Posts Tagged ‘Church Interference’

Bishops at War

Sounding Board

By: Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:01 pm | Sunday, August 26th, 2012

In the wake of the controversy about the Reproductive Health bill a couple of bishops have gone to war against university professors and, in the process, have issued dire warnings against Catholic universities. They threaten stripping universities of the title Catholic. I doubt that the bishops were thinking about what is happening to the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru because there is only one Pontifical Catholic University in the Philippines, and it is not the Ateneo. At any rate, are the bishops waging a just war? I will not attempt to answer that question. I will simply say that the professors and the universities can take care of themselves.

But as election time approaches, there is also a threatening war against defenders of the RH bill who might dare run for public office in the coming elections. And since we, and not only bishops, are interested in the Church’s teaching on church and politics, we might all learn something from what a young Jesuit colleague of mine has put together in a piece from which I will freely quote or paraphrase. (Let this mention of my young colleague count as the required acknowledgment of sources needed to avoid accusations of plagiarism!)

Will a holy war against candidates who support the RH bill get the support of Pope Benedict XVI? In “Deus est Caritas,” Benedict XVI emphasized the old Catholic teaching that the formation of a just society as a political task is not a direct duty of the Church; this task belongs properly to the laity. The role of the Church is indirect: to purify reason and inspire ethical political participation leading to the building of a more just society.
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Church Backs Tactics to Delay RH Bill

By Kristine L. Alave, Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
2:46 am | Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the CBCP—Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

Robert’s Rules of Order will be the working bible in the Church-led effort to squash the reproductive health (RH) bill.

All the tactics contained in the handbook of parliamentary procedure will come in handy in the anti-RH initiative in the House of Representatives to derail passage of the bill, according to Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines–Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

“We support them,” Castro said in an interview Monday of congressmen on the opposition front line in the second stage of the legislative process on the bill—the period of amendments—after Aquino administration allies on August 6 voted to end the debate on the population control measure.

“It’s not delaying. It’s about using existing parliamentary procedures because this has plenty of loopholes,” he said. “We foresee that this period of amendment, hopefully, will take a while.”

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte told the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the weekend he was exploring the possibility of setting a timetable for the period of amendments so that the measure could be put to a vote on the plenary once and for all.

Opponents of the bill in the last two sessions last week succeeded in preventing the introduction of alterations.
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Catholic Church Goes After Ateneo Professors for Heresy

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:25 am | Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Recently, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, the current CBCP president, warned Catholic schools and teachers to toe the line or end up in hot water. FILE PHOTO

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

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

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

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

Those found guilty of teaching students concepts contrary to Church teachings could be fired, he said. Church officials have previously raised the possibility of excommunication for Catholics espousing population control.

Ateneo officials were not available for comment Monday, a holiday.
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RH Raging Debates Sound Like Noli-Fili Bill Dispute

By Ricardo S. Malay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1:15 am | Sunday, June 19th, 2011

The raging controversy on the reproductive health and divorce bills recalls a similar period in the 1950s when religion was at the heart of a debate on the so-called “Noli-Fili” bill that proposed the teaching of the national hero’s two famous novels.

In 1956, Senator Jose P. Laurel sponsored a bill that sought to inculcate Jose Rizal’s heroism by requiring the compulsory reading of the “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” for collegiate students. The books, published when Rizal was in European exile, exposed the conditions of Spanish colonial rule without sparing the widespread friar abuses it wrought.

Originally authored by Senator Claro M. Recto, the Noli-Fili bill sparked an acrimonious debate in the Senate that revolved on the separation of church and state issue, with the Batangas senator single-handedly defending the measure against his colleagues aligned with the powerful Catholic Church.

Recto’s adversaries were Senators Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo, Jesus Cuenco and Decoroso Rosales. The last two were brothers of Visayan monsignors who were later ordained cardinals.
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Church Goes All Out to Counter RH Bill

By Vito Barcelo | Posted on August 18, 2012 | 12:01am

The Catholic Church will launch its own nationwide natural family planning campaign in all the dioceses and parishes in the country to counter the Aquino administration’s aggressive stance of promoting artificial contraception, Manila bishop Luis Antonio Tagle said on Friday.

Tagle said Catholic priests will include in their sermons the natural family-planning method and will also distribute natural family-planning booklets to all archdioceses and parishes to educate couples on the “moral” method of planning their families.

Several dioceses had already conducted a series of seminars on the natural method of family planning as part of the Church’s “moral responsibility” to the people, Tagle said.

Church leaders believe that an active educational campaign would help empower the couples on the “moral, effective and safe” way of family planning.

The Manila archbishop said the Church was not only teaching that contraception violated Catholic teaching but also harmed women’s bodies and the environment.

Members of the “All-Natural Family Planning Network” will meet on Aug. 23 at the Pius XII Catholic Center to discuss plans to further improve their advocacy.

To be hosted by the Catholic Women’s League, the gathering will also serve as a venue for looking into the options allowed by the Church in terms of amendments to certain provisions of the RH bill.
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Archdiocese of Cotabato Holds Mass vs RH Bill

By Jasper Acosta, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao
Posted at 08/05/2012 1:00 PM | Updated as of 08/05/2012 1:00 PM

COTABATO CITY – The Archdiocese of Cotabato held a mass Saturday afternoon at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Cotabato City to strongly oppose the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

The mass was presided by Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.

In his homily, Bagaforo said the RH bill will destroy the moral values of family.

The Catholic church strongly opposes the use of artificial birth control methods such as condoms and other contraceptives.
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RH Bill Can’t be Drafted to Adhere to One Religion, Says Pia Cayetano

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1:39 am | Sunday, August 5th, 2012

The reproductive health (RH) bill can’t be drafted in such a way that it would adhere to the teachings of any religion, according to Sen. Pia Cayetano, one of the measure’s principal authors.

Cayetano said she respects the right of Catholics to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and expression but that she has an obligation to make sure that laws are applicable to all Filipinos.

“I have to emphasize that even if it’s their right, it is the obligation of a senator to make sure that the policies that come out of our society would be applicable to all Filipinos regardless of religion,” Cayetano said in an interview with dzBB radio on Saturday’s Church-led anti-RH rally.

“I can’t change the RH bill in such a way that it would adhere to Catholic beliefs. I would be violating the law if that were the case,” Cayetano said.
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