By Raïssa Robles
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President, Archbishop Socrates B. Villages, issued today the statement below to “encourage our Catholic faithful to maintain respect and esteem for the Supreme Court.”
Monsignor Villegas is the same church leader who had equated contraception with corruption two years ago. [You can read more about his “contraception is corruption” speech here.]
He does not explain why Catholics should continue to respect and esteem the Court despite its ruling allowing a reproductive health law to be in the country’s statute books and declaring it to be “not unconstitutional” for the first time.
In reality, the Supreme Court failed to please both sides of the dispute but both parties are putting a brave face and a positive spin to it. Still, the ruling tilts the field slightly for the proponents of the reproductive health law.
However, the battle is not over. The battlefield has just changed.
And Monsignor Villegas intends to be in the thick of the fight. Here is his opening salvo:
I encourage our Catholic faithful to maintain respect and esteem for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has decided on the RH issue based on existing laws in the Philippines.
The Church must continue to uphold the sacredness of human life, to teach always the dignity of the human person and to safeguard the life of every human person from conception to natural death.
Although the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the RH law, it has truly watered down the RH law and consequently upheld the importance of adhering to an informed religious conscience even among government workers. It has also stood on the side of the rights of parents to teach their children.
We cannot see eye-to-eye with our pro-RH brethren on this divisive issue but we can work hand-in-hand for the good of the country.
On the part of the Church, we must continue to teach what is right and moral. We will continue to proclaim the beauty and holiness of every human person. Through two thousand years, the Church has lived in eras of persecution, authoritarian regimes, wars and revolutions. The Church can continue its mission even with such unjust laws. Let us move on from being an RH-law-reactionary-group to a truly Spirit empowered disciples of the Gospel of life and love. We have a positive message to proclaim.
April 8, 2014
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
At least the Department of Health under the national government can implement some of the aspects of the RH law. Distribution of all relevant information to those who needs it and all the sundries can now be given without the interference from local mayors. As the case with former Manila Mayor Atienza.
In most cases of the declared unconstitutional provisions of the RH law, the Arroyo appointees in the Supreme Court voted against the said provisions while the Aquino appointees voted otherwise.
Lesson. In any issue where the Aquino administration has an interest, including prosecution and conviction of plunderers, the Arroyo appointees in the Supreme Court could be expected to deliver a lethal blow against the interest of the Filipino people. Meaning that justice remains a dream as long as the majority of the Arroyo appointees stay in the Supreme Court.
vander anievas says
iyan ang malaking dilemma.
ang mga sagka.
ang mga balakid.
ang mga kampon ng maliit na nuno.
kelan mabubunot ang mga balakid na itinanim ng ilalawa sa mga nagdulot ng walang kapantay na kalamidad sa ating bansa at ekonomiya?
maaari pa ba silang pugtuin katulad ng kay TJRC?
kailan pa gugulong nang malaya at walang pagkabalam ang hinahangad nating hustisya?
kailan kaya kailan?
OFF-TOPIC: Just in –
Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee and 5 others going to city jail for non-bailable “serious illegal detention with demand for money or ransom of Vhong Navarro” per indictment by the DOJ last Thursday.
The Taguig RTC on Friday (today) rejected the motion for judicial determination of probable cause.
Judge Paz Ezperanza Cortes is set to release the warrant of arrest for the non-bailable offense.
The accused counsel, Howard Calleja, said he will file again a revised motion within the day.
What a tragic reversal of events. It is inconceivable that Judge Cortes will reverse her decision within the day. WHO KNOWS – THEY MAY SOON JOIN AND PARTY WITH THE 3 SENATONGS.
Pakiabangan ang mga desisyon dito…
Ang balita’y sa wikang Pilipino ang akda ng Punong Mahistrado.
Downloadable na pala ang desisyon Ng Korte…
rallie f. cruz says
The separation of the church and the states may give us the freedom to our rights to express and practice the religion we choose.
Somehow we see all the time during pressing issues on morality and election time,. We are often bombarded by religious groups making contest as to who will carry who and who shows who have more means and muscles to prove who is strong to make a candidate wins.
Then you notice the religious lobbyists and threatening voices of those in churches proving that separation is merely political after all.
Ang kabuuan ay narito…
Ano ang hatian ng boto sa RPRH Law…
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10354 is…
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH.
It is one act consciously, undoubtedly, ultimately, enragingly, sinfully, and notoriously offensive to religious feelings that anyone caught just (even) consciencelessly thinking about it during a religious ceremony will be incarcerated.
I just don’t know if it does not constitute a constitutionally not unconstitutional statute consistent with Celdran’s consequent confinement case.
Victin Luz says
If a Priest will deliver a ” sermon” regarding/against the RH BILL correlating/ directly identifying a person or group of person’s and clearly violated their right’s/religious belief’s ..then it had offended their religious feelings or besmirched their refutations….
In short,,,it can not yet be equated to the Fact’s on Celdran case..
Comment No. 7 was just a dig on the topic “Conscience and the RPRH* Law.” It’s also partly a ‘snide‘ remark on the “double negative” which the SC employed in their media release of the decision.
*RPRH, Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health
Comment No. 7 was just a dig on the topic “Conscience and the RPRH* Law.” It’s also a partly ‘snide’ remark on the “double negative” which the SC employed in the media release of the decision.
*RPRH, Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health
On the topic “Conscience and the RPRH Law”:
Another one here…
And from an Anti-:
Read more http://www.mindanews.com/mindaviews/2014/04/10/someone-elses-windows-on-the-rh-law-decision-what-win-win/
INFO FROM WIKI:
The Qur’an does not make any explicit statements about the morality of contraception, but contains statements encouraging procreation. The Islamic prophet Muhammad also is reported to have said “marry and procreate”.
Coitus interruptus, a primitive form of birth control, was a known practice at the time of Muhammad, and his companions engaged in it. Muhammad knew about this, but did not prohibit it. Umar and Ali, the second and fourth of the Rashidun caliphs, respectively, defended the practice.
Muslims scholars have extended the example of coitus interruptus, by analogy, to declaring permissible other forms of contraception, subject to three conditions:
1. As offspring are the right of both the husband and the wife, the birth control method should be used with both parties’ consent.
2. The method should not cause permanent sterility.
3. The method should not otherwise harm the body.
Coitus interruptus, also known as the rejected sexual intercourse, withdrawal or pull-out method, is a method of birth-control in which a man, during intercourse withdraws his penis from a woman’s vagina prior to orgasm (and ejaculation). The man then directs his ejaculate (semen) away from his partner’s vagina in an effort to avoid insemination.
This method of contraception, widely used for at least two millennia, is still in use today. This method was used by an estimated 38 million couples worldwide in 1991. Coitus interruptus does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs).
IN VERY SIMPLE WORDS, POOR HUBBY AND WIFE SHOULD PRACTICE WITHDRAWAL OR ANY FORM TO PREVENT THE UNIFICATION OF EGG AND SPERM CELL, OTHERWISE, THEIR OFFSPRING WILL SUFFER POVERTY WHICH IS A BIGGG
rallie f. cruz says
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, ” Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”….to “SUBDUE” can be addressed not of what is on the earth but can be addressed on how the growth of every family maybe controlled as to the number a couple can afford to take care and nurture until it is their children’s time to make their own family.
Ecclesiastes 6:3 “A man may have hundred children and live many years; yet not matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive a proper burial, I say a still born child is better off than he.”
The Old Testament may not have given specific instruction as to how growth maybe controlled like the way it was said in the Qu’ran (or rather my readings of the Bible have not given me enough time to find them) but the two Books may already contain a teaching about increasing in number not in wanton way of producing without thinking well.
The only time that morality can be given thought about is the wicked intentions and wicked ways to control the birth of a child. And that should the church be working on with what is moral or not.
Coitus interruptus is one of the method the Christian church do not support largely as they have been giving the sample of one man whose brother died but by tradition that a brother may continue to do in his dead brothers behalf of making the wife pregnant and used the “withdrawal” and God struck him down. This was also used for their teachings against masturbation. God may not have stricken the man down for the withdrawal but merely for going against what was commanded to do. Maybe God has a purpose already made for that child and the man made a mistake of aborting the plan.
And as you quoted, as long it does not harm and cause permanent sterility (except in case maybe of saving the life of a mother to be caused by another child bearing) .. rhythmic method acceptable to the church, withdrawal and other means by medical experts where morality can be discussed openly but not just outright condemnation of an evil work.
God is not interfering on the freedom he gave to each one of us. We will be judge by our own records written by the Guardian angels appointed to us. If you masturbate, that is recorded, if you rape someone, if you rob a cents or pork barrel funds, what ever sins, those are recorded…doing good deeds also are recorded…during judgment day, each person good and bad will be weigh…he he he an atomic weight of good deeds outweigh the bad deeds, Allah or God will grant you pardon for He is most merciful…
If the husband and wife will enjoy sexual action then it is not immoral to withdraw…the feeling of ecstasy is a gift of God to all animal and other creation with sexual intercourse. If the wife request for love play to be happy, then it is your duty to provide, otherwise, you will commit a sin of depriving her want he he he he vice versa, say you want thrill in bed, you wife should provide, otherwise a sin…
Sexual intercourse is not allowed if your partner is not your legal spouse, it is a BIG SIN in any religion, even in animals such as dog, they fight and brawl if anyone touches the partner…
Above blogs are facts…this one its up to you if factual or not>>>you may not believe but some bishop and nuns are masturbating, are you going to condemn them? WRONG ANSWER if you does, they are HUMANS, only GOD or ALLAH will judge them…..
WE ARE ALL FREE AS A BIRD…how ever we have reasoning from our BRAIN, we know what is BAD and what is GOOD…and this is applicable for RH bill, we should do what is GOOD, BE TRUE TO OURSELVES, ask ones partner, can we afford to have a BABY???
Victin Luz says
We have to qualify who are those masturbating ,, No EXEMPTION as long as people are normal and mentally fit. even the POPE or mother THERESA during their desired/tender age’s have DONE IT..
Victin Luz says
We have to qualify who are those masturbating ,, No EXEMPTION as long as people are normal and mentally fit. even the POPE during his desired/tender growth age have DONE IT..he he .
rallie f. cruz says
With the advent that came as same -sex marriages are acceptable in many countries and some Filipinos deciding to fly away from their country of origin to take part of that and came back with legal papers telling the nation they are married…what can be the stand of the church on who can be allowed to qualify for such actions? ..masturbating. oral, anal and withdrawal?
rallie f. cruz says
If God does not interfere, then who summoned the Prophets to make their reports and who called on Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt? who hardened the hearts of the Pharaoh that Moses would be tried as to how determined and strong is his conviction to follow God’s command? and if you are a Muslim who was send by God to tell him he is chosen to continue what was not accomplished by his predecessor?
There is not such a thing as being free as a bird for their ability to fly is not a sign of freedom in fact many of their flights from one place to another is their collective efforts to escape the dangers of changing weathers and availability of foods to eat. In most cases our wanton use of land have displaced many of them in their natural habitats and their ways became dependent on what we throw on streets and garbage and their nests built on corners of building and houses instead of trees.
Every freedom has its own law written on books and minds through our experiences in order that it may be enjoyed by all equally and if you think that God does not interfere why is it written that He will send His wrath if we continue to blaspheme His name and do not adhere to His laws?
True, He do not steer our lives like chess pawns but His words are our guide and The Blessings and Curse (Deuteronomy 11:26-28) as His gift is determined by what we choose to do.
God sent the Prophets to remind people who has lost by the token of time thru the ages. Because of FREEDOM, people did what they wanted, forgotten the messages of the first lesson from Adam ( he is the FIRST, NOT JESUS!!!). Muslim respect Adam since he was the first of Human Creation
As you can see, most Prophets are mocked down by the people whom God has sent to.
Prophets Noah was sent to lost tribes of Adam…mocked him as crasy fool, building the biggest ship of ALL time by hand…you know what happened after the flood, if you are reading the Bible…God did not interfered but sent down messages via Prophet Noah…that there is only one GOD!!!
Prophet Moses was sent down to children of Israel, but what happened, THEY MOCKED Prophets Moses, asking miracles, accusing him of false prophecy…AFTER the greatest miracles of Prophets Moises in the red sea??? Still the people has forgotten God and created statues….
I dont need to elaborate on the other Prophets, since, ALL THE SAME, PEOPLE HAS TRACKED THE WRONG PATH!!! PRAISING STONES, SUN, MOUNTAINS ANY CREATION OF GOD, EVEN PRAISING SAINTS!!! AND THE POPE!!!
DO YOU KNOW THAT WITHOUT GOD, TYOU WILL NOT BE DEVELOPED AS FETUS??? NOR ANYONE OF US!!! This POWER OF MAN TO CREATE A HUMAN BEING IS FROM GOD!!! AS WELL AS THE POWER OF REPRODUCTION OF OTHER MAMALS AND PLANT KINGDOM HE HE HE
FOR NOW, PRAISE HIM, THE ONLY ONE WHO CREATED ALL BEINGS AND PROPHETS, INCLUDING PROPHET JESUS AND THE UNIVERSE, NONE OTHER BUT GOD ALMIGHTY, IN ARABIC ALLAH HU AKBAR, GOD HAS NO SON NOR DAUGHTERS, ALL OF US ARE HIS CREATION!!!
HE HAS NO NAME WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE OR AL QUR-AN. GOD IS WORTHY OF ALL GOOD NAMES SUCH AS GOD MOST MERCIFUL, GOD MOST HIGH, LORD OF THE DAWN, LORD OF THE EAST AND WEST, LORD OF THE JUDGMENT DAY ETC…..
WE ARE FREE BUT WE MUST SERVE GOD WHO CREATED US, WE SHOULD NOT DO AGAINST HIS ORDER FROM TEN COMMANDMENTS (TORAH), TO GOSPEL OF JESUS AND TO THE MESSAGES FROM AL QUR-AN AL KAREEM VIA PROPHET MUHAMMAD…
YOU GOT WRONG INTERPRETATION FOR SAYING GOD INTERFERES HE HE HE JUST LOOK AT THE DAMAGES OF THE STORMS??? DID YOUR BELIEF THAT GOD INTERFERES IS TRUE, NO IT AINT RIGHT BOY!!! CLEAR UP YOUR BELIEF AND TURN TO GOD ALMIGHTY TRULY AND YOU WILL BE SAVE…WHEN JUSGMENT DAY COMES!!!
JESUS IS COMING, TO PROVE ONCE AND FOR ALL, THAT GOD IS ONLY ONE!!! JESUS DID NOT PREACH THAT GOD IS THREE OR TWO? THE ONLY PRAYER JESUS TAUGHT WAS “OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN….THIS IES VALID, GOD IS IN HEAVEN, HIS POWER OF VISION CAN PENETRATE UP TO EVERLASTING UNIVERSE WHICH UNTIL NOW SCIENTIST HAS NOT FOUND….
rallie f. cruz says
You said that Moses and the Prophets were mocked like they mocked Noah. then it is clear that God interferes but whether people listened or not you will see clearly His concern.
The only thing that you probably fail to see is that God would not repeat what He said and there is no need for Him to do it because His Chosen Ones will do their best to make them known. You may see how the words have spread amid the stubborn minds of men yet it got printed and studied while some understands and many rejected they are there.
Blessing and Curse in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 was what He told Moses to tell the people,
Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18 and Jeremiah 31:29-30 was decreed long before Jesus to prove that his death is no longer needed for the sinners and each individual have already been judged according to what he has done in his life and there is not further judgment in Jesus’ coming except that at time of his coming, a big DECEPTION will be uncovered totally explaining why the inhabitants of the earth will mourn when he comes form the clouds..Rev. 1:7.
Interfere is a Human act, God is not Human so you can not attribute that to God…
God has no comparison, God or Allah can see you right in your mothers womb, and God or Allah knew you will look at God as human just right now and your previous reasons. \
NO ONE CAN MEASURE GOD’S DEPTH, WIDTH OR LENGHT…
NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IS GOD’S KINGDOM IN HEAVEN
YOU DONT KNOW GOD…
PERHAPS YOUR GOD IS JESUS…THEN YOU ARE LOST…
manuel buencamino says
What I want to see is what the bishops will do to health-care professionals in Catholic hospitals and clinics who will implement the so-called objectionable provisions of the RH bill. Will they take disciplinary action against those health-care professionals? Will a hospital not incur legal liability if it fires or suspends a health-care professional who believes in contraception and treats a patient accordingly? (Note that many good Catholics do not agree with the teachings of the bishops re contraception)
That would need a test case.
“It’s the latest victory for President Aquino, who from his days as a lawmaker had supported the RH measure, and who expended a lot of political capital to see the bill passed by congress.
“The victory for RH will be received well by the business groups, which pushed strongly for the RH law. Positive perceptions do translate into positive plans for investments in the Philippines. These plans must translate into action soon.” (A. Pamintuan, Philstar 4/9/14)
“Senator Mirriam Santiago said the SC ruling is a “decision upon clashing interests resolved exclusively by the force of reason, according to law, without the power of armies, the weight of patronage, or imposing pomp.”
“In short, it is a triumph of reason over superstition” (Philstar 4/9/14)
Joe America says
I think the balance of the reading is more strongly behind RH backers because the main message is that contraception is available, state-sanctioned and healthy. Presumably contraception will become a very common lifestyle choice for women of the Philippines, as it is in other modern countries. The Church has every right to preach to its sheep, but I think the weight of public trending is also heavy, and there will be “opinion leader” women out in the barangays who simply say, hey, now I can do what the rich Catholics do, stop having kids when they become a burden or unhealthy for me. And other women will follow suit.
You are 100% right, people will enjoy life, children will grow up to be reasonble person, some may become good politicians and some good workers, that is the effect of good RH Law, people will still reproduce but with proper reasoning he he he. Bravo Joe Am….
Joe America says
Like most people, Filipinos compare their ways with others. Now they may get crabby if someone gets ahead, but if they had the same shot they’d take it. So I think it only takes a few people to say “hey, I’m on the pill”, and the doors to the health clinics will get battered down by the copying hordes . . .
Perhaps I exaggerate, but anyway, I hope there is more moderation in birthing as a result of RH. Just commons-sense sized families.
I am sure the Catholic Church will find ways to slow down implementation.
Does it mean the CBCP will file motion for judicial review or the like to stop the RH implementation while the motion is awaiting resolution? In that case, the poor cannot avail themselves of free contraceptives or training to limit the number of offsprings which they can’t afford to provide better future. It also means the church is blind and cannot see the handwritings on the wall!!!
andrew lim says
Since only the punitive aspects of the law for conscience objectors was struck down, I dont see a significant threat from the anti-RH camp to derail/stop/prevent the implementation of the law.
What they could do on a piecemeal basis:
A. Goad the objectors in a government hospital or LGU to sabotage implementation by not reporting for work, refusing to follow orders, misplacing supplies, etc. But this leads to insubordination, illegal activities so it can be ground for dismissal.
B. Elect officials who will find ways to de-fund the RH law. Very difficult, because as shown in the past election, the Catholic vote is nil. Very difficult, because these politicians will now face the backlash from the public, and may lose elections.
1. For local officials, if the objector is a mayor like Atienza, then the vice mayor or the next official down the hierarchy should be tasked to implement the law.
2. For health workers, since the punitive aspect has been removed, they can just be re-assigned to other departments/ functions that dont interfere with the provision of RH services – administrative, etc.
I dont think there are too many of these objectors anyway, since it is their career development at stake.
3. In private hospitals, the pro-RH camp can organize their allies in them to implement it since the law mandates it. It just removes the penalties for those who do not follow, but you cannot have the reverse of penalizing those who do.
In any case, the DOH and the NGOs can put up websites/info centers where RH services are available to inform the public.
andrew lim says
I also foresee a scenario where the public will equate the availability of RH services with affordable medical services, since many of the potential objectors will be private, Catholic order run hospitals, and therefore expensive in the first place.
Many will not go to these private hospitals at all. For those who do, they are educated and well-informed enough to know how and where to secure RH services.
The Principal authors of the RH Law, specifically Edsel Lagman and Pia Cayetano, said that the key provisions of the law are intact. Indeed, the Supreme Court struck down some provisions of the RH law as “consuelo de bobo” to bishops and Anti-RH law SC justices.