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ateneo president fr villarin ignores bishop, upholds independent thinking and appreciates ateneo professors efforts on rh bill

August 21, 2012 5 comments

in the long held tradition of the ateneo, fr. villarin, ateneo president not only upholds independent thinking but more importantly appreciates the 192 professors who have released a statement of their support on the rh bill. the latter to me was unexpected.

some weeks ago,  the ateneo professors released a statement where 160 of them stated their support for the rh bill, calling for congress to pass the bill. that caught the attention of the rh bill advocates and was one of the most talked about among groups involved on the bill.

then just a few days ago, the same group of ateneo professors released another statement saying an additional 33 professors signed on to their statement of support for the rh bill.

that once again caught the attention of opposing forces on the rh bill debate and this time  included traditional media. it helped that that was the time that president aquino included the rh bill on his SONA and it was causing excitement in congress. the renewed interest and strong publicity of the statement of the ateneo professors supporting the rh bill also caught the attention of the CBCP and a permanent member of it.

CBCP member bishop medroso has said the ateneo professors who aired their support for the rh bill should be investigated to see if they should be fired for teaching the rh bill at the ateneo. the CBCP opposes the rh bill.

bishop medroso says the ateneo being a catholic school should toe the line of the CBCP on the rh bill. according to him by implication, ateneo can lose its recognition as a catholic school and the professors their jobs if they teach their students their support to the rh bill in the classrooms.

as a reaction to the growing and very loud voices on the ateneo professors’ statements,  this letter was released by  fr. villarin. it was released very quickly, just one day after the threat of the bishop was written up in the press.

the letter states that it recognizes the individual stand of the professors in their support of the rh bill and accepts that there are divergent views on the rh bill and the ateneo professors position is one of them.

the most important part is that he does not sanction the ateneo professors for their stand supporting the rh bill which is contrary to the school’s stand and the CBCP. the CBCP bishop was in less than subtle terms wanted the sanction.

read here:

bishop wants pro rh bill Ateneo professors fired – hahahaha – http://wp.me/pnw03-1DB

fr. villarin even goes on to give the ateneo professors encouragement, saying they should “continue in their discernment of the common good“, appreciating the intent the professors stated in their position paper which was to help the poor, saying “I appreciate their social compassion and intellectual efforts“.

we thought that the last part on the “intellectual efforts” was not just a recognition of the high quality work and thinking the professors put into their statement but also a subtle allusion to the quality, or lack of it, of the discourse from anti rh bill proponents.

Church Of The Gesu At The Ateneo De Manila University

it is very clear that in this letter, fr. villarin:

  1. ignores, rebukes and delivers a slap in the face of the CBCP and the bishop who was calling for the ateneo professors to be fired from their teaching jobs at the ateneo
  2. key here is fr. villarin has stated no sanctions of any sort or censure on the ateneo professors. this is the exact opposite of what the cbcp and the bishop wanted
  3. he sees the action of the ateneo professors in a very different light from what the bishop was trying to say
  4. the ateneo agrees to disagree with the ateneo professors as fr. villarin states that the ateneo as a catholic school opposes the passage of the rh bill
  5. respects the opposing view of the ateneo professors and allows them to pursue their views as the professors see fit
  6. states that the school has been teaching in the classrooms the anti rh bill position of the school and the CBCP. this is important as this establishes the CBCP may not sanction ateneo as it is in fact teaching its position.
  7. that sets up the point that the statement released by the professors are indeed just their individual and personal view on the rh bill and thus cannot be sanctioned by the school or the CBCP. fr. villarin has drawn a differentiation between what the professors teach in the classroom and what they say as individuals. the latter goes to freedom of expression and academic freedom.
  8. although obviously unstated, we think fr. villarin is pro rh bill. he just could not say it being the president of the catholic school ateneo. not saying comes within the territory of his job as president of the catholic school he heads.
  9. rather than calling for the non passage of the rh bill, fr. villarin is calling for amendments to the bill.
  10. he also probably thinks the rh bill will be passed, saying that the community should work for making sure no coercion is done in its implementation allowing for people to exercise free will to decide to avail or not avail any of the components of the rh bill.
  11. the  letter shows a very keen appreciation of the pro-poor and pro-people stance of the ateneo professors in their support of the rh bill. we think it is obvious from here that fr. villarin together with the ateneo professors believe and practice in being “man for others”
  12. upholds the ateneo tradition of encouraging, in fact teaching informed independent thinking, inclusive of whether it agrees or disagrees with its own position. this is a tradition in the school. if the students are taught this, why shouldn’t it allow the professors to exercise the same?
  13. we think this one of the strongest statements in that letter : “Nevertheless, Catholic tradition has always taught that reason and faith are not enemies but allies in the service of God’s truth.” reason here refers to the position paper released by the ateneo professors while faith refers to the position of the CBCP, the bishop and the university. he is saying here that they really should not clash or one cancel the other, and that in fact both can be combined to reach the “service of God’s truth”. he is saying both are right and not one is wrong over the other.
  14. in saying both are right and not one is wrong over the other has the effect of siding with the ateneo professors. the previous and original statement released by the ateneo professors had this as the topic : “catholics in conscience can support the rh bill”. (click here: Catholics Can Support The RH Bill In Good Conscience – Ateneo Professors’ Position Paper RH Bill 5043)

clearly, fr. villarin is a man of high intellect with a genuine gift for communicating and words. it is also obvious he has a full understanding of his role, the ateneo professors and the school and its dynamics and core values.  he has done his job well as president of the ateneo.

this is a proud day for ateneo and ateneans.

Memo to the University Community from the President

date posted: 2012-08-21 12:30:09

20 August 2012

Memo to:       The University Community

Subject:          HB 4244

Together with our leaders in the Catholic Church, the Ateneo de Manila University does not support the passage of House Bill 4244 (The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Bill).  As many of these leaders have pointed out, the present form of the proposed bill contains provisions that could be construed to threaten constitutional rights as well as to weaken commonly shared human and spiritual values.

Now that the period for amendments is about to begin, I enjoin all in the Ateneo community to continue in-depth study of the present bill, and to support amendments to remove provisions that could be ambiguous or inimical from a legal, moral or religious perspective.

In connection with this, I call attention to the 192 members of our faculty who have grappled with the underlying issues in the context of Catholic social teaching, and who have spoken in their own voice in support of the bill.  Though the University must differ from their position for the reasons stated above, I appreciate their social compassion and intellectual efforts, and urge them to continue in their discernment of the common good.  As there is a spectrum of views on this ethical and public policy issue, I ask all those who are engaged in the Christian formation of our students to ensure that the Catholic position on this matter continues to be taught in our classes, as we have always done.

Should the bill with whatever amendments be passed, we should neither hesitate to bring to the judiciary whatever legal questions we may have nor cease to be vigilant in ensuring that no coercion takes place in implementation.

If there is no easy answer to the concerns that the proposed bill raises or no facile unanimity among divergent views, this only proves the complexity, depth, and sensitivity of these concerns.  Nevertheless, Catholic tradition has always taught that reason and faith are not enemies but allies in the service of God’s truth.  From this tradition, we can draw strength and compassion in our often tortuous journey as persons in community toward the greater glory of God and the service of God’s people.

Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ

President

source: http://www.admu.edu.ph/index.php?p=120&type=2&sec=29&aid=11138

bishop wants pro rh bill Ateneo professors fired – hahahaha

August 20, 2012 6 comments

the rhetoric on the rh bill and the ateneo de manila professors just got raised a few levels up with a bishop medroso saying the ateneo professors who are pro rh bill should be investigated and should be fired from their jobs if they are giving “instructions”  contrary to the catholic church’s teachings, the rh bill in particular. the catholic church is against the rh bill.

good luck to the bishop on that one. the statements of the ateneo professors have been released on the basis of what they say there as their individual and personal view on the rh bill and not of the university nor does it say it is what  they teach in the classrooms of the ateneo. the disclaimer is written on the first few paragraphs of the statement the professors released.

Ateneo De Manila College Administration Building

there are few grey areas on the threat of the bishop.

professors and doctors who teach at the ateneo medical school will need to teach about modern methods of contraception. it is part and parcel of any lesson on reproductive health and obstetrics. all ob-gyn doctors should know this. will the doctor teachers covering the topic be fired from their jobs?

an economics professor for example can cover the topic of population as it relates to economic theories. population and family size is a key component of the rh bill discussion, will these professors be fired too?

when students bring up the topic of rh bill during class discussion, should the teacher refuse to discuss it?

read the statements of the ateneo professors here:

160 Ateneo De Manila University Professors declare support for the RH Bill – http://wp.me/pnw03-1Cy

Catholics Can Support The RH Bill In Good Conscience – Ateneo Professors’ Position Paper RH Bill 5043 – http://wp.me/Pnw03-2q

we think that as long as the professors say in class, to their students that the school as a whole is anti-rh bill, the professor and students can proceed to discuss everything and anything about the rh bill. college education is all about discourse on the two sides of any issue or topic.

the ateneo classroom in particular is known for such discourse. one of the cornerstones of  an ateneo education is informed independent thinking. building independent thinkers is one of the most cherished goals of an ateneo education.

good luck to changing the very core of what the ateneo education is all about.

Catholic Church wants pro-RH bill Ateneo professors sacked
By 10:20 pm | Monday, August 20th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—It’s not exactly an inquisition but 159 members of the Ateneo de Manila University faculty may face investigation, and sacked if found guilty.

Bishop Leandro Medroso, in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas on Monday, called for an investigation of the Ateneo faculty members who signed a statement declaring support for the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill being pushed by the Aquino administration in Congress.

Medroso, the permanent council member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Canon Law, said the university should make sure that the teachers who endorsed House Bill No. 4244 have not been teaching concepts against Church laws.

“That has to be investigated. The first principle of Canon law about this matter is that we don’t allow teaching that is against the official teachings of the Church. Now, if there is somebody who is giving instructions against the teachings of the Church, then they have to investigate immediately,” Medroso said.

Read more…

blog that published noynoy aquino psychiatric evaluation taken down by author/s

April 9, 2010 7 comments

we picked up the supposed psychiatric assessment document of noynoy aquino from this blog –  http://politicalamateur.wordpress.com. as of this writing, the blog has been taken down by it’s authors. clicking on the link will  return this message:

we are amazed at the magnitude of this whole thing and what people are willing to do – going through faking documents, use of logos,  the signature of a priest and the writing of the contents.

we do not know if the author/s of that blog were the ones responsible for the fake document or if they were just given fake documents. it is such a big production with obvious intent to tell a lie and harm others.

on the positive side – we are equally amazed at the speed by which the bogus document was exposed. the news on the document was on the internet yesterday and was carried by tv news programs last night at prime time and was exposed anytime between midnight and this morning.

both the negative and the positive sides of this whole event can be exposed in almost an instant in the internet. that is the power of the internet.

ateneo department of psychology denies document on noynoy aquino

April 9, 2010 2 comments

Ateneo Psychology Department Statement re Faked Psychiatric Assessment

Psychology Department statement on Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.’s* supposed psychiatric evaluation

It has come to our attention that a psychiatric evaluation of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.*, supposedly conducted by the Ateneo de Manila University Psychology Department in 1996, is being circulated in the Internet and other media. The Psychology Department would like to correct this fallacious information. The document is false; no faculty member or other professional affiliated with the Psychology Department has ever conducted a psychiatric assessment of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.* Moreover, Fr. Carmelo A. Caluag, whose name appears as the signatory in the psychiatric evaluation form, is not a psychologist or psychiatrist and was never affiliated with the Psychology Department. The Department denounces this attempt to vilify a person’s character through the spreading of false information.

Psychology Department
School of Social Sciences
Ateneo de Manila University
8 April 2010

Note: * Benigno Aquino, Jr. is Benignoy “Noynoy” Aquino III

source: http://www.noynoy.ph/blog/2010/04/08/ateneo-psychology-department-statement-re-faked-psych-assessment/

noynoy aquino “psych document” is bogus – fr. carmelo caluag

April 9, 2010 1 comment
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