, if parents today actually stick to two children maximum at this time, that would be better for the country.

Next, he slammed sex education at Grade 2. And again, there is more misinformation. The text of the bill indicates Grade 5 as the real target, not Grade 2.

Fr. Arellano’s condemnation of sex education as pornography deserves treatment here. This is the reaction of a medieval mind that rejects modern reason and logic. Teaching the children about sex at an early age will nourish them on facts and correct data. Pornography is meant to be anything but educational, and it can clearly be distinguished from sex education. Sex education does not ruin the conscience of the children. Delivered properly, it can prepare them and liberate them from myths for their adolescent life.

Ah yes, myths. I for one am tired of being told that thunder is St. Peter bowling in the clouds. I’m tired of parents telling their sons that if they kiss Nene, she will be pregnant. Such myths should be silenced once and for all. Facts should be taught squarely. This is what the RH Bill is trying to solve; leaving children in the dark about sex. This opinion of Fr. Arellano probably reflects an intention of keeping people dumb so that they can be easily manipulated, which the church in the Philippines has historically been accused of.

The urgency of proper sex education is reflected by high numbers of women who don’t know what their own body parts are! A recent survey showed that a significant number of Filipinas (23-30% if I’m not mistaken) believe that the hymen is a male organ, because it has “men” in the name! These Filipinas, ages 15-24, are the real target of the RH Bill’s sex education drive. And based on what has been shown above, this is sorely needed. It’s time to teach the kids right.

Now one of the most shocking things that I heard in Fr. Arellano’s response that many children means more labor going abroadand he says that it is good! Filipinos leaving the country and becoming laborers abroad has long been recognized as a big problem. But Fr. Arellano says that it is not a problem!

Now this is a very cruel view. It says that many children should be born so they can be sent abroad as labor. It’s like slave manufacture. But the fact is that the overwhelming number of children contributes to poverty in the Philippines. It will strain the families who have more mouths to feed. The children may not even become successful laborers when they grow up because of their poverty. Fr. Arellano’s approach is to deny the problem, and to continue pushing out our people to other countries. This further demonstrates the local Catholic Church’s tendency to turn people into slaves, something that it has been doing since Spanish times.

And come to think of it, when laborers go abroad, they deprive the local economy of would-be human capital that could have helped develop local business. By pushing masses of people to go abroad, would not this sabotage the local economy? If so, the Catholic Church may be contributing to economic sabotage! A daring view, but when I connect the dots, I can’t help but reach this conclusion.

And if ever they do become laborers and get married, the laborers who go abroad tend to have extramarital affairs. Stories like these are too common for comfort. But Fr. Arellano still wants such people sent abroad, and thus the risk of extramarital affairs because of separation of spouses and family members exists. Oh wait… this… and the separation of family members! I thought the church and Fr. Arellano’s organization are family-oriented! But it encourages separating family members by sending people abroad, without considering the risk of exposing them to this risk of extramarital affairs! So the church is contradicting itself on family beliefs!

A very laughable notion is that the Philippines is the conscience of the region. Unfortunately, this is hard to prove, too easy to disprove. A country that has elected a known gambler, drunkard, womanizer and certified crime lord to the presidency could hardly be called the conscience of the region. Filipinos all over the world are notorious for shoplifting, scamming and fraud. There are stores that bar Filipinos for fear of shoplifting, and websites that do not accept credit card orders from the Philippines because of fraud. This is because Filipinos actually do these things! Moral conscience indeed!

Perhaps this is another way of saying that the Catholic Church wants to keep a strong presence in the region, because they’re trying to compete with the predominantly Muslim countries around us that are much more prosperous than we are. The church is probably scared of such countries, and like George Bush, considers all Muslims terrorists. But sorry, this is far from being a “conscience” in the region.

Fr. Arellano also believes that the RH Bill will lead to genocide. Again, this is an unthinking assertion, pure emo. Many countries have already legalized abortion, and it has not become a Holocaust like what the Nazis did in World War II. A holocaust is when so many people have been killed in one single time, like in thousands and millions. Now, would abortion in the Philippines reach that point? For me, it would be a greater holocaust to see so many children going hungry because their parents just wanted sex and didn’t care how many children they’d make from it.

There are valid arguments against the RH Bill, such as punishments when a company refuses to provide reproductive health services. This has been stated to be an attack on free enterprise, because it dictates how a company should conduct its business. I would agree that this is a part of the bill to work on. Yet I would rather let the bill pass, and the lawmakers can fix this clause later. But if you want to oppose the RH Bill, Fr. Arellano’s arguments are not the way to go.

Fr. Arellano says, “the real issue is about life.” I agree with that. But part of this real issue is to uplift the dignity of life. When children are born and left alive to be forced to suffer, their dignity is reduced. And this is equivalent to being dead. Children never asked to be born. While just not bearing children is the best choice for the couple, the problem is that Filipinos are hard-headed. They will engage in sex to enjoy themselves and forget problems even if it would lead to more problems later on because of the load of children. They even like sex with non-spouses! Thus, providing birth control measures is admittedly a stopgap solution, but it is a needed stopgap, and it will help avoid degradations of the dignity of life.

I don’t think people should worry about the RH Bill an as “abortion machine,” because it does not enforce nor require abortion. Rather, it just provides the environment for the service to be possible. In the end, the use of abortion is a personal choice that weighs on the personal conscience, not on the law.

Fr. Arellano’s response to the RH Bill is appalling. If it is the Catholic stance, it would do serious harm. It is possible that he made the response on impulse, and I do not know if he maintains the same stance today. But the impact of those ideas remains the same today; the idea that sending more people abroad is good (thus exposing the families further to separations of members) contradicts the Catholic Church’s claim to being a family-oriented church. These opinions also deny the population problem and other issues that are so clear for all to see, and will actually contribute to making people poorer.

Make no mistake, though. I am a Christian. But I doubt that Fr. Arellano’s opinions are Christ-inspired, because they only care about upholding certain “principles” at the cost of the people’s welfare. Opposing the RH Bill is not in itself wrong for me, but Fr. Arellano is certainly using the wrong reasons. If the Catholic Church supports these reasons, it is a significant contributor to the “damaged culture” of the Philippines and is one of the causes of why the country lags behind in comparison to the rest of the world. Clearly, the opinion of Fr. Arellano demonstrates how the people are kept in spiritual backwardness.

I think each one of us should make our own individual opinion and shake off the shackles of organized religion from our thinking in order to make a better decision and opinion. There are after all Catholics who support the RH Bill, and have no sear on their conscience because of it.

Informative Links:

A Catholic view saying that one can support the RH Bill with a clean conscience

Another opinion refuting Fr. Arellano’s statement

The complete text of the RH Bill

About ChinoFern

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130 Responses to Catholic Arguments against RH Bill are Spiritually Backward and Misinformed

  1. chino,

    the government should just ignore the catholic church and go ahead and do what needs to be done to address over-population.

    for its part, the catholic church should spend more time in very poor communities to see exactly how bad it gets when there are just too many mouths to feed and there’s hardly enough resources for everyone.

    if there’s anything to oppose here it is the tyranny of the catholic church.

    nice article btw.

    • ChinoF says:

      Yeah, though I consider ignoring the Catholic Church a stiff challenge for the government. The church – or at least the zealous elements – will force its muzzle into any issue where it’s challenged. And yes, at least there are Catholic charities, but don’t we wish for a country (and a world) where we won’t need these charities.

      Thanks.

  2. benign0 says:

    ignorance is what underpinned the power of the Church for centuries. And it is still trying to hold that power today by denying people much-needed clarity around certain things that have immense impacts on their lives.

    The disturbing thing is that they are willing to sacrifice the dignity of human life just to stick to the official tagline. Now that’s dogma for you — doctrine that is not subject to peer review or critical scrutiny and therefore endures beyond its actual relevance.

  3. ilda says:

    Fr. Arellano is probably a stakeholder of Procter and Gamble. The more babies are born, the more nappies will be sold 🙂

    Seriously, why would we get advise about sex from someone who (supposedly) hasn’t had any yet? They have no clue of what they are talking about!

    I actually have a simple solution. If they want to encourage population growth, the Catholic Church should fund feeding the children. Go and get some cash from the Vatican.

    Nice article Chino!

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks, Ilda.

      For a second there, I thought the priests were the ones using the nappies. LOL

      Y’know, the motivations of some people to defend flawed dogma escapes us. Even when they have no obvious personal or practice stake in the matter, they still cling to it. Dogma sometimes can be that powerful, aye… especially if it’s been around for more than a millennium. I wonder though if these guys are promised 70 virgins in heaven for being anti-RH, hehe.

      By the way, I did a little cosmetic update (pic) to the article, readers. 😛

      • ilda says:

        The Pope does have an uncanny resemblance to Emperor Palpatine – LOL

      • Homer says:

        I thought it was one of these “separated-at-birth” photos…

        …or a promo for a new film with the tagline, “Pope by day, Dark Side Emperor by night”. 😀

      • ChinoF says:

        For this kind of foe, I won’t call on Luke Skywalker anymore. I’ll call Shaider instead… he’s a lot better. hehehehe

    • Hyden Toro says:

      @ilda: Do you believe that Catholic Bishops and Priests are not getting any sex? 😆

  4. Bakunawa says:

    WTF… I think the Catholic Church is the greatest trolling institution in the country.

  5. Ma Xianding says:

    That priest Father Arellano is indeed very wrong. It is sad that a lot of ignorant people believe him.

    1. The Philippines the “moral conscience” of the Asian region?
    Chino is spot on in his response! How can The Philippines be the “moral conscience” just because it is predominantly Catholic? Yes, people go to church but (aside from electing a womanizer, being known for fraud etc…) they throw trash everywhere, they have immoral shows like Wowowee thriving in their “moral” evironment. What he said about removing the moral conscience will be like inviting the holocaust is also absurd.

    His statement “removing the moral conscience of the region will be worse than Hitler’s genocide of the Jews or Lenin/Stalin’s genocide of the Ukrainians”. How the hell did that happen? Even if The Philippines sinks to the sea right now it would not really affect the world.

    2. The Philippines is a “Catholic Constitution?” These are very ridiculous statements from a “smooth talking” slick-haired priest that people who do not know better look up to.

    3. Filipinos should have five children, seven children? He wants the population of The Philippines to more than double? That is insane! He wants Filipinos to have more children so the country can export laborers? That is the quantity of life, not the quality of life. If life has quality thene the economy will be great and dependent on innovations instead of labor exports.

    • mamyaw says:

      I think he forgot that Hitler was Catholic and was acting on his interpretations of the Bible when he led all those Jews to concentration camps and gaas chambers.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        The NAZI Concentration Camp Guard executioners; played ” Silent Night”, while the Jews and other condemned Nazi Opponents marched into the Gas Chambers. More than six million people were killed in that Holocaust. It could happen again; if we don’t watch out. The NAZIs were White Supremacists and Socialist Fundamentalists. Visit the Holocaust Museum in Israel, if you have some chance. It is a very moving learning experience. Men’s inhumanity towards his fellowmen. 🙂

  6. Artemio says:

    Made me curious. Is the Catholic Church the only church opposed to this bill or are the other churches similarly opposed but simply not as loud and prominent as the Catholic Church on this issue? I wonder what the stand is of other Christian churches or denominations regarding this bill.

    I also wonder whether it is just this that really concerns them:

    • ChinoF says:

      Artemio,
      I myself am wondering what other churches officially stand on, but I expect a mixed bag. I myself attend a protestant church now, but it has no official stance on the RH Bill. I have found other Christian groups supporting the RH Bill, and there will be others opposing it. In the end, RH Bill positions tend to be more personal than organizational.

      The video you posted here is a good watch, thanks. However, it does gives a sense of Islamophobia, for some at least. Yeah, I did say the Catholic Church may have been worried about a Muslim invasion in our country, since SEA is full of Muslim countries. They’re worried the children of Upin and Ipin are gonna take over, hehehe.

      This video also leaves the decision on what to do to the viewer. Should we really be worried about a declining population rate, culture disappearing or getting changed, and Islam becoming more prevalent? The world is changing all right, but what’s the right way to react to these changes? These questions are for you readers out there. Thanks.

  7. Mike Portes says:

    There is nothing Christ inspired when the ending is misery. The more I read on the bible and the Vatican, all the more I get enlightened on truth on the Catholic faith.

    2 Peter 3:16: “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” To think I grew up in a Catholic school and swallowed it all. Tsk.

  8. Persona Non Grata says:

    The church are not in tune of reality because they live in a world of fairy tales and illusions. For one, I am against sex education at a very early age. Let us be clear, sex is not procreation: It is a recreation. It gives us a feeling of euphoria. A natural high. For men, it is a release. A conquest. A trophy. A way of putting down women.

    Fr. Arellano needed fine tuning. 5 to 7 children, for him, is a gift to god. To mortals, it is the fruit of love. To mountain people, it is a social net. To low-income Filipinos is a virtue of verility.

    Fr. Arellano is living in a mirage that should be ignored. The educated can smirk and ignore him. But to children of lesser god they believe him.

  9. Cats says:

    I am Catholic, but I think it is best for the Church to keep a low profile on the Reproductive Health Bill because people will not follow church directives anymore. They should carry on a silent fight instead. When institution (Church, gov’t) rules clash with human nature, people will choose the latter. Anyway that’s free will. Because in heaven, there will be no condoms, pills, etc. Let the Church give way to the said bill and see what happens next. I have yet to see anyone getting rich from using condoms.

    • Ma Xianding says:

      But I have seen hundreds who became poor (or poorER) because they did not.

      • Cats says:

        condoms and pills can work for some, but it could not address the general problem. besides, about the poor people, its because their parents are emotionally inept, financially incapable, and morally corrupt, not fit to become parents. they only got married not due to responsibility but due to human nature.

      • Ma Xianding says:

        Of course, nobody said that they alone could address the general problems. They could help reduce it though by preventing unwanted pregnancies.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      Cat, listen. Listen very carefully. This I can say to you and everyone here. When it comes to SEX, walang dios. What cannot be said in public it is uttered in sex. The bad words you tell us not to say is said during sex. The ewwww! before television is gone in sex. The ‘bleah! that is gross’ is actually practiced in sex.

      So when it comes to SEX the church has no control over it. They cannot even control their urges.

    • Abraham V. Llera says:

      That’d like telling a cat not to meow. Or a frog not to ribbit (in the Philippines, frogs ko-kak, but in the U.S., they “ribbit”– there’s this Pinoy K2 teacher who was taking up animal sound with her pupils who laughed when she said “ko-kak” instead of “ribbit”).

      The Church has three-fold mission: to teach, to govern, to sanctify. So you see the Church cannot be silent on this issue, otherwise, she’d not be fulfilling her mission.

      It matters VERY LITTLE whether or not the “faithful” follow, the Church will still stick to the teachings handed down by her Founder Jesus Christ.

      Yo call yourself Catholic, act like one.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        @Abraham V. Liera: Did you not know that the Roman Catholic Beliefs and Dogmas came out from the Christian Bible. The Christian Bible was produced, on the order of the Roman Emperor Constantine, during the Council of Nicea, in Greece. Analyze these portions in the Book of Genesis; if you are a thinking person. Adam and Eve have two sons: Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel. Then, Abel wandered and have wives. Where did the wives came from? UFOs brought them in? Read the Book of Genesis clearly . There are important Books of the Prophets, not included in the Christian Bible. They are: Book of the Maccabees; Book of Enoch; Book of the Apostle Philips; Book of Judith; Gospel of Mary Magdalene; Book of the Apostle Thomas; Book of Revelation by the Apostle Peter, etc..There is even the Gospel of Judas Iscariote. These Books are called:Apocrypha. Everybody should read them. Use your brains. Do not just swallow what those Church teachings handed to you. 😯

      • Hyden Toro says:

        My blog should say: Cain killed Abel. Then, Abel wandered the Earth, cursed, and had wives. Where the the wives came from? Perhaps, the UFOs brought them in.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        Abel should be Cain the wanderer. Sorry, two mistakes. 🙄

      • Hyden Toro says:

        To Err is human. To forgive is divine.

  10. CyanFox says:

    Well, I won’t argue with the Catholic church if it wishes to force its opinion ON A MORAL ISSUE.

    HOWEVER, RH Bill IS about OVERPOPULATION. And THAT is NOT a moral issue BUT an economic and social issue.

    Indiscriminate and irresponsible use of proliferating contraceptives – I would support any moves that any religion may have against them, because I strongly believe in a moral revolution. But family planning, sex education, and birth control – these are socially relevant especially in our generation and time.

    I do hope that our legislature would have the moral guts to regulate contraceptives (to married couples only) instead of giving them away for free. Pre-marital sex is a social and moral problem. THAT we should address.

  11. bokyo says:

    This article almost made me cry. One of the most common factors of family dysfunction is all about sex education. Fr. Arellano should reflect really on his Theology if what he’s saying is really spiritually inspired or it’s politically motivated. Obviously he is so tuned on Catholic faith that he forgot that the world is working according to what our science discovered (logically, quantifiably, theoretically).

    I wonder what’s the real stand of the Church (internationally) about this bill. Close-mindedness has been hounding our brethren ever since that’s why we don’t leap big to progress. And that’s not just on RH bill, it’s also on elections, tv shows, laws, etc.

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for the comment. I think the real stand of the Catholic church is going against the bill, since they fear the provision of abortion services. CBCP might as well be the representative of the “official” Catholic stance. But I emphasize that it will boil down to personal opinions… like Fr. Arellano’s here.

    • BenK says:

      As a matter of fact, I read a news blurb just this morning about the Vatican criticizing a school in Rome for making condoms available. The Catholic Church’s stance on contraception in any form is very clear-cut and consistent worldwide.

      • Persona Non Grata says:

        … as they were consistent worldwide in priests molestations of defenseless, helpless children, cover-ups, stonewalling, spinning news. Exorcising their evils with top gun lawyers that costs tithing parishioners millions.

  12. Homer says:

    The church has been sticking it to us for the longest time, and it’s refreshing to see articles that sticks it back to them. It’s about time! I suppose it’s all right for the church to express their views, but it’s another thing when they attempt to force their beliefs down our throats. This is where they cross the line…..often!.

    Part of the reason for da Pinoy dysfunction is the dogma that plagues our culture. People are usually afraid to question church principles partly because of that “fear-of-God” factor that plays a role in the manipulation of gullible minds by the church. Sadly, many are gullible (to say the least)…but I’m glad to know that the church is becoming less influential these days. This is the fate they probably deserve.

    Timely article, Chino! Keep sticking it back to ’em!

    ________________________________________________________________________

    “Religion is just mind control.”
    —George Carlin

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks. It’s really sad that the church wants only its brand of “fear of God” on the people, and rejects others’. And it uses this “fear of God” to manipulate people. Unfair tactics deserve a fair retort. 😉

  13. benign0 says:

    What a lot of people don’t understand is how withholding information about sex from kids, not being open in discussing it with them, or dismissing them when they ask about it all the more ingrains in them a malicious regard for it.

    Compare that to a kid who grew up in an environment where it is discussed relatively openly in a matter-of-fact way. Such kids will grow up less disposed to seeing it as an exotic thing and more as something natural. They may of course have a more open mind to it and explore it more, but then, hey, i know a lot of women who were raised to be prudes who were the ones who fell pregnant at an earlier age.

    Those who grew up openly talking about sex with mature people know enough to do it safely once they get around to becoming sexually active. Those who grew up in an environment where the topic was suppressed, will likely get around to becoming sexually active anyway — but they will be less-equipped to go about it safely.

    Here is an excerpt from one of my favourite fan letters:

    we filipinos are so hypocrete. we live on lies and half truth.

    when I was a kid (am now 40 [years old]) our elders never give us straight answer. one day while playing to my female friend, we were both taking a bath (nude and I was 5 [years old]) I shout “ay pepe” [and] my aunt scolded me for saying bad words.

    another was, when I ask my aunt again how did I come out in this world. and without hesitation she said “galing ka sa puwet”.

    This is a great topic you’ve explored, Chino! 🙂

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks. Like you did here, Benigs, one could pry through a lot of related topics that goes to our culture. The RH Bill’s concerns really touch on a lot of things, including child rearing principles and the OFW issue. Wow, “galing sa puwet…” that’s a neat myth I should’ve quoted above, LOL. But if that became true, then the words “t@3 ka lang,” would also become true. Haha!

    • HusengBatute says:

      It is better to teach sex in a proper setting instead of leaving it to pop culture and other sources to introduce a distorted notion of sex to these kids.

    • Maia says:

      i know a lot of women who were raised to be prudes who were the ones who fell pregnant at an earlier age.

      Those who grew up openly talking about sex with mature people know enough to do it safely once they get around to becoming sexually active. Those who grew up in an environment where the topic was suppressed, will likely get around to becoming sexually active anyway — but they will be less-equipped to go about it safely.

      You hit the nail on the head with that one. I know a lot of girls who were pregnant even before graduating from college and they said it was because they “had no idea what would happen if you had unprotected sex”. One of them told me that talking about it was banned at home and as a result, she grew curious and next thing she knew, she was knocked up and then her parents disowned her even when they had contributed to the situation by being stuck-up prudes and not caring enough about their child to educate her properly. Because that’s what parents are supposed to do, but apparently, they missed the memo.

      On the other hand, I consider myself fortunate to have a mother who was more than willing to tell me exactly what resulted from sex and what went on to make a baby. She didn’t hold out on me and I grew up never feeling the need to “satisfy my curiosity” because I knew the repercussions and always kept in mind that protection was necessary. There’s a difference between being prude and practicing self-preservation and being educated well enough helps with self-preservation, not being kept in the dark.

  14. Persona Non Grata says:

    Sex are like Muslims. Muslims get turned on by a show of legs and hairs. Non-Muslims don’t get turned on by show of glimmer of it. Couples got used to sex that lying naked side-by-side nothing happens.

    If sex was casual only few would indulge in it. Take Europeans for example, they have a very low birth rate. Their government gives incentives to procreate.

    Take Adam and Eve. They were naked. They procreated upon covering themselves up.

    Oral and anal sex is good. Vaginal sex is bad. Has anyone tried armpit? Try tucking it in the neck of your partner? There are plenty ways to have sex without getting pregnant. These that I mentioned are branded as taboo. Whatever happens inside the darkened room Fr. Arellano has no business so do other Filipinos.

  15. bp says:

    armpit?!? hahaha

  16. Uncle Pinoy says:

    While I don’t agree with the Catholic Church’s stand on the RH Bill (and on a whole bunch of other issues) I don’t think it is right to demonize (pun, well, intended) the institution. Do we bash races, genders, ethnic groups with whose beliefs we vehemently disagree?

    I laud Chino for focusing only on the issues. Fr. Arellano makes his case, Chino makes his counterpoints without insulting Arellano’s religion. The Church’s arguments are weak, we all know that. Bad-mouthing the institution will only illicit sympathy for it.

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks so much, Unc. The issues are all that matter, anyway, at the end of the day.

    • Annudora says:

      We aren’t necessarily bashing the Catholic Church per se (though there are statements that connotes to this notion), but rather trying to show how weak their arguments against the RH bill truly are.

  17. Wander-ruh says:

    For the sake of the (MANY) unthinking masses, a frequently asked questions list should be created based on this fantastic article and in Filipino. Eventually, it is not the clueless Catholic priests and bishops that we should reason with, but those who will be ultimately affected by their own decisions–the common tao, especially those who have no access to reproductive health care and information.

    And by the way, while this country of 92 million starving souls is mostly composed of Catholics, there are many Catholics who support (and even practice) RH and not all Filipinos are catholics, even. It’s time for the private sector to actively promote RH in communities, cyberspace and the media.

    Forget about the dinosaurs in the clergy. They will never see reason even if it stares them in the face.

    Sabi nga, mahirap gisingin ang nagtutulog-tulugan.

    • ChinoF says:

      Good point. The idea is to help the people think on their own, and resist the influence of the priests. In the end, it’s their decision to make. Thank you for this comment.

  18. Miklos Kheel says:

    Chino,

    I wish to remind you that when the Catholic Church releases a doctrine, we can be sure it has undergone critical study. And, these teachings, if not dogma, are always based on the natural law (dogmas are based on mysteries, that’s why we have only few of them). Each Catholic, if something is unclear to him, should study the Church doctrine with an attitude of a child listening to his good intentioned parent.

    Let’s see.. The bill shows a twisted view of human nature, which is the base of the Church’s resistance to the bill. The authors of the bill and, according surveys, believe that contraceptives is the answer to poverty; that pregnancy is a disease that must be avoided at all costs; that the increasing population rate IS a great problem. For all these, man is objectified, his dignity lowered (parang hayop na po tayo, just read some of the comments above…).

    The Church authorities are just reminding us of our nature, just like our conscience (which has already been set aside and silenced). Conservative na kung conservative. We (I am a Catholic) are conserving what must be conserved. I even dare say, we are more liberal than those who call themselves liberal, because those people are slaves of their appetites. Besides, the liberals of today has become the majority and they have tried to conserve their slavery. The Church and prolife, pronature are the liber ones. 🙂

    • BenK says:

      Let me extract something from your comment:

      “The authors of the bill and, according surveys, believe that contraceptives is the answer to poverty; that pregnancy is a disease that must be avoided at all costs; that the increasing population rate IS a great problem.”

      Are you saying that the Church does not feel the increasing population rate is a great problem?

      • Persona Non Grata says:

        BenK, I do think the church DOES NOT FEEL the increasing population. Their measure is the money they received from the parishioners. According to the diocese, the money they received adjusted for inflation remained constant, therefore, the population remained the same

      • Miklos Kheel says:

        Of course the Church feels the increasing population in the country (but increase in global population rate is now debatable). Who doesn’t? What the Church and many experts do not “feel” is the great problem of the increasing population rate. To feel is not even accurate. We are sure it is not a great problem. If you think with the logic of Malthus, then you’re way behind the times.

        Overpopulation does not exist. If there was such a thing, then it should be relative to something. Is it relative to the resources of the earth? Is it relative to the habitable area? No, both have already been disproved. There is no such thing as a natural resource. All resources are “man-made” or just discovered by man. Are we saying that we have mastered the entire universe already that we can already estimate what we can and what we cannot do?

        On the contrary, the dramatic increase in population rates has always signalled greater wealth and human development. Look at the Industrial Revolution in England and all the other first-world countries and how they rose to become one. Exceptions do exist but they are just that. Man is not the problem, but the problem-solver just like us 🙂

        The problem I and many others propose is the lack of general freedom. Freedom from everything that is opposed to what is good for man. The Church is and has always focused in searching and defending the truth of what is good for man. Why do we ignore her for inferior things? Please be open-minded as the Church has been for the past two millenniums.

      • ChinoF says:

        the dramatic increase in population rates has always signalled greater wealth and human development.

        But people die, and lots of other people are still in poverty. The greater wealth and human development comes at great cost. Overpopulation would not exist only if people did not die because of it.

        Overpopulation does not exist. If there was such a thing, then it should be relative to something. Is it relative to the resources of the earth? Is it relative to the habitable area?

        Look at it from the local scenario’s perspective. If a family had eight children, and could support only two, aren’t they an overpopulated household?

        There is no such thing as a natural resource. All resources are “man-made” or just discovered by man.

        Wow… so forests and oil wells are “man-made?” Interesting….

        The Church is and has always focused in searching and defending the truth of what is good for man. Why do we ignore her for inferior things?

        Unfortunately, it fails in this issue of population and keeping the dignity of life high for Filipinos. The priest quoted in my article condones, if inadvertently, the low dignity of life of Filipinos.

        Man is not the problem, but the problem-solver just like us

        True, he can certainly solve it by disobeying the advice of the priest shown here.

        Thanks for the neural exercise.

      • Miklos Kheel says:

        Forgive my persistence 🙂 but I have to reply.

        We cannot stop people dying. Solving poverty entails commitment. The US even with all its “health care” and planned parenthood programs still haven’t solved poverty. Poverty seems to be a persistent thing. There is another thing; increasing population rates shows two things: birth rates go up and death rates go down. There may be a positive relation between increasing population rates and deaths but that is because more people will naturally die overtime.

        Again, overpopulation does not exist.

        If a family had eight children, and could support only two, aren’t they an overpopulated household? Who could say they could only support two? Money? Living space? How did they ever reach the number eight without dying if they couldn’t? Imagine, they have survived almost five years already after the third child. You can see the resourcefulness of man. Imagine the first child, he could be the Henry Sy or the Manny Villar of their generation.

        All resources are “man-made,” meaning it is subjective. Note the quotation marks. Oil was never a natural resource until someone discovered its use, so is wheat, cotton, livestocks, solar energy…. Therefore, a resource becomes a natural resource only when it receives a purpose for man. We don’t know what else we can discover in the future. Haven’t you noticed science has never been more progressive these days?

        No qualms with your other statements though 🙂

        Thanks for this morning exercise.

      • ChinoF says:

        One thing about poverty is I believe the number of people contribute to it. As for the family with eight children, even if they live (assuming they all live), their lives are more likely to be unhealthy or like the squatters – basically a lack of human dignity. My example was meant to consider one or some the eight children dying later on from disease or malnutrition, or at least living, but dealing with a disease or disability, possible from malnutrition, because they were too many to feed properly. Basically, with eight children, their quality of life suffers, and thus their dignity, goes down. That’s what I meant – carelessly larger population exposes people to more indignity. For me, no reason exists that people should be made to bear this kind of indignity.

        We can’t stop people dying, but we could prevent dying from poverty, and prevent unnecessary suffering from the effects of it. One way is to keep the population number down, at least for one family. Admittedly, it’s the decision of each family leader, though policy should help provide them education and information resources, and thus I support the RH Bill in this.

        I understand what you mean by “man-made…” if you mean undiscovered resources, we’ll also be needing a lot of resources to fuel efforts to uncover those. Science is progressive, but so far it agrees that resources remain limited, and that we should be spendthrift with them. Keeping the number of consumers of such resources down (to bring down consumption) is still a good principle for this.

        Thanks for the comment again, anyway. This discussion will hopefully help others, not just us.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      Population is caused by unprotected sex. (Please define “unprotected sex” I just wonder what is there a need to be protected from sex about) Those who practice risque sex (Risque Sex is an act in a very precarious dangerous way. Ex: sex on the ledge 54 floors high; sex while driving) are the ones not likely to get pregnant.

      Safe sex is a kind of sex practiced by the Vatican otherwise known as cover-up sex. Vatican’s partner never got pregnant. They are just expensive. Go ask Herr Ratzinger, he knows what cover-up sex is all about.

    • Russianguyovitch says:

      Wow, galing yata sa altenate dimension itong si mokong.

      “Each Catholic, if something is unclear to him, should study the Church doctrine with an attitude of a child listening to his good intentioned parent.”

      Hahaha! No thanks! Ikaw na lang!

      “Let’s see.. The bill shows a twisted view of human nature, which is the base of the Church’s resistance to the bill. The authors of the bill and, according surveys, believe that contraceptives is the answer to poverty; that pregnancy is a disease that must be avoided at all costs; that the increasing population rate IS a great problem. For all these, man is objectified, his dignity lowered (parang hayop na po tayo, just read some of the comments above…).”

      Wow, san galing yun? Sagutin mo nga ako, ano sa tingin mo ang mas mala-hayop:

      A) Ang ituro sa tao ang katotohanan regarding sex and reproduction in an effort to prevent him/her from making ill-informed, life-destroying decisions

      or

      B) Itago ang mga katotohanang ito sa kanya in an effort to uphold the prestige and legitimacy of a morally bankrupt institution – consequences be damned

      “The Church authorities are just reminding us of our nature, just like our conscience (which has already been set aside and silenced). Conservative na kung conservative. We (I am a Catholic) are conserving what must be conserved. I even dare say, we are more liberal than those who call themselves liberal, because those people are slaves of their appetites. Besides, the liberals of today has become the majority and they have tried to conserve their slavery. The Church and prolife, pronature are the liber ones. 🙂 ”

      I find it highly ironic that the followers of a man who exemplified humility and selflessness are mostly pompous braggarts who take every opportunity to flaunt their unfounded sense of moral superiority. Then again, catholic ka, so cant really be considered a follower of Christ.

      • Homer says:

        “I find it highly ironic that the followers of a man who exemplified humility and selflessness are mostly pompous braggarts who take every opportunity to flaunt their unfounded sense of moral superiority.”

        __________________________________

        You couldn’t have said it better…

  19. Persona Non Grata says:

    TO ALL CHRISTIANS:

    Please tithe generously. The money you give is the money for the lawyers and settlement.

    We also offer private prayers by the hour.

    Please visit Vatican’s site for appointment.

    Heaven is not cheap.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      Do you know Las Vegas churches accepts casino chips and other gambling tokens? They also have drive-by confession. Drive-by marriage.

      Atlantic City is next.

  20. Abraham V. Llera says:

    Russianguyovitch:

    Then again, catholic ka, so cant really be considered a follower of Christ.

    Llera:

    I’m Catholic. Would you like to discuss that? I can show you my direct link to Jesus Christ in one unbroken link. from the time Jesus said that all authority has been given him by the Father right down to where it says in the Bible “Take it to the Church.”

    You, on the other hand, I can’t seem to find how you’re related to even one of the Apostles. Could you show me where in the Bible could be found your bona fides please?

  21. Abraham V. Llera says:

    Persona non grata:

    BenK, I do think the church DOES NOT FEEL the increasing population. Their measure is the money they received from the parishioners. According to the diocese, the money they received adjusted for inflation remained constant, therefore, the population remained the same

    Llera:

    You seem to be saying “overpopulation” is the cause of our poverty. Where have you been, Rip van Winkle?

    Google U.P. Department of Economics, and UA&P, you will find these two institutions whose only similarity is the “university” found in their names BOTH agree that poverty in the Philippines is the result of not one but MANY factors.

  22. Abraham V. Llera says:

    ChinoF:

    Thanks for the comment. I think the real stand of the Catholic church is going against the bill, since they fear the provision of abortion services. CBCP might as well be the representative of the “official” Catholic stance. But I emphasize that it will boil down to personal opinions… like Fr. Arellano’s here.

    Llera:

    Let me state the Church’s position. Contraception is an intrinsic evil. Nothing but nothing can be done to make what is an intrinsic evil good. No amount of good can justify the doing of an intrinsic evil.

    Contraception is an intrinsic evil because it strikes at the heart of God’s plan for mankind. God did not make man man and woman for nothing. The man has a purpose. The woman has a purpose. And that purpose is to to produce “godly offspring.” It’s there in the Bible.

    I’m not promoting GOD HATES CONTRACEPTION Facebook group, but you’ll find much more there should you want to know more about the Church’s teaching on contraception. CATHOLIC ANSWERS is another good source of information.

    • ChinoF says:

      I may be Christian, but I do not believe “God Hates Contraception.” It is the opinion of the people, namely the Catholic clergy. I went Protestant, because I was put off by how the Catholic church wants to dictate the lives of people and even try to enforce its laws on non-Catholics and non-Christians alike. Contraception is a choice, and for me it is not evil because of how it can prevent an unnecessary indignity, which is having a child that the parents cannot give adequate care for. As an unnecessary indignity, it insults the image of God. Thus, I would allow contraception. And since it is a choice of people, it but not be banned. It is a freedom everyone has a right to. Don’t want it? Then don’t use it! Simple as that.

      A Blessed Holy Week to you.

  23. Abraham V. Llera says:

    Bokyo:

    I wonder what’s the real stand of the Church (internationally) about this bill. Close-mindedness has been hounding our brethren ever since that’s why we don’t leap big to progress. And that’s not just on RH bill, it’s also on elections, tv shows, laws, etc.

    Llera:

    If you attend Holy Mass at the Catholic church in Punta Taytay in Bacolod City, you will find the words, actions, everything THE SAME as the Holy Mass at the St. Patrick’s cathedral in New York.

    The Church is close-minded? No. Did you know that it was a Catholic priest Copernicus by name who first proposed that the planets revolved around the sun instead of around the earth? Did you know that it was the Church who made the first universities? Did you know that much of what we know today from history to science we know because monks copied everything in places called “scriptoriums”? What close-mindedness are you speaking of?

    • BenK says:

      Here’s how non-close-minded the Church was concerning Copernicus’ work (from Wikipedia, but I double-checked it with the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

      “It has been much debated why it was not until six decades after Spina and Tolosani’s attacks on Copernicus’s work that the Catholic Church took any official action against it. Proposed reasons have included the personality of Galileo Galilei and the availability of evidence such as telescope observations.

      In March 1616, in connection with the Galileo affair, the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending De revolutionibus until it could be “corrected,” on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine[91] that the Earth moves and the Sun does not was “false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.”[92] The same decree also prohibited any work that defended the mobility of the Earth or the immobility of the Sun, or that attempted to reconcile these assertions with Scripture.

      On the orders of Pope Paul V, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine gave Galileo prior notice that the decree was about to be issued, and warned him that he could not “hold or defend” the Copernican doctrine.[93] The corrections to De revolutionibus, which omitted or altered nine sentences, were issued four years later, in 1620.[94]

      In 1633 Galileo Galilei was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for “following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture,”[95] and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

      The Catholic Church’s 1758 Index of Prohibited Books omitted the general prohibition of works defending heliocentrism,[96] but retained the specific prohibitions of the original uncensored versions of De revolutionibus and Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Those prohibitions were finally dropped from the 1835 Index.[97]” …or in other words, nearly 300 years after Copernicus’ original publication of his work.

      Will it be another 300 years until the Church admits it is mistaken with its socially-regressive and damaging stance on contraception?

      • Abraham V. Llera says:

        Benk, did you know that in Galileo’s time EVERYBODY subscribed to the geocentric belief?

        Did you know that it was a priest– Copernicus by name — who was among the first to claim otherwise– the heliocentric view?

        Did you know that St Bellarmine was disposed toward the heliocentric view.

        I’m asking these questions because you seem to suggest the Church forced the geocentric view on the world.

        So many people have the mistaken notion here. Do not count yourself among them.

      • BenK says:

        What part of this quotation

        In March 1616, in connection with the Galileo affair, the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending De revolutionibus until it could be “corrected,” on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine[91] that the Earth moves and the Sun does not was “false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.”[92] The same decree also prohibited any work that defended the mobility of the Earth or the immobility of the Sun, or that attempted to reconcile these assertions with Scripture.

        is unclear to you? Here is the actual source: Decree of the General Congregation of the Index, March 5, 1616, translated from the Latin by Finocchiaro (1989, pp.148-149). An on-line copy of Finocchiaro’s translation has been made available by Gagné (2005).

        I am suggesting the Church imposed the geocentric view because it in fact did so, according to its own records, and did not correct its error — which was disproven by legitimate, confirmed scientific observation numerous times — for over two centuries.

  24. Abraham V. Llera says:

    Homer:

    The church has been sticking it to us for the longest time, and it’s refreshing to see articles that sticks it back to them. It’s about time! I suppose it’s all right for the church to express their views, but it’s another thing when they attempt to force their beliefs down our throats. This is where they cross the line…..often!.

    Llera:

    Like her Founder, the Church will not force you or anyone. Her Founder did not, the Church will not. But I’m amazed why you could actually say that.

    Did you know that had 5043 passed, I could be hauled off to jail if my teenager daughter ask for Depo-Provera or Femenal, or even just a condom, and I’d prevent her? Isn’t that forcing people? Did you know that the Sisters of St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo City, a hospital run by SPC Sisters, could be jailed if they won’t prescribe contraceptives had 5043 passed?

    Why don’t you guys try to learn even a modicum of something about the Church before you go off with guns blazing here?

    • Homer says:

      Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

      Hold on, gotta reload….. 🙂

    • Benedictus says:

      Well said.. “Reproductive Health” is a code word for killing babies used the world over. It would be naive to think it meant anything else here. It’s not a religious issue, but a human one. I am automatically suspicious of any politician who speaks of “overpopulation”. If people are the purpose of government how can there be too many of them? Surely someone who speaks like that regards people as mere pawns in their game. It is the language of Communists and Fascists alike.

      • Filo says:

        Why does Reproductive Health automatically become “killing babies?” Abortion is killing babies, but Reproductive Health is not equal to abortion. Your extremist take doesn’t make everyone else naive for it.

        About what you said-

        If people are the purpose of government how can there be too many of them? Surely someone who speaks like that regards people as mere pawns in their game. It is the language of Communists and Fascists alike.

        Consider the term MANAGEABILITY? Any group that is “overpopulated” is one that has reached a size that imposes a strain on the capacity of that group to exist or function normally; its manageability is compromised.

        For example, if there were 8 children in your family (you included), all still schooling, while your parents earn little as a labandera and a tricycle driver, your family or household has the characteristic of being overpopulated. Aside from pretty much all of you getting poor nutrition because you don’t have much to spend on food for ten people, once somebody in the family gets sick everyone else may have to give up one meal a day just to afford medicine (which is outrageously expensive in the Philippines, but that’s entirely another thread) which means you could be down to one “meal” (if you could call it that) a day.
        Addressing overpopulation doesn’t mean pushing 7 of your siblings to get run-over by a moving bus so that your parents’ income would finally feed you three square Lucky Me’s a day instead of a little over half a pack. Some planning and consideration on your parents’ part would have kept the family from getting as big and unmanageable as it did. It’s addressing problems before they arise that is important, and doing so doesn’t make your parents communists or fascists.

      • BongV says:

        Reproductive health – is reproductive health, abortion is abortion, miscarriage is miscarriage. PERIOD.

        Fact check:

        Coverage of RH.

        (1) Information and access to natural and modern family planning
        (2) Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition
        (3) Promotion of breast feeding
        (4) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications
        (5) Adolescent and youth health
        (6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs
        (7) Elimination of violence against women
        (8) Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health
        (9) Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers
        (10) Male involvement and participation in RH;
        (11) Prevention and treatment of infertility and
        (12) RH education for the youth.

        Strengthening of Popcom. The existing Population Commission shall be reoriented to promote both natural and modern family planning methods. It shall serve as the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development.

        Capability building of community-based volunteer workers. The workers shall undergo additional and updated training on the delivery of reproductive healthcare services and shall receive not less than 10-percent increase in honoraria upon successful completion of training.

        Midwives for skilled birth attendance. Every city and municipality shall endeavor to employ an adequate number of midwives and other skilled attendants.

        Emergency obstetrics care. Each province and city shall endeavor to ensure the establishment and operation of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel that provide emergency obstetrics care.

        Hospital-based family planning. Family planning methods requiring hospital services like ligation, vasectomy and IUD insertion shall be available in all national and local government hospitals.

        Contraceptives as essential medicines. Reproductive health products shall be considered essential medicines and supplies and shall form part of the National Drug Formulary considering that family planning reduces the incidence of maternal and infant mortality.

        Reproductive health education. RH education in an age-appropriate manner shall be taught by adequately trained teachers from Grade 5 to 4th year high school. As proposed in the bill, core subjects include responsible parenthood, natural and modern family planning, proscription and hazards of abortion, reproductive health and sexual rights, abstinence before marriage, and responsible sexuality.

        Certificate of compliance. No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office. The document should certify that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breast feeding and infant nutrition.

        Ideal family size. The State shall encourage two children as the ideal family size. This is neither mandatory nor compulsory and no punitive action may be imposed on couples having more than two children.

        Employers’ responsibilities. Employers shall respect the reproductive health rights of all their workers. Women shall not be discriminated against in the matter of hiring, regularization of employment status or selection for retrenchment. Employers shall provide free reproductive health services and commodities to workers, whether unionized or unorganized.

        *****

        Frankly, this is a good bill.

      • bokyo says:

        As a Catholic I don’t even see what’s so “evil” on this bill when most of them are even for protection of women and children!

  25. Abraham V. Llera says:

    Cyan Fox:

    Well, I won’t argue with the Catholic church if it wishes to force its opinion ON A MORAL ISSUE.

    HOWEVER, RH Bill IS about OVERPOPULATION. And THAT is NOT a moral issue BUT an economic and social issue.

    Llera:

    When we say “moral issue” it necessarily involves a question on the rightness or wrongness of a course of action. RH 5043 runs smack in the face of the 2,000-year old Church teaching about sex being open to the possibility of the transmission of life.

    I can give you Bible passages starting with Genesis going through Psalms all the way to Matthew– two dozen more or less CLEARLY showing this Church teaching.

    • BenK says:

      You assume that every citizen of the Republic is obliged to follow Catholic Church canon and Christian scripture, and that is wrong.

      • Abraham V. Llera says:

        The last time I’ve checked Christians far outnumber atheists.

      • BenK says:

        Oh, so that justifies turning the RP into a Catholic theocracy?

      • BongV says:

        Are you in favor of the Taliban?

        Are you in favor of the Iranian mullahs?

      • ChinoF says:

        Number does not make right. And the church has no right to enforce its beliefs as law. That’s not just separation of church and state… that’s protection of religious freedom, which also include freedom from religion. Making religious beliefs into government law is not good, and is by itself immoral, because it disrespects the individual freedom that God has given his creation made in his image. There, even a religious argument does not justify that Filipinos should obey the church as if it were rule of law. Even the Bible says, don’t stamp out freedom!

    • May Party Sa Dasma Wala Akong Wheels says:

      When we say “moral issue” it necessarily involves a question on the rightness or wrongness of a course of action. RH 5043 runs smack in the face of the 2,000-year old Church teaching about sex being open to the possibility of the transmission of life.

      Just thinking out loud, but I wish this Abraham Llera were some newborn son of some couple belonging to the poorest of the poor so that he’ll experience firsthand that the morality of not risking pregnancy when it cannot be afforded is completely lost on his parents so he has to start eating garbage at a really early age.

      Having children is a not an entitlement, but a responsibility. Guess what? The people the church preaches to could not care less once they find themselves in a moment of roll, roll, roll in ze hay.

      Hi five for zero practicality!

  26. Persona non Grata says:

    This is a true verifiable fact.

    Jesus Christ made a miracle on me.

    My wife and I were separated for 5 years. Never talked to her. Never sent her e-mail. Never talked to my son.

    Several months back she and her evil mother went to Jerusalem.

    I do not know what got to me, I picked-up the phone and called her. Now we are building a custom-made house with bling-blings.

    My religious sisters was against it. I told my sisters I have no total control of myself. I have been prayed over in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ responded. Controlled my mind, now I do not have money.

    MIRACLE!

  27. Abraham V. Llera says:

    The last time I’ve checked theists vastly outnumber atheists in the Philippines. Or am I wrong?

  28. Abraham V. Llera says:

    It looks like you’re not thoroughly familiar with the Galileo case. Here, let me help. I have half a dozen others. Just tell me if you need more.

    Here’s the first one.

    The Anti-Catholic’s Trump Card
    By Robert P. Lockwood

    In October 1992, Cardinal Paul Poupard presented to Pope John Paul II the results of the Pontifical Academy’s study of the famous 1633 trial of Galileo. He reported that at the time of the trial, “theologians . . . failed to grasp the profound non-literal meaning of the Scriptures” when they condemned Galileo for describing a universe that seemed to contradict Scripture.

    The headlines that followed screamed that the Church had reversed itself on the 17th-century astronomer. Commentators wondered about the impact of the study on papal infallibility and if the Church had finally surrendered in its war with science.

    All this only proved once again that the trial of Galileo—even more so than the inquisition—is the granddaddy of all Catholic urban legends. Galileo is the alleged proof that the Church is anti-science and anti-modern thought. He is the all-encompassing trump card, whether the discussion is about science, abortion, gay rights, legalized pornography—or simply a legitimate excuse for anti-Catholicism itself. If Galileo had never lived, the anti-Catholic culture would have had to invent him.

    Because we are all infected a bit by the propaganda surrounding Galileo, here are a few facts worth mentioning the next time someone tries to throw this urban legend in your face.

    Was the Church opposed to scientific study at the time of Galileo?
    Most early scientific progress, particularly astronomy, originated in the Church. Galileo would not so much “discover” that the Earth revolved around the sun but attempt to prove the theories of a Catholic priest who had died 20 years before Galileo was born: Nicholas Copernicus. Under the aegis of Pope Gregory XIII, the Church introduced one of the major achievements of modern astronomy when Galileo was in his teens. At that time the Western world still marked time by the Julian calendar created in 46 B.C. By Galileo’s day, the calendar was 12 days off, leaving Church feasts woefully behind their proper seasons. Pope Gregory presented a more accurate calendar in 1582. Though Protestant Europe fumed at the imposition of “popish time,” the accuracy of Gregory’s calendar led to its acceptance throughout the West. (See Truth be Told, July/August 2008.)

    What did Copernicus discover?

    Through mathematical examination, Copernicus came to believe that the sun is the center of the universe, and the planets, including Earth, revolve around it—contrary to popular and scientific understanding, which fixed Earth at the center of the universe. Copernicus’ manuscript circulated in scholarly circles, though it was not formally published until he was on his deathbed in 1543. But Pope Leo X (r. 1513-1521) was intrigued by his theories and showed interest in their advancement.

    For the most part, the Church raised no objections to Copernicus’ revolutionary hypothesis after his death—as long as it was represented as theory, not undisputed fact. The difficulty that the Church had with the theory is that it seemed to contradict Scripture: Joshua made the sun stand still and the Psalmist praised the earth “set firmly in place.” Most important, the theory could not be proven by current scientific technology.

    Galileo is often portrayed as a purely rational scientist, ranting and raging against religious oppression. Is this an accurate picture of the man?

    The myth we have of Galileo—a faithless renegade attacked by a Church afraid of science—is false on all counts. Galileo was a believing Catholic (his daughter was a devout nun) who saw no contradiction between his science and his faith. He had begun to study the Copernican theory and was recognized as the leading astronomer of his day. In 1611, he was honored in Rome for his work, receiving a favorable audience with Pope Paul V. He became friends with Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII, who would celebrate the astronomer with a poem.

    Sounds good so far. What happened?

    In 1610, Galileo produced his first book, The Starry Messenger, detailing his observations of the moons of Jupiter, the location of stars, and the shape of the moon. He became a controversial celebrity, while his fellow scientists carved him up.

    At the same time, instead of keeping the debate on a theoretical plane involving mathematics, astronomy, and observation, Galileo entered the murky post-Reformation waters of theology and scriptural interpretation. His theory was that nature cannot contradict the Bible, and if it appeared to do so, it is because we do not adequately understand the deeper, biblical interpretation.

    This sounds pretty much like a Catholic understanding of the role of faith and science. How did he get into so much trouble?

    First, he was teaching Copernican theory as fact, rather than hypothesis when there really was no scientific fact to back it up. Second, the popularity of his writings brought a philosophical discussion into the public arena, requiring some sort of Church response. Third, by elevating scientific conjecture to a theological level, he was raising the stakes enormously. Instead of merely scientific disputation, Galileo was now lecturing on scriptural interpretation. Galileo could have avoided trouble if he had presented his work as theory and if he had stuck to science rather than elevating the whole issue to a theological dispute over the meaning of Scripture.

    At the same time, Galileo was making few friends within the scientific community. Nowadays Galileo is portrayed as the hero of science over religion; what is overlooked is that most of his real enemies were fellow scientists.

    Why did scientists oppose his views?

    Throughout Galileo’s career, the vast majority of astronomers still supported the Ptolemaic view of the universe. Ptolemy’s view, which placed the Earth at the center of the universe (geocentrism), was accepted as fact from the time of the ancient Greeks until the 17th century.

    Even after Copernicus raised serious questions regarding geocentrism, most astronomers clung to the Ptolemaic system. (One of them, the famed Tycho Brahe, placed the Earth at the center of the universe with the sun revolving around it but suggested the other planets revolved around the sun in a complex set of epicycles.) The invention of telescopes in 1609 advanced the study of astronomy, but decades passed before Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion and Newton’s Laws of Gravitation were widely embraced.

    How did the Church respond to Galileo’s views?

    In February 1616, a council of theological advisors to the pope ruled that it was possibly heresy to teach as fact that the sun, rather than the Earth, was at the center of the universe, and that the Earth rotated on its axis. Galileo was not condemned, but Cardinal Robert Bellarmine was asked to convey the news to Galileo, advise him of the panel’s ruling, and order him to cease defending his theories as fact. He also asked him to avoid any further inroads into discussion of scriptural interpretation. Galileo agreed.

    Did he break his word?

    In 1623, Cardinal Barberini was elected Pope Urban VIII. With the election of his friend and supporter, Galileo assumed that the atmosphere could be ripe for a reversal of the 1616 edict. In 1624 he headed off to Rome to meet the new pope. Pope Urban had intimated that the 1616 edict would not have been published had he been pope at the time, and he took credit for the word heresy not appearing in the formal edict.

    Yet Pope Urban also believed that the Copernican theory could never be proven and he was only willing to allow Galileo the right to discuss it as hypothesis. Galileo was encouraged, however, and proceeded to write a “dialogue” on the Copernican theory, which he published in February 1632. The book was received with massive protest.

    Why was the Dialogue so upsetting?

    Galileo had so weighted his argument in favor of Copernican theory as truth—and managed to insult the pope’s own expressed view that complex matters observed in nature were to be attributed simply to the mysterious power of God—that a firestorm was inevitable. His scientific enemies were infuriated with Galileo’s often snide and ridiculing dismissal of their views. The Church viewed the Dialogue as a direct, public challenge to the 1616 edict.

    Church authorities viewed Galileo as attacking the veracity of Scripture, with no acceptable proof for his belief that the Earth revolved around the sun. He had attempted to provide proof using an argument based on the Earth’s tides (a scientifically incorrect one) but 17th-century science simply was incapable of establishing that the Earth did, in fact, orbit the sun. And, finally, he appeared to be openly challenging a Church edict to which he had earlier agreed.

    What happened at Galileo’s trial?

    Galileo’s trial did not take place before 10 cardinals as is often depicted. Participants were Galileo, two officials, and a secretary. (The 10 cardinals reviewed the testimony to render judgment.) Galileo’s defense was that he had understood from Cardinal Bellarmine that he had not been condemned in 1616 and that the Dialogue did not support the Copernican theory as fact. His first defense was probable. He was certainly not aware of a more restrictive notice in the 1616 file specifically targeting him, which was revealed at the 1633 trial. His other defense, however, does not stand much scrutiny. The Dialogue was clearly a defense of the Copernican hypothesis as truth.

    Seven of the 10 tribunal cardinals signed a condemnation of Galileo (the other three never signed it). The condemnation found Galileo “vehemently suspected of heresy” in teaching as truth that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world. He was found guilty in persisting in such teaching when he had been formally warned not to do so in 1616. His book was prohibited, he was ordered confined to formal imprisonment, to publicly renounce his beliefs, and to perform proper penance.

    Was the trial a battle between faith and science?

    The trial of Galileo is most often portrayed in terms that it clearly was not: Galileo the scientist arguing the supremacy of reason and science over faith; the tribunal judges demanding that reason abjure to faith. In reality Galileo and the tribunal judges both believed that science and the Bible could not stand in contradiction. If there appeared to be a contradiction, such a contradiction resulted from either weak science or poor interpretation of Scripture. Cardinal Bellarmine understood this; he had argued the same point in 1615. Cardinal Bellarmine had written that if the “orbiting of the Earth around the sun were ever to be demonstrated to be certain, then theologians . . . would have to review biblical passages apparently opposed to the Copernican theories so as to avoid asserting the error of opinions proven to be true.”

    The mistakes came from Galileo’s personality and style, the Holy Father’s anger in believing that Galileo had personally deceived him, jealous competitive scientists out to get the acerbic Galileo, and—frankly—tribunal judges who erroneously believed that it was scientific fact that the universe revolved around a motionless Earth and that the Bible confirmed such a belief.

    In his 1991 report, Cardinal Poupard briefly summarized the findings. The difficulty in 1616 and 1633 was that Galileo had not succeeded in proving irrefutably the double motion of the Earth . . . More than 150 years still had to pass before such proofs were scientifically established. . . . At the same time, theologians . . . failed to grasp the profound, non-literal meaning of the Scriptures when they describe the physical structure of the created universe. This led them unduly to transpose a question of factual observation into the realm of faith.

    Did the Church reverse itself on Galileo only as recently as 1992?

    Galileo died in 1642. In 1741, Pope Benedict XIV granted an imprimatur to the first edition of the complete works of Galileo. In 1757, a new edition of the Index of Forbidden Books allowed works that supported the Copernican theory, as science had reached the point where the theory could be proven.

    The story of Galileo has nothing to do with the Church being opposed to science. Galileo was condemned because he could not scientifically prove his theory to be fact, because he was undermined by many of his fellow scientists, and because he had purposefully blurred the lines

    • BongV says:

      What part of this sentence needs to be explained to you ?

      theologians . . . failed to grasp the profound, non-literal meaning of the Scriptures when they describe the physical structure of the created universe. This led them unduly to transpose a question of factual observation into the realm of faith.

      And when that happened – people were burned on the stakes, that failure to grasp.

      the very same theologians.. are in the formal heirarchy of the church – waddya know, they set the dogma.

      Cardinal Poupard just admitted that the church was wrong.

    • May Party Sa Dasma Wala Akong Wheels says:

      @Llera:

      An excerpt from The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion by Hans Küng

      In 1632 Galileo was called before the Inquisition and condemned for transgressing a ban on his heliocentric theory that had already been pronounced in 1616. He probably did not make the much-quoted remark about the earth that is attributed to him, “And yet it moves.” Nor was he subjected to torture, as is often claimed. But the pressure was so great that on 22 June 1633 the scholar recanted his “error” as a loyal Catholic. Nevertheless, he was condemned to indefinite house arrest at his villa in Arcetri; there Galileo, who went blind four years later, lived a further eight years with a group of his pupils and wrote his work on mechanics and the laws of gravity that was so important for the further development of physics.

      “According to the present state of ‘Galileo research’ it cannot be disputed that in 1633 the Holy Office passed a false judgment and that Galileo was only partly responsible for what he was charged with.” With these words the Catholic church historian Georg Denzler, in a book entitled No End to the Galileo Case, opposes the Roman Catholic apologists who are still active today.

      Was Galileo’s conflict with the church an unfortunate isolated occurrence? No, it was a symptomatic precedent that poisoned at the roots the relationship between the new and rising science and the church and religion, especially as in the subsequent period too Rome’s attitude did not change but even hardened further in the face of the progress of science (and later especially Charles Darwin’s biological research). After the disastrous excommunication of Luther and the Protestants by Rome, the Galileo case was followed by an almost silent emigration of scientists from the Catholic Church and a permanent conflict between science and the dominant theology. So Italy and Spain, under the lash of the inquisition, had no scientists worth mentioning until the twentieth century.
      Still, ecclesiastical repression could not prevail against the evidence of the natural sciences.

      (Boldtype emphasis mine.)
      Hooray for how “open-minded” the Catholic Church really is.

  29. abraham v. llera says:

    BongV, read the entire article. If you still don’t get it, tell me, I will send you more. Do not pick out portions, read and understand the whole, otherwise, you might just get embarrassed., which I don’t want you to.

    • BongV says:

      abraham,

      frankly, i don’t give a shlt about catholic dogma. am an atheist. 😀
      however, i don’t go around imposing my disbelief, nor converting anyone to disbelief.
      as far as am concerned – you can shove your talking snake right up the pinoy catholic arse 😀

      only catholic country in asia – pero most corrupt naman.. PWE!!!

      be careful what you wish for 😀

      • abraham v. llera says:

        Who’s talking dogma? We’re not talking dogma here. We’re talking about Galileo, and Galileo’s not dogma.

        We were also about people who speak about things they know so little about. Yes, we’re talking about you.

      • May Party Sa Dasma Wala Akong Wheels says:

        Excuse me mister high and mighty expert sir, but you should read this excerpt I posted above on how the Catholic Church, through its actions, became a suppressor of scientific development that appeared to fly in the face OF DOGMA (like, say, geocentrism in favor of scripture at the time).

        When you’re through reading, Llera, I hope you’re also through being full of yourself by then.

      • BongV says:

        Excuse me… Sa pagkahaba haba ng prosesyon mo – Galileo may have believed rightly or wrongly – his beliefs do not merit lifelong house arrest – courtesy of the intolerant Catholic church!

        Intiendes?

      • ChinoF says:

        Galileo’s not dogma, but the earth revolving around the sun instead of the other way around is dogma. Or at least, should be. The sky is blue, that’s dogma. When you drop an object, it falls because of gravity, that’s dogma. When two solid objects cannot take up the same space, that’s dogma. Basically, the whole point of the Galileo story is that the Catholic church can and even will twist the truth to insist on its own dogma. The bad thing is that it even insists on its dogma on other religions. Basically, the Catholic Church is supremacist. That’s the bad thing.

  30. abraham v. llera says:

    Catholics who like to know more about their Catholic faith and non-Catholics who have questions to ask Catholics are invited to come visit the Facebook group PINOY CATHOLICS’ ANSWERS TO PINOY PROTESTANTS’ QUESTIONS. Others who have a problem being polite, please stay here.

  31. Abraham V. Llera says:

    The Pope and the Murphy case: what the New York Times story didn’t tell you
    By Phil Lawler | March 25, 2010 2:55 PM

    Today’s front-page story in the New York Times suggests that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), under the direction of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, failed to act against a Wisconsin priest who was accused of molesting scores of boys at a school for the deaf.

    Is the story damaging? Yes. Should the Vatican have acted faster? Yes. Should the accused priest have been laicized? In all probability, Yes again.

    Nevertheless, before assigning all blame to the Vatican, consider these factors:

    1. The allegations of abuse by Father Lawrence Murphy began in 1955 and continued in 1974, according to the Times account. The Vatican was first notified in 1996: 40 years after Church officials in Wisconsin were first made aware of the problem. Local Church leaders could have taken action in the 1950s. They didn’t.

    2. The Vatican, following the standard procedures required by canon law, kept its own inquiries confidential. But the CDF never barred other investigations. Local Church officials could have given police all the information they had about the allegations against Murphy. Indeed they could have informed police 40 years earlier. They didn’t.

    3. Milwaukee’s Archbishop Cousins could have suspended Father Murphy from priestly ministry in 1974, when he was evidently convinced that the priest was guilty of gross misconduct. He didn’t. Instead he transferred the predator priest to a new diocese, allowing him to continue pastoral work giving him access to other innocent young people. And as if that weren’t enough, later Archbishop Weakland made sure that there was no “paper trail.” There was certainly a cover-up in this case. It was in Milwaukee, not in Rome.

    4. Having called the Vatican’s attention to Murphy’s case, Archbishop Weakland apparently wanted an immediate response, and was unhappy that the CDF took 8 months to respond. But again, the Milwaukee archdiocese had waited decades to take this action. Because the Milwaukee archdiocese had waited so long to take action, the canonical statute of limitations had become an important factor in the Vatican’s decision to advise against an ecclesiastical trial.

    5. In a plea for mercy addressed to Cardinal Ratzinger, Father Murphy said that he had repented his misdeeds, was guilty of no recent misconduct, and was in failing health. Earlier this month Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the chief Vatican prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, explained that in many cases involving elderly or ailing priests, the CDF chooses to forego a full canonical trial, instead ordering the priest to remove himself from public ministry and devote his remaining days to penance and prayer. This was, in effect, the final result of the Vatican’s inquiry in this case; Father Murphy died just months later.

    6. The correspondence makes it clear that Archbishop Weakland took action not because he wanted to protect the public from an abusive priest, but because he wanted to avoid the huge public outcry that he predicted would emerge if Murphy was not disciplined. In 1996, when the archbishop made that prediction, the public outcry would–and should–have been focused on the Milwaukee archdiocese, if it had materialized. Now, 14 years later, a much more intense public outcry is focused on the Vatican. The anger is justifiable, but it is misdirected.

    This is a story about the abject failure of the Milwaukee archdiocese to discipline a dangerous priest, and the tardy effort by Archbishop Weakland–who would soon become the subject of a major scandal himself–to shift responsibility to Rome.

    • rafterman says:

      The Philippine Constitution states that there is a separation of church and state so whatever Catholic or Christian related things you post here are irrelevant. If the interest of the people are in conflict with Church teachings or principles then the former should prevail. Nobody should really take the Catholic Church seriously these days.

      • Homer says:

        For all their psycho-babble, there’s no use dealing with these annoying wackos.

      • Aegis-Judex says:

        Only problem is, those thinking Catholics who see the merits of the RH bill are practically Zerg Rushed by those… I can’t find a good term for the others.

  32. Zadkiel says:

    I got no sex life. why do I care?

  33. anschluss says:

    catholic/christianity is in itself backward, what else do you expect? proper thought processes?

  34. mahboula says:

    so…if the catholics in our country aren’t “allowed” access to contraceptives by the church , are the mulims still open to use it? divorce is legal for muslims right? so why not that as well?

    but really…why take “family planning” advice from men who don’t have their own kids? and why the ’til-death-do-us-part? (different article…i know)

    btw, i’ve been following AP for a while and i really appreciate what’s written in this blog. Good luck AP!

  35. Pingback: Is the Filipino a Stupid Creature? | Anti-Pinoy : World Edition :)

  36. manzi says:

    the church has no right to meddle with the affairs of state and the state shouldn’t listen to the foul cries of the”banal”. men of the cloth have no right to dictate how the people should procreate and run their families, when they don’t even have children in the first place due to their vows of celibacy.. (or so the claim)

    it is more immoral to procreate carelessly and have more than you can support.

    perhaps it would be better if we abolished the religious tax exemption.

    “pakikialaman niyo kami ha? pakikialaman din namin kayo!”

    batikos kayo ng batikos wala naman kayong magandang solusyon na hinahain. atsaka di kami makikinig sa inyo dahil di naman kayo nagbabayad ng buwis!

  37. ManBearPig says:

    Interesting article, ChinoF. Sorry if my comment’s kinda late.

    Well, it’s all very simple really. The Church’s role is to tap into our conscience.

    However, we must also take into consideration the separation of the Church from state. If you’re a devout Catholic (devout in a way that is educated and unlike those old women you see touching images of saints in churches or praying the rosary while kneel-walking towards the altar), you can always practice abstinence and such and use natural birth-control methods. If you are educated and disciplined enough, you can always be sure (to some extent) that there’ll be no unwanted pregnancies in the future. Simple as that. Which is probably why most Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Churches in Europe don’t really say anything. We’re somehow religiously backward here in the Philippines.

    On the RH bill, it is simply for those nominally “Catholic” folks who can’t control their urges and don’t care about the disadvantages of providing for a s**tload of children. Sure, from a Catholic’s perspective, contraception isn’t right, but from a legal point of view especially in a country like the Philippines where nominal Catholics and other denominations thrive, it’s a viable solution.

    It’s Machiavellian, actually, to separate morality from legality. Killing is morally illicit, but when you have a crazed madman/murderer/rapist/insurgent in prison and you have to instill fear into the hearts of others; to let them know what happens to criminals, then, you’d have to get the aforementioned criminal executed. It’s really a way of keeping order.

    On another note, the CBCP is a weak evangelizing council, and unlike other countries, the CBCP is going deeper and deeper into politics.Yapping instead of evangelizing, praying and tapping into our conscience. If only they’d follow the examples of American members of the clergy, though. They’re pretty open-minded, yet, maintain that moral sense that’s distinctively Catholic. I have friends in America who are Catholic and they know their faith very well and are very devoted, unlike most of us (heck, when was the last time we confessed our sins?).

    Finally, even Tony Blair, a Catholic (converted to Anglicanism when he became Prime Minister and back to Catholicism upon stepping down from power), did not like the idea of abortion, but this is what he said:
    “However much I dislike the idea of abortion, you should not criminalize a woman who, in very difficult circumstances, makes that choice.”

    I am not saying I’m pro-choice, by the way. But it kinda makes you think: in a country stricken by poverty and ignorance, sometimes, the unacceptable becomes commonplace just to maintain order.

    Anyway, kudos to this post!

  38. Hyden Toro says:

    Fr. Arellano, the Filipino Catholic Taliban has spoken to promote his religious agenda.

  39. Hyden Toro says:

    @Fr. Arellano:…Please try to have a good evaluation of your faith. Family Planning is not genocide. Genocide is the murder of people because because of: political, religious or ethnic reasons. If families have two children. It would be ideal. Why would we bring children here on Earth that we cannot provide? Fr. Arellano: you encourage people to have children, to provide other countries with slave laborers? Filipino OFWs are mistreated, underpaid and abused. Is this more a crime than what you call adhering to your religious dogmas? Why not have one or two children. Then, enjoy the conveniences of our modern life? To try to cling to a Religious Faith that had imposed a lot of mistakes to mankind is stupid. The Catholic faith had done: (1) Inquisition. Torture and burning of Heretics. (2) Imposed people to believe that the world was Flat. Anybody believing otherwise was burned on the Stake. (3) Looked the other way, while the African Slave Trade was done by Catholic Spain and Catholic Portugal. (4) Did not oppose the Fascists in Italy and the Nazis in Germany. They collaborated with them. While 6 million Jews and other opposed to the Nazis were burned in the Gas Chambers. (5) Assisted in the escape of the Nazis to South America, after their defeat. By providing sanctuaries in the monasteries. The Catholic Church should have a thorough Soul Searching. Babies are born as fast as the speed of light. While the land, sources of food, do not grow. How will we feed the incoming next bunch of babies? Perhaps, Fr. Arellano can multiply cavans of rice, like Jesus Christ.

  40. Hyden Toro says:

    Some bugs are planted again on the Word Press…Maybe the Priests and Bishops work.

  41. Jay says:

    The urgency of proper sex education is reflected by high numbers of women who don’t know what their own body parts are! A recent survey showed that a significant number of Filipinas (23-30% if I’m not mistaken) believe that the hymen is a male organ, because it has “men” in the name!

    A little aside from this but still sex ed related. Really disgusting figures here:

    The 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 3) conducted by the UP Population Institute and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, Inc. revealed that while nearly all (95%) young adults have heard of HIV/AIDS, 73% believe there is no chance of them getting HIV/AIDS.

    The percentage of young adults who think that AIDS is curable more than doubled between 1994 and 2002. In 1994, only 12.5% thought that there was a cure to HIV/AIDS. This increased to 28% in 2002.

    More males than females are familiar with sexually-transmitted diseases (70% vs. 63%) although males are more likely to think that AIDS is curable (30% for males vs. 26% for females).

    http://www.ehealth.ph/index.php/latest-ehealth-news/23

    Its probably not spurned from the influences of perspective of the Catholic church on sex ed but imagine the numbers if the youth are directly influenced. Pray to God and tell AIDS to go away.

  42. raiwire says:

    i think its about time the church should veer away from politics and focus on its spiritual duties.they are a hazard to our nations progress because their views and opinions are obsolete and invalid for today’s situation.Good article Chino.

  43. Ansel says:

    I am for the RH bill but I am against the 2 child policy.  I am for contraceptives which conceptually does not kill a fetus if ever it is formed but I am against abortion.
    Education is they key, it is the long term solution.  But for now, because of the urgency of a law that will control the population, the RH bill should serve its purpose.

  44. Maki_Alam says:

    I’m Catholic, but I absolutely despise these so-called Catholic leaders. I don’t need a gang of power-hungry hypocritical pedophiles telling me what to do.

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — Mahatma Gandhi

    • AlvinEternal says:

      That’s why Christianity wouldn’t blossom in India if the British Christians are not Christ-like.

      BTW, I’m a Protestant. But I support the RH Bill.

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  47. sheryl says:

    let’s be open…let us not only blame those catholic church leaders because as we all know the problem faced by our dear nation nowadays were all coming from us…..

    • Dani says:

      Catholic Church leaders are not being blamed for anything. They are currently in a bad light because that’s where they place themselves to be. Seriously, would you listen to leaders who constantly put their feet in their mouth? And their noses where it don’t belong? I can quote you so many lines from bishops that would raise both your eyebrows. I’m a Christian too and I believe in life. But I don’t wear the sign of “civil disobedience” with my head up high. What spiritual leaders must preach, they ought to at the right place, in the right way. 🙂

  48. jdhdl says:

    i’m not a catholic, but i found this article to have more substance than what the priest was sayin

    WHY BIBLE-BELIEVING, MARRIAGE-LOVING,
    FAMILY-ORIENTED FILIPINOS MUST BE AGAINST THE
    CONSOLIDATED RH BILL OF THE 15th
    CONGRESS
    (TO BE KNOWN AS THE RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, REPRODUCTIVE
    HEALTH AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2011)

    By Bishop REUBEN M. ABANTE, DD

    I have read the Consolidated RH Bill which is to be known as The Responsible Parenthood,
    Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2011.

    It is clear to me that this Bill intends to address the following issues that confront our country and
    people:

     Population growth

     Poverty

     Maternal death

     Violence Against Women

     Child Mortality

     AIDS and HIV

     Abortion (along with unwanted pregnancies)

    Among the significant solutions offered by the Bill are:

     The inclusion of Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines and which leads to the
    Procurement & Distribution of the same to the Local Governments and for the Whole
    Country (Sec 10, 11).

    This clearly refers to the procurement by the National Government of supplies (as condoms,
    contraceptives and artificial methods) and the distribution of the same to all Filipinos in the
    whole country.

    The Definition of Terms (Sec 4) of the Bill does not specifically define “Family Planning
    Supplies” but it does refer to “a full range of safe, legal, affordable, effective and modern
    methods of limiting and spacing pregnancy” (par. h). The “modern methods” refers to safe,
    effective and legal methods, whether natural or artificial, that are registered with the Food
    and Drug Administration or the Department of Health” (par. n)

     The teaching of Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education to students starting from Grade
    Five up to Fourth Year High School both public and private schools, including out-of-school
    youth and those in the Alternative Learning Systems (Sec 16).

    I am a Christian Filipino. As such, I respect the Bible, the Word of God, and the Constitution
    of the Republic of the Philippines. May I thus cite some references that guide my convictions
    regarding the matter at hand as a Christian Filipino:
    2

    * Ps 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it… (KJV)

    * Heb 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and
    adulterers God will judge. (NKJV)

    * 1 Cor 7:9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to
    marry than to burn with passion. (NKJV)

    * Eph 5:31-32 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be
    joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery… (KJV)

    The Philippine Constitution states:

    Article XV, THE FAMILY

    Section 1. The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation.
    Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total
    development.

    Section 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the FOUNDATION OF
    THE FAMILY and shall be protected by the State.

    The Consolidated RH Bill does not promote nor protect Marriage. What it does promote are
    “natural and modern methods of family planning that are medically safe and legal” and “medically
    safe, legal, accessible, affordable and effective services and supplies.” There is no mention in the
    bill that the authors RECOGNIZE the Constitutional provision that “Marriage is the Foundation of
    the Family.”

    The fact is, the Bill undermines the Institution of Marriage and endangers the Filipino Family.
    It subtly brings about a culture that marriage is not needed to have safe and enjoyable sex and even
    have children. Nowhere in the Bill do the authors uphold the Biblical principle and the Filipino
    values that marriage is important and that sex should come within the context of marriage! They aim
    to teach sex education to Grade Five pupils rather than teach marriage as a foundation of the family.
    They aim to procure contraceptives and condoms and distribute them to everyone without due regard
    to marriage as an institution.

    Marriage is not simply a church doctrine. It is wrong to say that marriage is a matter of the
    church. If it is, then mayors, judges and ship captains should not at all perform marriage
    ceremonies! As it is then, the ministers, mayors, judges and all officials who perform marriages
    should be equipped to give proper counsel to all who get married and start families, and not
    just the health care providers mentioned in the Bill.

    Moreover, it is not the teachers or health workers who can best understand the physical well-
    being of the children – but their own parents. They are the ones who should be taught
    parenting and be made aware of issues that confront their children instead of putting these
    responsibility on the teachers and health workers. Let us not infringe upon the sacredness and
    autonomy of the Filipino family! Instead, let us help Filipino parents build strong families with
    the right values.

    Joel 1:3, “Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and their
    children another generation. (NKJV)

    …. to be continued.

  49. aj says:

    the bible says – “go forth and multiply, AND CONTROL THE EARTH.” the catholic priests preach – “go forth and multiply but DO NOT CONTROL THE EARTH, JUST KEEP MULTIPLYING.”

  50. Pingback: Poverty not a Problem, says Bishop | Get Real Post

  51. Pingback: Poverty not a Problem, says Bishop « Filipino Mentality & Psyche « Expats Life in the Philippines

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