8 REASONS WHY CATHOLICS SUPPORT RH by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
The Catholic Church Does Not Consider Anti-RH Teaching as Infallible
Theology consists of critical reflection on faith. St. Anselm of Canterbury gave to us the classic definition of theology as: “Faith seeking understanding.” But theology is the result not only of faith, but also of certain normative rules which fall into two categories: doctrines and dogmas. Doctrines consist of beliefs or teachings which receive the official approval of the Church.
But by contrast, dogmas, which literally mean “what is right,” are doctrines that are taught definitively and promulgated with the highest solemnity. In other words, dogmas are the definitive rules of faith. If you reject a dogma, you become a heretic. Parenthetically, it is very strange that our Church has failed to enumerate what are the Catholic dogmas.
A teaching which is dogma is infallible; but a teaching which is mere doctrine is not infallible. A doctrine can change over time. Thus, the 1973 Mysterium Ecclesiae, a declaration issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states: “The expressions of revelation are historically conditioned, and therefore the meaning is not always self-evident to those in some other historical setting. The meaning in dogmatic language may change from one historical period to another. The truth itself may be expressed incompletely.”
In his classic bestseller, the 1994 revised edition of the book entitled Catholicism, Richard P. McBrien of the University of Notre Dame, said: “The Church has never explicitly claimed to such infallibility on a moral question.” The RH issue is a moral question. The Catholic Church has never claimed that any pronouncement on the RH issue is infallible.
And in the 1996 book Christ Among Us, Anthony Wilhelm said that on the question of contraception: “The large majority of theologians agree that no question of infallibility is involved.”
The Catholic Enjoys Freedom of Conscience
Every Catholic, like any citizen, enjoys freedom of conscience. In fact, modern theology now recognizes the primacy of conscience over mere doctrines formulated by certain clerics. In 1965, Pope Paul 6 issued an encyclical letter entitled Dignitatis Humanae, also known as Declaration on Religious Freedom. The Pope wrote: “Man perceives and acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation of conscience. In all his activity, a man is bound to follow his conscience in order that he may come to God, the end and purpose of living. It follows that he is not to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his conscience.”
In 1967, the same Pope Paul 6 issued another encyclical entitled Populorum Progreso, also known as “On the Development of Peoples.” The Pope said: “It is for the parish to decide, with full knowledge of the matter, on the number of their children . . . in all these they must follow the demands of their own conscience.”
The 1971 statement by the US Sacred Congregation for the Clergy states: “Conscience is invulnerable and no person is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his (or her) conscience.”
Years later, in 1993, Pope John Paul 23 issued his encyclical entitled Veritatis Splendor, also known as Splendor of Truth. The Pope said: “The authority of the Church, when she pronounces on moral questions, in no way undermines the freedom of conscience of Christians. The Church puts herself always and only in the service of conscience.”
And in 1996, in the book Christ Among Us, which I have already cited, Anthony Wilhelm wrote that some “500 American theologians, in concert with many theologians throughout the world, asserted that for grave reasons Catholics may follow their conscience this matter even though the Pope has spoken.”
Quoting Andrew Greeley, both a priest and socialist, Wilhelm reached the following conclusion: “It is a clear teaching that, while erroneous decisions might be made in following one’s conscience, one who has tried to inform one’s conscience must then follow it.”
RH Observes the “Preferential Option for the Poor,” Under Liberation Theology
Liberation theology is the theory which interprets liberation from social, political, and economic oppression as an anticipation of eschatological or post-death salvation. The following are the basic principles of liberation theology:
- It is the Church and not merely the Catholic hierarchy, which is a sacrament.
- By Church, we mean the whole People of God, not just the hierarchy.
- The whole People of God participates in the mission of Christ, and not just in the mission of the Catholic hierarchy.
- The mission of the Church includes service to those in need, and, parenthetically, service to the women of the poor. The mission of the Church is not limited to the preaching of the gospel or the celebration of the sacraments.
In his 1988 book, A Theory of Liberation, Gustavo Gutierrez wrote that the preferential option for the poor is central in liberation theology. He advocated giving “preference to the poorest and most needy sectors.” He reminded Catholics of the statement made by Pope John Paul 23 just before the opening of Vatican 2 that the Church is called upon to be a church of the poor. Gutierrez said: “Let me say only that we have here two aspects of the church’s life that are both demanding and inseparable: universality and preference for the poor.”
RH is Part of Today’s Sense of the Faithful, Also Known as Sensus Fidelium
Literally, sensus fidelium means “the sense of the faithful.” It refers to doctrinal truth recognized by the whole body of the faithful. In theology, the sense of the faithful belongs to the individual believer within the community of the faithful. In other words, God teaches us not only through the priests and the bishops, but also through the laity, to whom God gives understanding of the faith.
In opposing the RH bill, certain members of the Catholic religious fail to listen effectively to the sense of the faithful. The Catholic clergy have a moral duty to take into consideration the experiences and consciousness of the laity. The religious should descend from the pulpit and consult with parishioners on RH. Today we find some of the male religious issuing their orders and directives from the pulpit, or in other words using the bully pulpit. Some of them manage only to appeal to blind faith, instead of participating in a consultative process with the Catholic laity, particularly the poor and the underprivileged.
sotto on rh bill is the laughing stock of social media, he victimized himself – patricia evangelista
The lightning rod
Tito Sotto is a victim, or so Tito Sotto claims. He believes he is the focus of a concerted effort by the heavily funded supporters of the Reproductive Health bill, all of whom are desperate to demonize him and weaken his resolve. He suspects he is the first senator to be made victim of cyberbullying. He has been insulted, criticized and threatened with lawsuits. His history has been exploited. It is a hatchet job, he says, a demolition job.
The senator is correct when he says that plagiarism has become the issue, instead of the nuances of the bill itself. He is also correct when he talks about the online response to his speeches. He is the laughingstock of cyberspace. “Sinotto” is a trending hashtag for plagiarized lines. The face that once decorated blockbuster movie billboards is a Facebook meme. When the senator used translated-into-Filipino chunks of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 Affirmation speech in his latest privilege speech, the online community responded with a slew of translated song lyrics and movie lines from Lady Gaga to Cherie Gil, all attributed to Tito Sotto.
He also finds it odd that none of his opponents, not a single one of his critics, has attempted to rebut the ideas he has put forward in his privilege speeches.
“I have not heard a response to any of the criticisms I have thrown against the RH bill.”
The senator is not correct. It is true that the plagiarism issue has made him less believable, far less credible, but advocates of the Reproductive Health bill have refuted his ideas point by point, in columns and blogs and television interviews, establishing his sources as outdated, his claims misrepresentations, and his statistics misinterpreted, while pointing out the fundamental factual error in his emotional claim that his child died in 1975 because his wife had ingested birth control pills. The pill he specified, Diane, was yet to be distributed the year he lost his son.
we have been waiting for the answer of fr. bernas on the 3/4 print ad released by the CBCP and bishop reyes of antipolo. we have marked the important points made by fr. bernas. (click to read: CBCP answers fr joaquin bernas on rh bill via print ad at philippine daily inquirer)
we have a few more:
- fr. bernas is incorrect when he said this: “Third, the Church teaching on contraception is based not only on Faith or revelation but also on natural law.” in fact the bishop admits its opposition to the rh bill is NOT based on faith or revelation, ” It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives is not based on Faith or revelation, although it is confirmed by our Faith.”
- fr. bernas being a catholic priest is anti rhbill but he is also a professor of law, a constitutionalist, a pinoy and a human being. he answers the bishop being all of those, each one on 20/20 vision.
- every time fr. bernas writes about the rh bill, he makes us think and reflect on our positions on the rh bill and from which we either confirm or change our positions. the point is fr. bernas always makes us think and reflect no matter what our position is on the rh bill.
CONVERSATION WITH A BISHOP
Fr. Joaquin Bernas S.J.
A couple of days ago Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo diocese, writing under the stationary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, published an ad in the Inquirer and Philippine Star, expressing his disagreement with the views of an unnamed columnist on the merits and demerits of the RH Bill. The regular readers of my columns in the Inquirer immediately recognized that the Bishop was referring to me. I too recognized it immediately as referring to me.Not that I object to the reference to me nor to being quoted. In fact I welcome the bishop’s ad and take it as an invitation to dialogue. Dialogue among Christians, high and low, is highly encouraged by the Church today. “In the modern world, the scandal is not that Vatican officials would engage scientists who disagree with church teaching, but rather that such engagement is regarded as taboo.”The Bishop takes exception to my statement that “the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious beliefs nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious beliefs.” The Bishop says that he “would be happy if the (non-abortifacient contraceptives) were banned” but that the Church is only against the state promoting contraceptives and providing free contraceptives to people.From the bishop’s ad, I gather three points for dialogue. First, the bishop says that now “anyone can buy contraceptives from drugstores or even from ‘convenient stores.’” Second, (but this is implicit) the state should not use public money to make contraceptives freely available. Third, the Church teaching on contraception is based not only on Faith or revelation but also on natural law.Let’s converse about these.First, on easy availability of contraceptives in drugstores. The clear implication is that the world is free and anyone can buy these. This is simply not true. Only those who have the money can buy them. Legislators, however, are thinking of the vast majority of poor people who need help to be able to practice responsible parenthood.
life on twitter has not been this interesting since google senator tito sotto revealed himself at the senate floor a few weeks ago. aside from the continuing drama that sotto has been doing, a few other things have evolved that we should all know about.
we are putting here for your “dagdag kaalaman”.
we saw this on twitter from @isupportRHBill
we do not know the location of the above and we also do not know if that is where all the sottohan happens.
read more about google senator tito sotto and his achievements in the senate:
serial plagiarist Senator Tito Sotto plagiarizes AGAIN in his september 5 speech, this time robert f. kennedy #rhbill
this just exploded once again on twitter just a few hours after senator sotto delivered his 4th and last privilege speech at the senate floor just today. apparently senator sotto, the hero plagiarist of the anti rh bill advocates and the serial plagiarist in the philippine senate did it AGAIN today. this time he plagiarized the last part of his speech from a speech by the great Robert F. Kennedy, “Day of Affirmation Address” speech delivered on june 6, 1966.
abs-cbn’s TV Patrol reported tonight that senator said the english parts were just “texted to him by a friend”. also of interest was his answer to senator jinggoy estrada’s question to him if there was any part of his speech was plagiarized. sotto replied there was none and the way he made sure of that was he delivered the speech in filipino.
of course he lied. his speech did contain plagiarized parts.
sotto also probably thinks translating it to filipino is not plagiarim.
here is the side by side comparison of the speeches we got from here : https://twitter.com/ChiliMedley/status/243281155581935618
the above pic was posted by Michel Eldiy (@ChiliMedley)
senator sotto’s speech today: http://anc.abs-cbnnews.com/articles/605/sen-sottos-turno-en-contra-speech-on-rh-bill-parts-3-4-as-prepared-for-delivery/
speech of robert f kennedy here : http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Day-of-Affirmation-Address-news-release-text-version.aspx
the plagiarized parts of the kennedy speech is on paragraph #34 (at around the last 1/4 of the speech; the paragraph starts with: “Give me a place to stand,” said Archimedes….” ) of the kennedy speech while sotto said them on the second to the last paragraph of his speech (last paragraph is “Maraming salamat po.”)
PDI article, september 6:
Sotto does it again, channels Robert F. Kennedy in Filipino
Did Robert F. Kennedy know how to speak Filipino?
This appears to be the gist of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III’s defense amid new allegations of plagiarism after he delivered the fourth and last part of his “turno en contra” speech against the reproductive health bill.
It took bloggers less than two hours to find out that Sotto did it again.
A tweet from a certain Michel Eldiy at 5:30 p.m., more than an hour after the Sotto speech, triggered online discussions on the supposed intellectual dishonesty of the senator.
“Not true that last part of Sotto’s speech is original. See Day of Affirmation speech of Robert Kennedy in 1966 in South Africa,” said Eldiy, who goes by the Twitter handle, “ChiliMedley.”
She then tweeted a link to the Kennedy speech and later compared it with the speech of Sotto.
Sought for comment, the senator said: “It was texted to me by a friend.
“I found the idea good. I translated it into Tagalog [Filipino]. So what’s the problem?” Sotto told the Philippine Daily Inquirer when asked about his reaction to the fresh accusations.
“Ano? Marunong nang mag-Tagalog si Kennedy? (What now? Does Kennedy now know how to speak in Tagalog)?” he added.
In a separate text message, the senator lamented that proponents of the RH bill were nitpicking
news article from abs-cbn, september 5.
Sotto’s last speech copied from Kennedy?by Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNnews.comPosted at 09/05/2012 6:57 PM | Updated as of 09/05/2012 6:59 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Did Senator Tito Sotto, who has been accused of plagiarism, copy yet again from someone else in the last part of his “turno en contra” privilege speech against the reproductive health (RH) bill on Wednesday?Social media users called out Sotto anew, accusing him of only translating parts of a speech originally delivered by the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy.