Archive

Posts Tagged ‘catholic bishops conference of the philippines’

fr. bernas answers bishop reyes & the CBCP : points out where the bishop erred on rh bill

September 9, 2012 2 comments

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.

CBCP answers fr joaquin bernas on rh bill via print ad at philippine daily inquirer

August 31, 2012 2 comments

this was published as a 3/4 page print ad at today’s philippine daily inquirer on page 11.  it is a direct reaction to the articles that fr. joaquin bernas, a jesuit has been publishing in his column in the same newspaper on the rh bill.

fr. bernas is a prominent filipino jesuit in the country respected and admired by all for being one of the country’s most authoritative on philippine law. fr. bernas teaches law at the ateneo law school and was a member of the constitutional convention that drafted the current constitution of the country. fr. bernas is often called by the courts and other lawyers for his opinion on matters of law.

we have printed here many of the important articles fr. bernas has written on the rh bull. (click here : https://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/?s=bernas)

this is the first time that the cbcp has directly answered fr. bernas on his views on the rh bill. fr. bernas has been publishing his views on the rh bill for many months now without a reaction from the cbcp. we give an explanation on this “sudden” reply by the cbcp to fr. bernas.

the print ad reply of the cbcp must have been triggered by the recent controversy that is still brewing right now on the ateneo professors’ stand on the rh bill. 192 ateneo professors have recently released a statement saying they support the rh bill and are calling for congress to immediately pass it into law. this is the thrid time that the ateneo professors have released such a statement but this one was different in that a large number, 192 in all have signed on to the statement. the first statement of the ateneo professors only had 60 professors signing up (“catholics can support the th bill in good conscience”)

read relevant articles on the ateneo professors support on the rh bill here: (click to read)

a bigger controversy was sparked when a permanent member bishop of the CBCP called for the ateneo to investigate the ateneo professors for their stand on the rh bill and said that they should be sanctioned, in fact fired from their jobs for their stand. the bishop also said catholic schools that do not teach the stand of the church on the rh bill should lose their “catholic” status.

the very next day the bishop made the threat of removing the “catholic status” of the ateneo and asking for the ateneo to fire the professors from their jobs, fr. jett villarin, president of the ateneo de manila university published an open letter to the ateneo community at the ateneo website.

fr. villarin in his letter did not say the ateneo professors will be given any sanction, will not be fired from their jobs and instead he even appreciated the efforts of the ateneo professors at forwarding their stand on the rh bill. the ateneo president also reiterated that as a catholic school, the ateneo is anti rh bill but respects the individual stand of the professors which was contrary to the university’s stand.

some things on the CBCP statement:

  • we find it strange that the name of fr. bernas is mentioned in this statement posted at the CBCP for Life website but has been deleted in the print ad released at the Philippine Daily Inquirer. we wonder what the reason is for that change.
  • this statement admits the CBCP stand against the rh bill is not based on theology,  “It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives is not based on Faith or revelation”.
  • it confirms our view that the CBCP’s opposition on the rh bill is based on Humanae Vitae, the encyclical pope paul VI released in 1968. (click to read here: Humanae Vitae encyclical – the catholic church’s basis for it’s stand on birth control)
  • it specifically basses its objection on “natural law”
  • humanae vitae and natural law while talke about by the church are not infallible and not dogma. a pope need to declare a church teaching to be infallible or dogma. no such thing has been done for both.
  • infallible encyclicals or dogma need to be followed by all catholics. it is a sin for catholics not to follow them.
  • since humanae vitae and natural law are not infallible and not dogma, catholics can treat these only as guidelines or food for thought. they have the freedom to follow it or not.
  • the above has been the position of fr. bernas and the ateneo professors.

(note : highlights are mine)

Defense of the Stand of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on the House Bill 4244 (Reproductive Health Bill)

Bishop of Antipolo defends the CBCP.

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, why the Catholic Church is against the House Bill 4244 (Reproductive Health Bill or Responsible Parenthood Bill) is that the bill directs the government to promote contraception and to give free contraceptives to people. According to Father Bernas, SJ (Sounding Board, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 23, 2011), this opposition of the Church is against religious freedom. He says that, because of religious freedom, “the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their beliefs nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief.”

First of all, by opposing the RH Bill, the Catholic Church is not moving for the ban of contraceptives (the non-abortifacient ones), although she would be happy if these contraceptives were banned. At present, in the Philippines, anyone can buy contraceptives from drugstores and even from some “convenience stores”. What the Church is against, I repeat, is that government should promote contraception and provide free contraceptives to people. Therefore it is wrong to say that the Church wants the government to “prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief” and that the Catholic churchmen are compelling “President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious beliefs.” What the church does is to try to convince President Aquino and our senators and congressmen not to enact a law that directs the government to promote contraception and provide free contraceptives to people.

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. This church teaching is based on natural law, which we know through natural reason. By studying through correct reasoning the nature of the human person, we arrive at this teaching regarding contraception. All human beings, Catholic or not, are obliged to act according to right reason. By the efforts of the Church to go against the RH Bill, the Church is not imposing her religious beliefs on others. She is trying to stop a bill which is against natural law, a law which all human beings, Catholic or not, should follow. The RH Bill, judged from the principles of natural law, is against the good of the human person and the common good. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its “Doctrinal Note regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life” tells us that all citizens, including Catholics, have the right “to base their contribution to society and political life – through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy – on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good.” In a democracy, any group of citizens has the right to campaign and lobby so that what they consider to be good for the country are enacted into law and what they deem to be harmful for the country are not enacted into law.

Read more…

catholic churches nationwide read CBCP statement on RH Bill in today’s homily

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment

we are posting here the pastoral letter read by priests all over the country during the homily in today’s mass.

———–

Choosing Life, Rejecting the RH Bill
(A Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines)

Our Filipino Brothers and Sisters:

The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights (Art. II, Section 11). The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception (Art. II, Section 12).

Background

We begin by citing the Philippine Constitution. We do so because we intend to write you on the basis of the fundamental ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people and not on the basis of specifically Catholic religious teachings.

We are at a crossroads as a nation. Before us are several versions of a proposed bill, the Reproductive Health bill or sanitized as a Responsible Parenthood bill. This proposed bill in all its versions calls us to make a moral choice: to choose life or to choose death.

At the outset we thank the government for affording us an opportunity to express our views in friendly dialogue. Sadly our dialogue has simply revealed how far apart our respective positions are. Therefore, instead of building false hopes, we wish at the present time to draw up clearly what we object to and what we stand for.

Moral Choices at the Crossroads — at EDSA I and Now

Twenty five years ago in 1986 we Catholic Bishops made a prophetic moral judgment on political leadership. With this prophetic declaration we believe that we somehow significantly helped open the door for EDSA I and a window of political integrity.

Today we come to a new national crossroads and we now have to make a similar moral choice. Our President rallied the country with the election cry, “Kung walang corrupt walang mahirap.” As religious leaders we believe that there is a greater form of corruption, namely, moral corruption which is really the root of all corruption. On the present issue, it would be morally corrupt to disregard the moral implications of the RH bill.

This is our unanimous collective moral judgment: We strongly reject the RH bill.

Commonly Shared Human and Cultural Values – Two Fundamental Principles

Far from being simply a Catholic issue, the RH bill is a major attack on authentic human values and on Filipino cultural values regarding human life that all of us have cherished since time immemorial.

Read more…

pope benedict on condom use – read articles here

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

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.

click here:

pope benedict gives RH Bill strength

November 22, 2010 4 comments

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.”

Read more…

Pope Benedict – use of condoms acceptable in some instances; CBCP’s anti-RH Bill position in jeopardy?

November 21, 2010 29 comments

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.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/21/pope-benedict-condoms-hiv-infection

%d bloggers like this: