‘If RH Bill is Passed Into Law, All Priests Will Lose Their Jobs’

By Bernadette A. Parco
Friday, October 15, 2010

CEBU Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the church’s stance on the reproductive health bill goes beyond the morality of using artificial contraceptives.

The prelate said he told President Benigno S. Aquino III that if the bill is passed into law, it can “stifle” the church’s work.

Get updates on President Benigno Aquino III’s address to nation.

“I told him (Aquino) when he was (still) campaigning, I told him ‘You know Noynoy if this will become law I and my brother priests will become jobless. We can no longer preach, give advice, to counsel or hear confession against it’,” Vidal told reporters yesterday.

“Not only that, I am an employer also. I have employees. I must have condoms in my office. What if they will ask me and I refuse?” he said.

Vidal has always been in the forefront against the bill and has even preached against it in homilies delivered before elected officials.

He said the bill has its good points that the church can support.

“It’s not all bad because the health care of the mother and the child is important.

What we are against is the means, especially the artificial contraceptives, which for us is immoral. We cannot allow that,” he said.

But the prelate hopes the church and a government panel will thresh out issues in contention, such as adolescent reproductive health lessons, the use of artificial methods of family planning and sanctions for those who oppose the distribution of artificial contraceptives.

Vidal said he does not know who will be in the church’s panel, but bishops are working on their suggestions for the bill.

“I hope they will be able to come to a settlement in which we will all agree,” he said.

For now, Vidal said they have refrained from issuing a statement on the matter.

“Aquino suggested a period of silence, we try to respect that,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2010.

Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/if-rh-bill-passed-law-all-priests-will-lose-their-jobs

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