we are publishing here relevant articles and comments on the recent declaration of pope benedict on the use of condoms and other articles and comments as it relates to RH Bill 5043.
by all angles, this is a very strange development – the RH Bill proponents have found a new ally against the CBCP and his name is Pope Benedict.
not that the CBCP has been winning the debate among catholics, but with the pope’s statement, the CBCP has lost any sense of moral standing in arguing against the use of condoms which is allowed in the RH Bill. we are saying the CBCP has lost the argument with its own flock as research shows a high 70% of catholics support the RH Bill.
the pope has effectively made the case for the RH Bill’s passage much easier than before.
Pope’s pronouncement on condoms strengthens RH bill – Lagman
By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:38:00 11/21/2010
MANILA, Philippines – A staunch advocate of the reproductive health bill welcomed on Sunday Pope Benedict XVI’s pronouncement that HIV-infected male prostitutes could use condoms to prevent the spread of the disease, adding that this weakened the local Catholic Church opposition to the RH bill.
House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, author of reproductive health measure House Bill 96, observed that this was a “departure from the strictly very conservative approach of the papacy and the Catholic Church” on contraception.
“That is a welcome development because the papacy is opening up to the eventual contraceptive use,” he said in an interview by phone.
“Once you have opened up and made an exception, the liberalization of the Church outlook has started. And we’d expect further liberalization. He has made an exception, then more exception would be forthcoming,” he added.
The Pope said HIV-carrying male prostitutes could use condoms as a first step of taking moral responsibility to avoid infecting partners, but stressed that this was not a “real or moral solution.”
pope benedict’s views saying condoms can be used on certain cases, like male prostitutes to prevent the spread of diseases has given the pending RH Bill in congress some good traction to pass in congress. it effectively weakens the church opposition against the RH Bill.
the RH Bill is due for debate next week, after many years of being mothballed in congress.
House to start RH debate
By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:39:00 11/21/2010
MANILA, Philippines—The House of Representatives will start the much anticipated debate over the proposed Reproductive Health (RH) measure next week.
All of the six related bills on reproductive health
and family planning have been scheduled for public hearings by the House Committee on Population and Family Relations Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.
pope benedict effectively gave the supporters of the RH Bill a loophole for their cause – condoms may be used after all. while the pope was just referring to male prostitutes, we do not see what can prevent straight male and female couples from using condoms to also prevent the spread of disease. the catholic church’s previous position was zero use of any form of modern method of contraception.
it does not make sense to us that straight heterosexual couples should be prevented from using condoms to save themselves from disease. sexual diseases after all does not discriminate – it can affect male prostitutes and their partners as well as straight heterosexual partners.
we think the proponents of the RH Bill should send pope benedict some kind of temporary ID as an honorary member of the philippine congress.
Pope Benedict – use of condoms acceptable in some instances; CBCP’s anti-RH Bill position in jeopardy?
something as controversial as this is something that is very unexpected to come from pope as Benedict. but said it he did - condoms can be used in certain cases to prevent the spread of disease.
we think this statement of benedict will not only definitely get the catholic church talking as a whole , but the CBCP (Catholic Bishop;s Conference of the Philippines) on their toes in their fight against the RH Bill which is due for debate in congress within next month.
benedict’s statement considerably weakens the CBCP’s stand of non use of condoms for any reason. the use of condoms and modern methods of contraception together with traditional methods of contraception is allowed and will be promoted based on the rh bill. how can the CBCP convince catholics not to support the bill when the pope himself says a portion of society can use condoms?
the CBCP loses its moral high ground in the position that they are taking against the RH Bill.
Pope Benedict says that condoms can be used to stop the spread of HIV
Pope Benedict XVI during his four-day visit to Britain in September. His comments on condoms and HIV signal a break with the Vatican’s blanket ban on contraceptives.
In a break with his traditional teaching, Pope Benedict XVI has said the use of condoms is acceptable “in certain cases”, in an extended interview to be published this week.
After holding firm during his papacy to the Vatican’s blanket ban on the use of contraceptives, Benedict’s surprise comments will shock conservatives in the Catholic church while finding favour with senior Vatican figures who are pushing for a new line on the issue as HIV ravages Africa.
The comments were made in a book-length interview with a German journalist, Peter Seewald. In the case of a male prostitute, says Benedict, using a condom to reduce the risk of HIV infection “can be a first step in the direction of moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants”.
Contraception can be “a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality,” the pope says.
Excerpts from the book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times, were published yesterday by L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. The pope’s comments follow his controversial assertion in 2009 that the rising tide of HIV in Africa could be made worse, not better, by the distribution of condoms. He was speaking to journalists as he visited Africa, where the majority of HIV fatalities occur.
At the time, Aids campaigners and European governments expressed outrage. Belgium’s health minister said the pope’s comments “could demolish years of prevention and education and endanger many human lives”.
Francis X Rocca, a Vatican expert and correspondent for Religion News Service, said: “This new statement by the pope is very significant, it is going to shake things up. Even if high-ranking church figures and theologians have come out and said this, it remains a controversial subject and no pope has ever said something like this.”
Christina Odone, another leading Catholic journalist and commentator in the UK, described the Pope’s comments as a “hugely important moment” which Catholics had spent decades waiting for. “It allows Catholics, when we defend our church, to be able to say that this is a not a church that condemns people to Aids and that this is not a church that wilfully ignores the consequences of having unprotected sex,” she said.
Peter Stanford, former editor of the Catholic Herald, described the pope’s comments as “very significant. It’s a very welcome step if they are facing up to the real issues faced by real people.”
Insiders said that word of Benedict’s comment spread like “wildfire” at the Vatican yesterday, where he was appointing new cardinals. One said: “People were confused but also excited.”
In 2006, the Pontifical Council for the Health Care Pastoral, led by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, was asked by Benedict to report on the use of condoms as a way of combating HIV.
“The pope is saying that if you can prevent disease, the use of condoms could be permissible,” said John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. “But this has been in the mix for a while,” he argued. “I think Benedict has been thinking this way since 2006, which is why he asked for the commission to look into it.
“The problem was not Benedict, it was others in the Vatican who argued that if you said using condoms was OK in certain situations, it would send out the message that they were approved. This was a PR problem.”