Saturday, August 4, 2012

RH BILL: DON'T BURN HOUSE TO ROASST A PIG



A little over a year ago, or on May 22, 2011 to be exact, I wrote an article for Inquirer entitled “My Stand on the RH Bill.” With the vote on the RH Bill approaching people have  asked me whether my stand on the bill has changed.  Let me restate the salient points I made then.
First, let me start by saying that I adhere to the teaching of the Church on artificial contraception even if I am aware that the teaching on the subject is not considered infallible doctrine by those who know more theology than I do.   I know that some people consider me a heretic and that at the very least I should leave the priesthood.  But my superiors still stand by me.
Second, (very important for me as a student of the Constitution and of church state relations) I am very much aware of the fact that we live in a pluralist society where various religious groups have differing beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception which is very much at the center of the controversy. But freedom of religion means more than just the freedom to believe. It also means the freedom to act or not to act according to what one believes. Hence, the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief nor may churchmen pressure President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief. As the Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church says, “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community [like the Catholic church] might be given special recognition on the part of the State. Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups” and “Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.”
Third, the obligation to respect freedom of religion is also applicable to the state. Thus, I advocate careful recasting of the provision on mandatory sexual education in public schools without the consent of parents. (I assume that those who send their children to Catholic schools accept the program of Catholic schools on the subject.) My reason for requiring the consent of parents is, in addition to free exercise of religion, the constitutional provision which recognizes the sanctity of the human family and “the natural and primary right of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.” (Article II, Section 12).
Fourth, the duty to care for sexual and reproductive health of employees should be approached in a balanced way so that both the freedom of religion of employers and the welfare of workers will be attended to.  In this regard it may be necessary to reformulate the provisions already found in the Labor Code.
Fifth, I hold that public money may be spent for the promotion of reproductive health in ways that do not violate the Constitution. Thus, for instance, it may be legitimately spent for making available reproductive materials that are not abortifacient.  Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution.
Sixth, we should be careful not to distort what the RH Bill says.  The RH Bill does not favor abortion. The bill clearly prohibits abortion as an assault against the right to life. 
Seventh, in addition, I hold that abortifacient  pills and devises should be banned by the Food and Drug Administration. However, determining which of the pills in the market are abortifacient is something for the judicial process to determine with the aid of science experts.  Our Court has already upheld the banning of at least one device found to be abortifacient.
Eighth, I am dismayed by preachers telling parishioners that support for the RH bill ipso facto is a serious sin or merits excommunication!  I find this to be irresponsible.
Ninth, I claim no competence to debate about demographics.
Tenth, I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can.  I hold that the approval of the RH Bill today will not end all debate about it.  It will only shift the arena for debate from the raucous and noisy rally fields to the more sober judicial arena where reason has a better chance of prevailing.
Finally, there are many valuable points in the bill’s Declaration of Policy and Guiding Principles which are desperately needed especially by poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service. There are specific provisions which give substance to these good points. They should be saved even if we must litigate later about those which we disagree on.  In other words, let us not burn the house just to roast a pig.
6 August 2012

73 comments:

  1. finally, some sense of reason from a priest himself.

    there are so many things that are just as corrupt as artificial contraception: the lack of an effective public healthcare system, the lack of an effective public school system, patronage politics, fraternity killings, "buwis-buhay" during the procession of the black nazarene in quiapo, and the hubris of the poor who presume god's grace because "mahirap lang kami." and we do not fall on our knees and pray nor hold rallies on edsa against these.

    i hope the cbcp becomes just as adamant against these amusingly simplistic friendly-neighborhood preachers who very easily say that if for rh bill = satan ergo go to hell. these are probably the same guys who tell their flock to worry about the increasing number of muslim businesspeople in greenhills shopping arcade.

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    1. "during the procession of the black nazarene in quiapo, and the hubris of the poor who presume god's grace because "mahirap lang kami." and we do not fall on our knees and pray nor hold rallies on edsa against these. "

      Christ said, "Judge not, lest you be judged according to the measure by which you judge."How dare you to presume to know how God imparts His graces or what are in the interior disposition of porr people. That's simply arrogant of you!

      "i hope the cbcp becomes just as adamant against these amusingly simplistic friendly-neighborhood preachers who very easily say that if for rh bill = satan ergo go to hell. these are probably the same guys who tell their flock to worry about the increasing number of muslim businesspeople in greenhills shopping arcade."

      Can you please provide me with evidence as to which priests or parishes have done these things or said these things.

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    2. You just contradicted yourself in the second paragraph - you just judged the other person.

      Sadly, Catholicism has had it's fair share of corruption for centuries - not just in terms of money, but also in terms of influence - as evidenced by the Crusades, the abuses during the Spanish occupation, the sexual abuses that have come to light worldwide in the last decade, etc. Unfortunately, this has tainted even the righteous men and women of the clergy.

      Don't take your priest's/preacher's word for it. Go straight to God's Word - the Bible. Study it. Study the RH Bill. Then see if it is indeed in line with His plan.

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    3. @astrugglingdad

      Not exactly the words "satan" or "go to hell", but something like that.

      I go to the Greenbelt Chapel at least two Sundays out of four. That's the sentiment I get from the "establishment" there (not necessary the view of those who hear Mass at the place, like me). They even came out with info materials around a year or two ago that emphasized the "This is due to American condom companies" line.

      Also, my local parish is like that.

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  2. i hope we have more priests like you. No, we should have more bishops like you.

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  3. Thank God there is like you Father inside the Catholic side that is pro-life, pro RH Bill. this bill only provides information needed for proper family planning, if you do not want it. then you can freely not follow it.

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    1. There is no such thing as a Pro-Life and Pro-Contraceptive animal, perhaps in la la land. Contra (against) Conception (beginning of life) how did you make that connection bro?

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    2. where in Michael's comment did he make the "connection" that you are referring to? Are you fond of twisting facts like what Soc Villegas did in his speech yesterday?

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    3. What do you take this statement to mean?
      "Thank God there is like you Father inside the Catholic side that is pro-life, pro RH Bill. "
      how can one be for life and for contraception? The bill seeks to institutionalize contraception, and that very word means to prevent the formation of life.

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    4. "Are you fond of twisting facts like what Soc Villegas did in his speech yesterday?"

      what facts were twisted and what should be the accurate ones?

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  4. And...don't accept a cake that has some poison in it. Even if there is only a little poison in the cake, if they are NOT willing to take that poison away, reject the whole thing. It will kill you.

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    1. False analogy, time to go back and retake Logic 101 Willy.

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    2. Why? Chemical contraceptives kill the human zygote don't you agree? The Physician's Desk Reference says so as well as the manufacturers themselves. OCPs were also classified as group-1 carcinogens by WHO. Hindi po ba lason yan?

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    3. Like Gerry said, Willy, logic 101.

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    4. Gerry/Danni - care to kindly point out what's illogical or fallacious? Salamat.

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    5. Thoughtalone ... me thinks ure as lost as WillyJ with your Q.

      "And...don't accept a cake that has some poison in it. Even if there is only a little poison in the cake, if they are NOT willing to take that poison away, reject the whole thing. It will kill you."

      false analogy.
      this is not "1 bad apple that spoils the bunch" but rather a 'black & white' logic. if A has any taint, it is B. discard it. do you think this applies well to RHbill ?

      "Why? Chemical contraceptives kill the human zygote don't you agree? " did you also agree with WillyJ since you didn't consider this as fallacious ?

      just google my friend (it's free)
      zygote : After a female egg is fertilized, the resulting one-celled organism becomes known as zygote.

      drill in your heads ... FERTILIZED !
      write it 1000x and read it aloud ... FERTILIZED!

      CONTRACEPTION (by the word itself contra + conception) PREVENTS FERTILIZATION !

      "The Physician's Desk Reference says so as well as the manufacturers themselves. OCPs were also classified as group-1 carcinogens by WHO. Hindi po ba lason yan?"

      all forms of alcohol, all forms of tobacco are all categorized as type 1 carcinogens, do i hear any cries of protest, for inducing these poisons, on the streets ?

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    6. you can kill a zygote with any other food stuff/chemical. And do you know that barely doing nothing, there's an 80 percent probability that you can kill a zygote? Only about 20 percent of all zygotes survive. Are we all committing homicides then? The argument that contraception is "premeditated murder" because it prevents the egg from being fertilized is not only far-fetched but also smacks of sheer ignorance. Celibacy also prevents the egg from being fertilized.

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    7. if RH Bill has any taint (like forced child educ) that is not taken away (poisoned), I too will not have a part of it.

      Is that acceptable?

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  5. "in a pluralist society where various religious groups have differing beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception"

    If this is so, it would be better for everyone regardless of beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception NOT to legislate on contraception, the main ingredient of rh bill. Legalizing contraception through rh bill will be favoring one way of looking at it to the detriment of other views.

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    1. does not follow, false context.

      we are talking of laws and not beliefs. we are talking of policies not religious dogmas. when you present to the public a wider choice, you present an option. RH bill is not ENFORCING each and every fertile Filipino to use contraceptive, it presents a choice to choose and the medium to achieve that choice (agencies).

      without standing on your perceived moral high ground, what are your rational views against RH bill ? that would be a more interesting point to discuss.

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    2. Arthur,

      On beliefs or religious dogmas, aren't we, through FREEDOM, given the choice to follow or not?

      One of the provisions (last version i read) makes sex education mandatory among kids. also, it doesn't allow taxpayers a choice where their money should be spent. Is there are choice in these?

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    3. you are getting there.

      RH bill is all about options. it's not about catholic. we are not 100% catholic nation. FREEDOM for muslims, buddhists, agnostics, atheists, other christian sects to follow what they believe. among these categories, what is the only religion or group that opposes and enforces its congreagtion to oppose the RH bill. yup it's the catholic. is that FREEDOM ?

      "One of the provisions (last version i read) makes sex education mandatory among kids."

      this is where fr. Bernas excelled above other catholics, he is willing to work it out for the common good. not like the most armchair catholic pharisees that does nothing about the issue that RHbill proposes to mitigate.

      "also, it doesn't allow taxpayers a choice where their money should be spent. Is there are choice in these?"

      do you have a choice in where to spend your taxpayers money ? really ? we are not discussing RHbill. :D

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    4. well, thank you. i feel like a schoolboy with your very patronizing tone ;).

      NO CHOICE: i read/heard of people accusing others (bishops, laity, or in general non-RH) as against freedom or choices. i find this inaccurate.

      Even God allows us to sin. But he reminds us, and as Bishops do, strongly or passionately to avoid it. A Bishop calls that abuse of freedom. But even that statement is not taking away freedom.

      TAXES: exactly why RH is not about Choices, as claimed, coz people do NOT have to the choice to be selective about where their taxes go.

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  6. "in a pluralist society where various religious groups have differing beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception"

    Our pluralist society also happens to have a Constitution which says life must be protected at the moment of conception. That one is not subject to differing beliefs, because the fundamental law of the land is already specific about this. So when the RH Bill says it will mandate taxpayer's money to give away the "full range of modern artificial contraceptives", they would like us to believe that it does not go against our Constitution. There is the poison.

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    1. WillyJ:

      Where does the RH Bill contravene the "Constitution which says life must be protected at the moment of conception"? I have NEVER heard any credible explanation of this stand taken by the church and its defenders.

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    2. When the RH Bill says it is going to promote the "full range" of contraceptives. Actually the former wording in the bill was "IUDs, pills, etc.",.. but they changed it to "full range". Same dog, really. Same drugs that destroy life AFTER conception. They want tax to pay for them.

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    3. Fr. Bernas
      1. Please provide the parishes and priests who have indeed preached that one can incur excommunication if they support the bill.
      2. Are you aware that every country that has legalized abortion had, as their starting point, the institutionalization of contraception?
      3. Does every infallible doctrine come from an extraordinary solemn definition?
      4. Is the Church's teaching on contraception part of the ordinary magisterial teaching, i.e., Casti Connubi, Humae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, Familiaris Consosrtio?
      5. If it is part of the church's ordinary magisterial teaching, do theological opinions contrary to this ordinary magisterial teaching allow one to not obey this teachings?
      6. ARe CAtholics obliged in conscience to obey the Church's ordinary magisterial teachings in matters of morality especially sexual morality if they are informed about it?
      7. Father did you know that the contraceptives listed as essential medicines in the RH Bill draft are also classified as Group 1 Carcinogens under the IARC listing, the same as ASBESTOS? http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/ClassificationsGroupOrder.pdf
      8. Are you aware of the demographic problems that beseech the social security services of contracepting countries like Singapore and Japan and most European nations? This only after 2 generations of falling birth rates!
      9. Can you recall what Pope Paul VI prophesied would happen if the world embraced a artificial contraception, i.e., lowering of morals (teen pregnancy, pre marital sex), destruction of marriage (same-sex marriage/divorce) and lowering of regard for women (pornography)? Have these come to pass?
      Father Bernas, this is not a Catholic vs pluralistic society issue. The unethical and negative moral repercussions to our society goes past the effects to Catholics. Are you saying father that the moral teachings of the Church have no societal application so as to be good for society in general and not just for CAtholics? I hope that you can provide me with answers about this questions especially since you are an esteemed priest of an esteemed order, the same order that educated me, my brothers, my father and most of my cousins!
      AMDG,

      Ricardo B. Boncan, DMD, ADMU GS '79, HS "83

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    4. Willy J:

      The task of choosing the full range of contraceptives in the bill is delegated (as the bill acknowledges) to the FDA. I guess this is the context of Fr. Bernas' 7th point. So if ever, we should talk to the FDA, sue them if they don't listen or ask our Court to make them listen. I'm against the bill, fyi.

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    5. The FDA is immaterial if and when the bill gets passed. In fact, the FDA is supposed to toe the policy line of the RH bill once it becomes law. Lagman and the rest of the authors have repeatedly said on record that the bill will protect life from the point of implantation (not at conception, take note) and so the FDA will follow suit,since it is just an agency. If you have any doubts, take note of the bill's repealing clause: "All other laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly."

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    6. "When the RH Bill says it is going to promote the "full range" of contraceptives. Actually the former wording in the bill was "IUDs, pills, etc.",.. but they changed it to "full range". Same dog, really. Same drugs that destroy life AFTER conception." - Willy J

      i don't know if you are uneducated or just misinformed. Kindly explain categorically how "IUDs, pills, etc." are the same drugs that destroy life AFTER conception. Contraceptives by its very definition, PREVENTS conception. Implantation (coitus) is not analogous to contraception, your sperm and another woman's egg on its own does not have a soul ergo no life. Kindly educate yourself on the matters of your catholic teachings and also on science.

      Conception as the Church defines it is when fertilization begins. Kindly read a crash course on cathechism on a related subject. http://www.catechism.cc/articles/life-begins-at-conception.htm

      a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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    7. ASTRUGGLINGDAD

      it is amusing when one preaches to a preacher ... in any religion.

      are you aware that the Inquisition condemned Galileo in 1633 because his teachings clashed with the Bible, which read: "God fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever." Galileo was rehabilitated only 1992 after 359 years.

      are you aware that this 'infallible' teaching also applies to the crusades of the Dark Ages and the Vatican's stand on the holocaust ?

      are you aware of the increasing number of reported cases of sexual perverts in the clergy ?

      are you rational enough to admit that if the INFALIBBLE church erred for 359 years (and there are lots of errors if you want to discuss this), it is possible that the church also errs on their view on this issue ?

      i am not saying this to throw mud at the church but just for you to be made aware that religion and dogmas are not the realm of politics. If you wish to include your church in politics then be prepared for it to be treated as any trapo politician, full of dark sins and skeletons in the closet.

      Let us discuss the RH bill devoid of any religious bias (canons, teachings, dogmas), we are discussing law not bible verses. Do as Fr. Bernas did, approach the topic cautiously, and help make it happen.

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    8. Seriously you want me to discuss Galileo, crusades and holocaust with you?

      I would be very happy to discuss what you consider as errors in infallible teachings but not in this blog venue. here is my blog site if you agree, I, would gladly make a separate page for our discussions there.

      how many items in my post referred to plain Catholic doctrine?

      my site is www.astrugglngdad.wordpress.com
      are you up to the task?

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    9. we all know the facts about the Galileo vs RC, Vatican's role during holocaust, and the dark ages of popedom. we will be just rehashing history but we can never change the facts as it is.

      "7. Father did you know that the contraceptives listed as essential medicines in the RH Bill draft are also classified as Group 1 Carcinogens under the IARC listing, the same as ASBESTOS? "

      are you also aware that Alcoholic beverages, any form of tobacco and its derivatives and your coffee w/c contains caffeine (among others)are also LISTED in THAT SAME LIST of CARCINOGENS i.e. Group 1 Carcinogens under the IARC listing? These are the items almost every person consumes everyday. And your point in stating this is ?

      "8. Are you aware of the demographic problems that beseech the social security services of contracepting countries like Singapore and Japan and most European nations? This only after 2 generations of falling birth rates!"

      Are you also aware that in countries with over population ALL have poverty, malnutrition, poor education, high mortality rates, high criminal rates and is mostly THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES ? that the issue behind low birth rates in the FIRST WORLD countries you stated was NEVER contraception, but CULTURE, CAREER/WORK HABITS & HIGH STANDARDS OF LIVING ? and your point is ?

      i am equally interested on the motive for asking Fr. Bernas about "... the parishes and priests who have indeed preached that one can incur excommunication if they support the bill" rebutting #8. can you sanction, penalize or ostracize them if he ever had the time to single them out? if not, for what end? why not find the facts for yourself. it could be fun and enlightening. give the priest the benefit of trust due to a man in frock.

      let's continue to discuss HERE the RHbill devoid of any religious bias.

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    10. Mr Gimena - I just checked and caffeine/coffee is not on the list of Group 1 carcinogens. Alcohol, betel nut, yes. Benzene, asbestos, yes. Tobacco, definitely. I think the point being made here is that none of the taxpayers are actually paying for anyone to consume these carcinogens. However, with the RH bill, not only are taxpayers paying for it (oral contraceptives), daily consumption for supposedly "health" purposes would actually make us party to the increase in cancer (breast, cervical, liver - which, incidentally, have higher rates than endometrial and ovarian cancer which the pill supposedly protects against). - Debbie Nakpil-Rodrigo

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    11. Group 3 . IAC.
      "Caffeine has been shown to cause adverse reproductive and developmental effects in mice, rats, rabbits and monkeys. Testicular atrophy was observed at high dose levels in rats. Reproductive studies in mice showed no effect on pregnancy but there was a decrease in litter size at birth. Teratogenic effects were usually associated with high, single, daily doses that were also associated with other signs of maternal toxicity. High daily levels given as divided doses were less toxic to the conceptus that when given as a single dose. Reduced fetal body weight was observed in rats. A reversible delay in ossification of the sternum was observed in rats at a relative low dose. With administration in drinking-water, similar effects were seen, but at higher doses.

      almost every synthetic drug made increases the risk for liver cancer. cervical cancer which is identified to be caused by HPV, now has a vaccine. breast cancer risk fades away. you are right the use of contraceptives reduces the risk of endometrial & ovarian cancer.

      So we take away this 'risks' and we have the only issue of PREVENTION or CURE. whether taxpayer spend time to subsidize PREVENTION (contraception) or subsidize to CURE the EFFECT (malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy, high mortality rate etc.)

      Which is then wiser, to 'prevent' the issue or 'cure' the issue ? I have to remind you that Third world countries are struggling to CURE the issue, first World countries, PREVENTED the issue. makes sense ?

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    12. Pardon my copy-pasting this but I just wanted to clarify what the classifications mean:

      International Agency for Research on Cancer

      The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. The most widely used system for classifying carcinogens comes from the IARC. In the past 30 years, the IARC has evaluated the cancer-causing potential of more than 900 likely candidates, placing them into one of the following groups:

      Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans
      Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans
      Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans
      Group 3: Unclassifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans
      Group 4: Probably not carcinogenic to humans
      Perhaps not surprisingly, based on how hard it can be to test these candidate carcinogens, most are listed as being of probable, possible, or unknown risk. Only a little over 100 are classified as "carcinogenic to humans."

      Do I understand this to mean, then, that a group 3 carcinogen has not been irrevocably determined to be a carcinogen, unlike a Group 1 which has? Group 1 carcinogens have the most number of studies to support their claim.

      Furthermore, I asked my seatmate in class who is an ob-gyn about pills and carcinogenicity and she replied that in the case of breast cancer, which is hormone-sensitive, a woman will either have a pre-disposition to it or not. I asked her if there was a way of knowing, and she said, not completely and definitely. So it is a bit like playing russian roulette. Take a pill, and wait and see if you get breast cancer - she neither confirmed nor denied. I asked a friend who is a breast specialist at Med City about pills and breast cancer as I was reading the monograph about it, and I asked if the 4 year connection was true. She said that she and other similar doctors were only looking at 3 year studies, but that there was, indeed, a connection. So you can imagine my panic when I found out. But as I stated in another post below, I just passed the 10 year mark with no sign of cancer.

      Re: cervical cancer vaccine. It does not protect from all forms, just some, fyi.

      In essence, we have not taken away any risks. Like you said, almost every synthetic drug increases risk of cancer (liver). How much more synthetic hormones which have to be taken every day.

      Re: prevention. We only speak of prevention and cure as regards disease, do we not? What disease are we referring to, please?

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  7. As I understand his position particularly his 3rd and 4th point, Fr. Bernas does not accept the entire RH bill as it is now. If he were part of congress, he would (SHOULD) not vote for the bill. Therefore, he is pro-Life just as some provisions of the bill are intended to be but he is essentially anti-RH bill because of its unacceptable provisions.

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    1. Do you consider the use of taxpayers money that promotes contraceptive drugs that kill life after conception an unacceptable provision?

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    2. agree with WillyJ. The IUD in particlar is banned in other countries and this will be distributed in our country using taxpayers money. It is banned in their country, so it is LITERALLY garbage. We are literally buying their garbage. Why would we want to promote this and kill our women?

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    4. MEIK

      have you read and understood the article ? READ AGAIN !

      "Tenth, I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can. I hold that the approval of the RH Bill today will not end all debate about it. "

      "Finally, there are many valuable points in the bill’s Declaration of Policy and Guiding Principles which are desperately needed especially by poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service. There are specific provisions which give substance to these good points. "

      If these are not clear to you, just say so, tatagalugin ko just for you.

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  8. "Our pluralist society also happens to have a Constitution which says life must be protected at the moment of conception."

    -WillyJ

    Sa tagalog... "Sa oras na may "nabuo" na, kailangan protektahan ng kontitusyon ang buhay na kasama nun" (eto ay ayon sa pagkakaintindi ko sa sinabi mo po ha)

    Eh ang pagkakaintindi ko din sa contraception eh "bago pa man may mabuo", conta-conception kaya contraception diba? Nasan ung buhay na dapat protektahan ng constitution dun?

    About naman po sa IUD, I am not an expert pagdating sa mga pill, IUD na yan, pero sa saklaw ng aking kaalaman. Hindi naman siguro maglalabas ang pamahalaan ng contraceptive na papatay sa mga mamamayan nya at hindi naman siguro ganun ka walang alam ang masa para tanggap lang sila ng tanggap diba? kaya nga nakapaloob sa RHBill eh "bibigyan ang mamamayan ng kaalaman sa lahat ng aspetong pinatutungkulan ng RH bill kung maipapasa man ito" (ayon din yan sa pagkakaintindi ko).

    Ako po eh naghahanap lang po ng malinaw na paliwanag galing kay Mr. WillyJ. pasensya na po kung hindi ko man nakuha kung ano ang nais nyong sabihin (sabihin nyo ng illiterate ako) basta ipaliwanag nyo ng mabuti at may basehan ung sinasabi nyo.... un lang po -PAX

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  9. //Eh ang pagkakaintindi ko din sa contraception eh "bago pa man may mabuo", conta-conception kaya contraception diba? Nasan ung buhay na dapat protektahan ng constitution dun?//

    Dapat pong protektahan ang buhay sa "moment of conception" - in other words when sperm fertilizes the egg. Bata na po yan at that point, and faith and science agrees on this.

    Artificial contraceptives of the drug variety have 4 mechanisms of action: 1) prevent ovulation (sometimes it fails); 2) thicken mucus so sperm cannot travel to the tubes (sometimes it can); 3) thins the lining of the womb (makes it difficult for the zygote -a human being in other words -to implant in the womb); and 4) hardens the fallopian tubes, making it difficult for the zygote (again human) to travel to the womb. When the state actively promotes these kinds of artificial contraceptives, it simply goes against its mandate.

    //About naman po sa IUD...//

    Ang IUD pinaninipis din ang lining ng bahay-bata. Kaya ang bata ay nalalaglag. Delikado din ito sa kababaihan, at maraming nagyari na natusok ng IUD ang cervix o kaya bahay-bata at nagkaron ng infection ang nanay, minsan permanent injury na yan na pwedeng ika-baog ng nanay. Hindi po ito sinasabi ng mga pro-RH bill. Bakit natin lalagyan ng alambre ang matris ng ating mga kababaihan at pahirapan sila? Pinagbawal na po ang IUD sa maraming bansa samantalang ang mga mambabatas natin ay gusto pa ito isulong?

    Salamat sa iyong nais na malaman ang katotohanan.
    -WillyJ

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    1. WILLY J
      you are correct, you have just given the TEXTBOOK definition of contraception. again, if there was NO CONCEPTION why does CONTRACEPTION conflicts against the CONSTITUTION ?

      para kang si Boy Pickup, ang layo ng hirit.

      about IUD's
      ------------------
      Contraception is NOT all about IUDs, in fact the most used form of contraception (if you just bothered to dig the facts) is condoms, followed by pills. If one of the least options of contraceptives are uncertain, you just scrap the whole bunch ?

      preposterous ! you might have said na isarado na naten simbahang katolika dahil sa marami rami ng reported cases ng pedophiles & sexual perverts.

      pagusapan ang RH wag husgahan ng mali.

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    2. Case of pedophiles, perverts within a sect AND unacceptable provisions of the RH Bill should be treated and looked at in same way. (I guess, sinners within the Christian community in general, too).

      Is this 'treatment' correct? And so...

      If a priesthood candidate is determined beyond reasonable doubt as a pedophile, will he be ordained?

      If a new convert to Catholicism admits to being a pervert (and sexually active) and seeks baptism without a contriteness, will he be given said sacrament?

      If an admitted sinner, without remorse, wishes to take communion (or its counterpart for other religious sects), will he be given the same?

      If a Bill with a FEW of its provisions, known to be faulty and not yet corrected, should be accepted nonetheless?

      Delete
  10. Sinabi ko na po, Mr. Gimena, ang 4 mechanisms of action ng artificial contraceptives of the *drug variety*. Hindi sang-ayon si Mr Edsel Lagman at ang kanyang mga kasama na CONDOM lamang ang sakupin ng RH bill, gusto nya po lahat, kaya nga "full range" ang tawag nila. Kasama duon ang drug contraceptives na nakakapatay ng bata. Hindi yan sang-ayon sa fundamental law natin. Ang sabi ko nga po ay kung may lason (kahit konti) kakainin ba natin?

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    2. "Ang sabi ko nga po ay kung may lason (kahit konti) kakainin ba natin?"

      seryoso ka po ba? alam mo ba na ang ordinaryong kape, kahit na anong alak, beer o nakalalasing na inumin, at kahit na anong sigarilyo, kahit na ang betel ng nginangaga noonpaman ng ating mga ninuno ay LESTED sa Group 1 Carcinogens under the IARC? ang mga ito ay itinuturing mo na rin na 'lason', actually marami pang 'ordinaryong' bagay ang maituturing natin lason base sa list na bigay ni ASTRUGGLINGDAD.
      . wag mo akong utuin na ni isa sa mga nabanggit hindi mo tinitikman. :)
      i categorize mo and i quote mo ang actual na "drug contraceptives na nakakapatay ng bata" dahil ang tawag doon ay abortifacent at hindi contraceptive. mahirap yung nanakot tayo ng masa ng walang batayan. quote your source at ating pagnilayan kung may bahid ng katotohanan.

      we agree that there exist and it's a fact that among those contraceptives stipulated some are doubtable. right ?
      we agree that there exist among the catholic clergy sexual deviants and sexual perverts, and the cases are on the rise each year. right ?

      so are we in agreement from your frame of mind, that a taint in the whole, destroys the whole crop ?
      ano po ang masasabi nyo mr. WILLY J ?

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    3. paxenxa sa typos, mahirap magtype sa ipad pag nasa sasakyan :D

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    4. so how does this work (legislation process):

      Can a lawmaker accept the Bill with the guarantee (not just hope) that the unacceptable provisions are removed/changed? What then if these cannot be guaranteed to him/her and the Bill has been AYE'd the other day?

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  11. “…that the teaching on the subject is not considered infallible doctrine by those who know more theology than I do”.

    Then one can only comment that those people hadn’t the faintest grasp of theology and doctrine. Either that or, obstinacy with regards to Catholic teachings.

    As to your submission in #8.

    Being the case that Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament, one commits sacrilege against it whereby the Sacrament is “treated unworthily”
    CCC 2120 Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.

    Then one follows on with the various CCC stipulations on Holy Matrimony and fecundity of marriage, which I am sure you already know, as I presume you would know CCC and Canon Law as it pertains to a priest’s pastoral duty to their parishioners.

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  12. At least he admits that there is a pig that deserves to be roasted in the RH bill.

    It seems to me that Fr. Bernas wants to move the battlefield from the streets and newspapers to the FDA and the judiciary, counting on them to properly ban abortifacients and prevent unsafe artificial contraceptives.

    I wish Fr. Bernas would expound on why he adheres to the Church teaching on artificial contraception. I would also like to hear why he thinks the free distribution of artificial contraceptives is a worthy public expenditure.

    As a Catholic, I wish Fr. Bernas would balance his views with more support for the pastoral authority of the bishops. Many have begun to mock the logic, intention, and sincerity of heart of our Roman Catholic bishops. As Catholics, who are we to turn to as our pastors if the bishops have been reduced to a nonsensical farcical bunch in the minds of Catholics who already struggle in accepting the more difficult teachings of the Catholic Church (especially those pertaining to sexual morality)? If the bishops are no longer trusted as pastoral authorities, who will these people turn to for shepherding and leadership? Is Fr. Bernas ready to be pastor for these people who like the convenience of his views, especially because these views seem to undermine the seriousness of sexual sin?

    I've seen more than one comment wishing that Fr. Bernas was a bishop. I certainly hope that he is willing and ready to be the much needed shepherd for those who have used his views to validate their biased rejection of and dislike for the bishops.

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    1. Debbie Nakpil-Rodrigo

      I often ask myself these same questions and would certainly welcome Father (not Attorney) Bernas' take on: why he adheres to Church teaching on artificial contraception, and why my tax money is going to be used to pay for the not-yet-roasted pig.

      As a wife and mother to 5 boys, I struggle with how to explain to them when they are of the right age (certainly not at age 10, or grade 5, when the RH bill proposes sex education begins), why the matter of contraception is not something to be taken lightly. It took many years of studying Church documents, discussions with my spouse, and recent advances in science (particularly on the mechanisms of action of the oral contraceptive) that have led me to a full understanding of the Church's wisdom on the matter. Might I point out that this wisdom is freely shared, but not many partake of it. And presented with the free and non-chemical/non-artificial option of MODERN Natural Family Planning, the objections to Church teaching seem moot and academic. Now THAT'S a real choice.

      Now on his point #9 - perhaps he should start reading on demographics, as the bill clearly pertains to population and has been filed in precisely that committee in Congress, and not on Health, where it should rightly be if the bill were in fact, about health.

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    2. Ms. Debbie Nakpil-Rodrigo
      with your God as your witness, have you used any form of contraceptives ?

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    3. Yes, I used to (can I use "we"?). The pill, in fact. We have since stopped (after the 2nd child), and all our boys were then planned (literally, and successfully - give or take a month or two) through Natural Family Planning. I have been monitoring for breast and cervical cancer since, and thankfully, I have just passed the 10th year since stopping and no signs of cancer.

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  13. I sincerely like this blog coz this clears a lot of issues. And I look forward to these exchanges (in contrast to claims/accusation with no basis).

    On the case of condom or IUD use (assuming that they are not abortive on the belief that there is no conception yet), I refer to the principle "Goodness implies the aspect of an end." (St Thomas A.?).

    If husband and wife exercise their god-given procreative powers and at the same time employ gadgets that BLOCK the natural consequence of procreation, can such exercise be considered GOOD? What does that make of their exercise?

    I hope Fr Bernas can share his thoughts on this as well.

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    1. The Church has constantly taught that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil i.e. wrong in all circumstance, because to exclude the right to have children invalidates the marriage covenant. They also commit Sacrilege against the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. To understand the Church’s position is to appreciate what Catholics believe and why we believe what we believe. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the Sacraments, the fecundity of marriage, the virtue of chastity and sexual ethics very clearly. Those are further clarified by Humanae Vitae and various Papal encyclicals. Humanae Vitae also contain Pastoral Directives to priests and “theologians” who should not undermine the Magisterium and the omnipotence of God.

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    2. Lola,

      Non-married couples, given the validation of marriage covenant as context, are therefore free to use artificial contras?

      What acts are included when people "undermine the Magisterium"?

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    3. Unmarried Catholics are bound by the Sacrament of Baptism to follow what the Church teaches on sexuality, dignity of persons etc. One of those would be on the virtue of chastity. To conduct in sex outside marriage is to go against that and would be committing fornication.

      2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

      As to your query in respect of acts undermining the Magisterium, one must first understand what Magisterium means, which is the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. Then understand the source of that authority. One can find that authority within our Profession of Faith, Catholics profess "...holy... and apostolic Church". "Holy" being that the Catholic Church is Christocentric (Jesus) and all teachings were handed down by Him to the Apostles (apostolic) with St Peter as head. The Pope and Bishops are their successors.

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines these three sins against the faith (as taught by the Magisterium) in this way:

      2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.

      "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;

      apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;

      schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." [Code of Canon Law c.751]

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  14. To dissidents in the Catholic Church: Desecrate the Laws of My church and you will be punished.

    Friday, August 3rd, 2012 @ 04:45 pm


    My dearly beloved daughter the earth is about to shake as My Father’s anger will spill over those nations who defy My Father’s Laws.

    No mercy will be shown as His patience has been tested to the limits.

    Their sins include abortion, murder, laws which try to undermine Christianity, same sex marriage and the adoration of false gods.

    Then there are those dissidents within My Church who threaten to disown Me.

    When they try to distance themselves from My Church, and try to create new laws in defiance of My Holy Will, they disown Me.

    I cast them out now for their disloyalty. Their attempts to introduce laws, based on the sin of pride, lust and worldly ambition, will not be tolerated.

    Did they think they would be allowed to distance God’s children from My Church on earth and avoid the Hand of My Father?

    Did they think that they were above the Laws of God?

    They do not love God, they love themselves.

    Lacking in humility their public rejection of the Laws of the Catholic Church disgust Me.

    Their shameful demands where they try to force My Church to accept laws, which offend Me, means they have cast themselves into the darkness.

    Their religious vows are meaningless.

    Their pledge to honour and obey My Church has been broken.

    Unless they repent and come back to My Body, My Church on earth, they have no right to call themselves servants in My Church.

    You have been warned. I will cast you into the wilderness.

    Desecrate the Laws of My church and you will be punished.

    Your Jesus

    from: thewarningsecondcoming.com

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    1. my o my ....
      the circus is back in town !

      Which is a greater sin, to impose your point of view and put words into Jesus' mouth, or to question your religion and your faith ?

      here comes the inquisition and crusade !

      god wills it !

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  15. Re your postion influenced by some theologians as to the lack of doctrinal strength of Humane Vitae I am posting this for your enlightenment Fr. Bernas

    September 12, 1968

    Your Holiness,

    … I know that your heart is suffering much these days … for the lack of obedience of some, even Catholics, to the high teaching that you, assisted by the Holy Spirit and in the name of God, are giving us. I offer you my prayers and daily sufferings as a small but sincere contribution on the part of the least of your sons in order that God may give you comfort with his Grace to follow the straight and painful way in the defense of eternal truth, which never changes with the passing of the years. Also, in the name of my spiritual children and the Prayer Groups, I thank you for your clear and decisive words that you especially pronounced in the last encyclical “Humanae Vitae“; and I reaffirm my faith, my unconditional obedience to your illuminated directions.

    May God grant victory to the truth, peace to his Church, tranquility to the world, health and prosperity to your Holiness so that, once these fleeting doubts are dissipated, the Kingdom of God may triumph in all hearts, guided by your apostolic work as Supreme Pastor of all Christianity.

    Humbly yours,

    Padre Pio, Capuchin
    San Giovanni Rotondo

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    1. Dear Father Bernas,
      The prince of darkness acted as a suavely dressed, courteous young man and went into Padre Pio’s confessional… This is beloved St. Pio’s own account: “One day, while I was hearing confessions, a man came to the confessional where I was. He was tall, handsome, dressed with some refinement and he was kind and polite. He started to confess his sins, which were of every kind: against God, against man and against the morals. All the sins were obnoxious! I was disoriented, in fact for all the sins that he told me, but I responded to him with God’s Word, the example of the Church, and the morals of the Saints. But the enigmatic penitent answered me word for word, justifying his sins, always with extreme ability and politeness. He excused all the sinful actions, making them sound quite normal and natural, even comprehensible on the human level.. He continued this way with the sins that were gruesome against God, Our Lady, the Saints, always using disrespectful round-about argumentation. He kept this up even with with the foulest of sins that could be conjured in the mind of a most sinful man. The answers that he gave me with such skilled subtlety and malice surprised me. I wondered: who is he? What world does he come from? And I tried to look at him in order to read something on his face. At the same time I concentrated on every word he spoke, trying to discover any clue to his identity.. But suddenly; through a vivid, radiant and internal light I clearly recognized who he was. With a sound and imperial tone I told him: “Say long live Jesus, long live Mary!” As soon as I pronounced these sweet and powerful names, Satan instantly disappeared in a trickle of fire, leaving behind him an unbearable stench.”
      AS PADRE PIO DESCRIBED THE ENIGMATIC PENITENT "He excused all the sinful actions, making them sound quite normal and natural, even comprehensible on the human level." YOU, THE PRO-RH AND ALL YOUR EXPLANATIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE PENITENT.

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  16. in other discussions (of totally different subjects), participants would appeal to discuss their subject/s objectively without "religious bias".

    Is that actually possible, even just for the sake of healthy exchange of ideas, for subjects that have moral dimensions in them? (Like many voluntary human acts)

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    1. You can read Father Julio Pensacoba's reply to Father Bernas' article when the latter was published a year ago. For some reason, Father Julio's reply was not published by mainstream media. However, you can easily Google it.

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    2. Thanks for sharing ~ enlightening on subject of ethics. (http://fightrhbill.blogspot.com/2011/05/fr-julio-penacoba-responds-to-fr.html).

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  17. Father Bernas, I beg you as fellow Catholic please please read this article for enlightenment.

    http://pinoytemplars.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-road-to-legalized-abortion.html

    You wrote, "Sixth, we should be careful not to distort what the RH Bill says. The RH Bill does not favor abortion. The bill clearly prohibits abortion as an assault against the right to life. "

    Father, with all due respect, we cannot be naive. We both know, Fr., that it is one thing to say something and another to mean it. OR, it is one thing to say something now and then do otherwise later. The link to that blog-post will help you, Fr., to surely see this.

    Saint Anne, Mother of the Theotokos, pray for us!
    Saint Clare, pray for us!

    Ad Jesus per Mariam,
    Mick

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  18. Dear Fr. Bernas,

    So many Catholics are taking your point of view but do you know that despite the bill sounding so good, it is in the details that we will lose out -

    One example is Sen. Pia Cayetano's priv. speech on the RH bill lobbies for misoprostol/cytotec, a known abortifacient to be legalized. She says it helps save lives of women from internal bleeding. http://senatorpiacayetano.com/?p=412
    FDA says "
    These uses are not approved by the FDA. No company has sent the FDA scientific proof that misoprostol is safe and effective for these uses.

    There can be serious side effects, including a torn uterus (womb), when misoprostol is used for labor and delivery.

    http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111315.htm

    RH bill proponents know that our country is not ready for abortion so it is labeled as "banned medicines" that should be legalized. This bill has been fought over for around 17 years so they know how to make it should palatable.

    Please check my links - they are from the senator's own website and from the US FDA on what kind of drug she is rooting for.

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  19. http://letter-for-life.tumblr.com/

    Food for thought :)

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  20. RH Bill is a big issue for now. Some people would fight because of this. They have their own beliefs about these. For me, I am anti RH Bill,beacause God give us the chance to build a one big happy family. But, let's be responsible in giving birth. We should think if how many child could we take good care, so that we don't have the hard way raising them.

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