Posts Tagged ‘natural family planning’
One positive effect of NFP is that men and women acknowledge their roles and responsibilities in the creation of a new life. A second positive effect is a change in the way spouses view each other and their mutual relationship.
Couples who use NFP attest to the benefit. NFP is really a study of fertility in which a couple learns the workings of their reproductive systems. Acquiring this knowledge can bring about profound changes in the way people view their bodies and the bodies of their spouses. This reverence toward the body seems to increase particularly among men, even those who say they have “finished their families.” Many men report new feelings of awe towards their wives as they see the changes they go through every month. The man develops a sense of gratitude for the gift of fertility a woman gives him every time they make love. She in turn develops a sense of gratitude that her husband is cooperating with her fertility instead of asking her to destroy it.
In this way both come to see that every act of intercourse is a reaffirmation of their marital commitment. Their mutual trust increases. Economist George Akerlof writes:
It seems reasonable … that the probability of a breakup is higher for couples in uncommitted relationships than for those in committed ones.
Armed with the knowledge of their fertility, the husband and wife can make mutual decisions on when to make love based on their situation in life. These decisions spark a dialogue, which keeps open the lines of communication. The couple sees that not every sexual act, especially one that can result in a pregnancy that would be detrimental, is an act of love.
This can bring about a change in behavior that is beneficial to marriage. Spouses become less selfish, less centered on their own sexual needs. Abstinence becomes a sacrifice made for the good of the other. These benefits are available to couples regardless of whether they are newly-weds or have been married for twenty years.
In light of all this, why should anyone expect the Church to change its teaching on contraception? Why should a Church, speaking in the name of God who is love, give its blessing to something that has led to abortion, divorce, reproductive health problems for women, poorer relationships between the sexes, more children living in poverty and more men becoming socially dysfunctional?
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta got to the heart of the matter when she addressed a National Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the U.S. Senate and House of representatives on 3 Feb 1994:
I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.
In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.
I also know that there are great problems in the world – that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning.We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.
The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: “You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other.” And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.
When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted,unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society – that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.
Whether a couple is using NFP to bring new life into existence or to avoid a pregnancy through the use of periodic abstinence, there is an element of sacrifice involved. Blessed Mother Teresa described the payoff for confronting the fear of that sacrifice as part of her statement to the Cairo Conference on Population on 9 Sept 1994:
God has created a world big enough for all the lives He wishes to be born. It is only our hearts that are not big enough to want them and accept them… We are too often afraid of the sacrifices we might have to make. But where there is love, there is always sacrifice. And when we love until it hurts, there is joy and peace.
And where there is joy and peace, marriage and the family can thrive.
Taken from Fletcher Doyle’s NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING BLESSED OUR MARRIAGE, pp. 36-40.
(Thanks to Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ for sharing this piece.)
The Catholic Church and anti-RH bill lawmakers have always been on the defensive after years of siege by the proponents of the RH Bill. The RH bill forces will never tire: they have the funding of multinational pharmaceuticals who make contraceptives, abortion companies like Planned Parenthood, and UN commissions who push for reproductive health.
What the anti-RH Bill forces need is a counter-attack on the RH-Bill forces’ flanks. We must fight the RH Bill by proposing a contrary bill (read the parable of the unclean spirit (Lk 11:24-26)). The Reproductive Health Bill is a misnomer and a lie: the bill does not concern reproduction but contraception and contraceptives endanger the woman’s health. The Maternal Health Bill that I propose is really for maternal health, which concerns both the mother and the child: the word “maternal” does not only refer to the woman but also to her child, for how can a woman be a mother, a “mater”, if she has no child? A woman’s right over her body should never trample on the rights of the child in her womb over his body.
This anti-RH bill shall divert the time and resources of the pro-RH forces, for one cannot fight at the same time both the impregnable wall that is the Catholic Church and the new menace that may spell the doom of RH in the Philippines. (News Flash: Cong. Manny Pacquiao’s anti-RH bill knocks out Sen. Miriam Santiago’s RH bill). And if this anti-RH bill becomes a law, it will be one layer of defense wall against the renewed assault of the pro-RH bill forces in the future. As Gandalf would said to the Balrog in the battle of the Bridge of Khazadum: “You cannot pass!”
Below is a draft of the bill that I propose, following the outline of the Consolidated RH Bill, House Bill 4244, “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health andPopulation and Development Act of 2011” and Senator Miriam Santiago’s Senate Bill 2378, The Reproductive Health Act. I hope a congressman or senator can improve my draft bill and sponsor it as a congressional or senate bill. Please spread the word.
–Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr., Monk’s Hobbit
St. Albert the Great, pray for us.
St. Bobo, pray for us.
Section 1. Title
This act shall be known as the “Maternal Health Bill of 2011″.
Section 2. Declaration of Policy
“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. The natural and primary right and duty of the parents in rearing of the youth into civic efficiency and the development of the moral character shall receive support from the government.” (1987 Philippine Constitution Art. II, Sec. 12)
Section 3. Guiding Principles
This act declares the following as guiding principles:
- A human being is formed when a sperm fertilizes an egg. Many contraceptive pills are actually abortifacients because they prevent the fertilized egg to cling to the uterine walls and the fertilized egg dies.
- Every child has a right to be conceived in his mother’s womb through the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s egg through sexual intercourse.
- Every child conceived has the right to be born alive.
- The use of condoms and contraceptive pills makes fornication and adultery easier because the woman involved will not get pregnant and the scandalous affair is not brought to light. Fornication leads to low marriage rates and adultery increases the breakdown of marriages.
- The use of condoms and and contraceptive pills contributes to environmental pollution. In particular, when the contraceptive chemicals are excreted from the woman’s body through urine, these chemicals enter the sewage system, down to our rivers and streams, and back to our drinking water. The female sex hormones in the water contributes to the impotence of males.
- Contraceptive pills interrupt women’s natural fertility cycle. Furthermore, the use of contraceptive pills has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.
- The use of condoms and contraceptive pills lessen the respect of the husband to the wife, making her an object to be used anytime, anywhere, without regard to her natural fertility cycle.
- The use of condoms increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases: those who use condoms think that having sex is safer, so they increase the frequency of their sexual intercourse and the number of their sexual partners.
- The use of condoms and contraceptive pills leads to a notion that a child is not a gift but a burden, so that if the contraception fails and a child is conceived, the next recourse is abortion. Countries who made contraception into a law ended up making abortion into a human right.
- Willful abortion is a criminal offense because a human being is killed.
- Growing population is not a problem, but graft and corruption. Decline in population leads to a graying population which would decrease the number of taxpayers and increase the numbers of old pensioners, leading to economic collapse.
- The children are the hope of our country, said Dr. Jose Rizal. It is not the duty of the state to mandate the number of children per household, but to provide opportunities for each child conceived to grow to become responsible citizens of the country.
- Those who contribute to the pollution of our environment or to the destruction of our families must be must be the one who shall be taxed in order for the government to clean up the mess.
- Maternal health refers to the biological capacity of a woman to do the all of the four functions: (a) conceive a child through sexual intercourse with a man, (b) carry the child in her womb for nine months, (c) give birth to the child through normal delivery, (d) and breastfeed the child immediately after birth until the child does not anymore need breastmilk.
- Maternal death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes (World Health Organization)
- Marriage is the union of a man and a woman as witnessed by the State for the the purpose of raising a family.
- Fornication or pre-marital sex is the sexual intercourse between the unmarried man and an unmarried woman
- Adultery is the sexual intercourse with a partner who is married to another.
- Contraceptives are devices or chemicals that hinders the meeting between the sperm and egg during sexual intercourse
- Abortifacients are substances or chemicals that induce abortion.
- Sex hormones are sex-specific chemicals that are naturally produced by the human body. Males have male hormones, females have female hormones.
- Abortion is the killing of an unborn child in the womb.
- Fertility cycle is the reproductive cycle of which define the days when she is fertile and when she is not.
- Natural family planning refers to the study of the woman’s fertility cycle to determine the proper times for sexual intercourse for the proper spacing of births.
- Sexually transmitted diseases refers to diseases that are transmitted through sexual intercourse, such as AIDS and HIV.
- Contraceptives imported from other countries are subject to 100% tariff. Contraceptives donated from other countries will also be subject to 100% tariff based on their estimated value. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the tariff shall go to the National Treasury, 30% shall go to the Department of Health (DOH) for its Maternal Health Programs, 15 % shall go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and 15% shall go to a special research fund of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). This special research fund shall be awarded to research proposals for development of ways to monitor and remove women sex hormones in rivers, lakes, and drinking water. These funds shall be included in the yearly appropriations of the Philippine government budget.
- Contraceptives produced in the country are subject to 50% production tax. Contraceptives sold in the country are subject to 50% sales tax.
- Contraceptives that do not require surgery or taking in of chemicals can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies, e.g. condoms. Contraceptives that require the absorption of chemicals in a man’s or woman’s body can only be bought through doctor’s prescription. Contraceptives that require surgery shall be considered contraband goods.
- Ligation in men and women as a form of contraception shall not be allowed. Doctors and nurses who took part in these surgeries shall have their medical licenses revoked for three (3) years.
- The Department of Health shall provide a list of chemical contraceptives that are abortifacients. The importation, manufacture, and sale of these contraceptives shall be prohibited and these contraceptives shall be considered contraband goods.
- Willful termination of a normal pregnancy (abortion) is a criminal offense. The doctor or nurse who took part in these surgeries shall be tried in a criminal court.
- Fertility treatments which require fertilization outside the woman’s womb shall not be allowed in the country. Doctors and nurses who took part in these treatments shall have their medical licenses revoked for three years.
- Contraceptives shall not be classified as essential medicines and their purchase shall not be covered by PhilHealth. No government fund must be used for the purchase of contraceptives or for the promotion of their use. Government funds shall only be used by DOH for Natural Family Planning and other Maternal Health Programs.
- Hospitals shall be required to have pregnancy crisis centers for counselling women who are thinking of aborting their child due to rape, incest, abandonment, etc. These centers will be staffed by DOH and DSWD personnel or DOH and DSWD-accredited personnel. They shall also be funded by donors from the private sector and NGO’s. The purpose of these centers is to convince the women to let their baby live, and give it up for adoption at least. The women shall be shown the ultrasound–in 4G if possible–what their baby looks like in the womb–pointing out the head, the arms, the feet, fingers, and toes. Once the baby is delivered, the mother of the baby may decide to keep the baby or give him up for adoption.
- The DOH and DSWD shall publish a joint list of accredited pregnancy crisis centers and child adoption centers. This list shall be made available to all hospitals.
- All couples who wish to get married must attend lectures on possible sources of conflicts in marriage and how to resolve them to make marriage and family life wonderful. The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) shall conduct these lectures at least once a year. The DSWS can also accredit centers who shall do these lectures.
- The couples who wish to get married must also take lectures on natural family planning, fetal development, breastfeeding, and child development. The Department of Health (DOH) shall conduct these lectures once a year. The DOH can also accredit centers who shall do these lectures.
- Sex education in elementary and high schools is only limited to that body’s fertility cycle, sexual reproduction, and child development as taught in Biology. The harmful effects of chemical contraceptives may also be taught. The use of condoms should not be taught in elementary and high school.
- Values formation classes should stress the dignity of marriage, the gift of a child, and social responsibility. These classes should discuss the problems resulting from the contraceptive mentality such as pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce, and abortion. These classes should discuss how these things destroy family and society. The Department of Education shall review the existing curriculum on values education and incorporate these topics if these were not included before.
- Couples may use PhilHealth for the ultrasound imaging of a developing fetus in his mother’s womb, provided that such a procedure is prescribed by a doctor.
- The benefits of paternity and maternity shall be availed by the couples as stipulated in the existing laws.
- The delivery efficiency of midwives shall be labeled in their DOH certified identification card. The delivery efficiency is the ratio of two numbers: total live births delivered divided by total births delivered, computed since the start of her career. Both the fraction and percent efficiency should be displayed. Midwives with the highest yearly number of live births assisted with 100% delivery efficiency shall be given an award by the provincial DOH at least Php 10,000 in cash and a plaque of appreciation.
- All midwives, nurses, and doctors who have assisted delivery cases wherein the infant or the mother died or both shall inform the DOH. A DOH personnel shall interview the medical practitioners involved on the sequence of events and the possible causes of death. These interviews shall be recorded in text, audio, or video. The transcribed interviews shall be sent to provincial DOH centers for making a yearly report. From this data, midwifery practices that are shown to correspond higher incidence of infant and maternal deaths shall be eliminated or modified. DOH shall then issue revised protocols on child delivery and maternal health.
- All hospitals in a province are required to submit to provincial DOH centers the statistics on infant and maternal mortality, starting from the child is in the womb until the child is released from the hospital.
- At the end of each year, the provincial DOH centers shall make a summary report of the child mortality per hospital and and health center.
- Doctors, nurses, and midwives must see to it that the newborn child is breastfed by the mother.
- Hospitals should only display the benefits of breastmilk in posters. Dairy products should not be prominently advertised in hospitals as breast-milk substitutes. Purchase of breastmilk substitutes require a doctor’s prescription.
- Malls must have designated breastfeeding stations where a mother can breastfeed her child in private. These stations should be clearly marked and its location should be available in the information booth and the mall map. Mall owners shall be given a year to comply to this requirement. Malls that fail to comply shall have their business permit revoked .
- Separability Clause. If any part of this act is considered invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
- Repealing Clause. All other laws, decrees, ordinances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
- Effectivity. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
1. Primary duty of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel and not feed the hungry.
I am glad that INC and Protestants became pro-RH bill. And only the Catholic Church is against the bill. Jesus asks: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Using artificial contraception is a question of faith, and the Catholic Church shall fight the RH bill because it goes against the Faith handed on by Christ to his apostles and the bishops who succeeded them. The salvation of souls is at stake. Amado thinks that the primary duty of the Church is to help the government feed the starving Filipinos. The Church has this duty to feed the hungry as a corporal work of mercy, but Her primary duty is what was commissioned by Christ to his apostles: “Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19). It is not the Church’s primary duty to turn stones into bread, for Christ said: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4)
2. Contraception and Marriage
Where in the Bible is does God command to use artificial contraception like condoms and pills? In marriage, God has united the husband and wife into one flesh. And what God has put together, let no man put asunder (c.f. Mk 10:9). God has united the begetting of children with the sexual act. Thus, man must not separate this union by force through condoms, pills, artificial insemination, and in vitro fertilization. As the Catechism says:
2369 “By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man’s exalted vocation to parenthood.”157
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:159
2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”167
2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.”168 “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.”169
2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens’ well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.162 In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law.
3. Is having many children bad?
Where in the Bible does it say that having many children is bad? This is what the Bible says:
“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” (Gn 1:27-28)
“When you hearken to the voice of the LORD, your God, all these blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you: 3″May you be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country! 4″Blessed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks!5 “Blessed be your grain bin and your kneading bowl!… The LORD will increase in more than goodly measure the fruit of your womb, the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil, in the land which he swore to your fathers he would give you.12 The LORD will open up for you his rich treasure house of the heavens, to give your land rain in due season, blessing all your undertakings, so that you will lend to many nations and borrow from none. (Dt 28:11-12)
The solution to the problem of hunger is not to curb population through RH Bill but to obey God’s Word. As Christ said:
“So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33 But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, 19 and all these things will be given you besides.
Translation of Homily of Cardinal Rosales in the March 25 Pro-Life rally against the Reproductive Health Bill
Here is the full text of the homily of Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales which he preached at the Quirino Grandstand, during the Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation and the Pro-Life Rally against the RH Bill. The original text is in Filipino courtesy of Pinoy Catholic. Below is my English translation:
Feast of the Annunciation Pro-Life Rally vs. Reproductive Health Bill
by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales
25 March 2011
The Lord God spoke to Moses and those who believe in Him the following words: “I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.” (Dt 30:19)
Let us start our reflection on the principle that life is the greatest gift given by our Lord God to anyone. This is the fundamental belief and teaching of the Catholic Church that human life, though weak or suffering, remains the greatest gift of God’s goodness (Familaris Consortio, n. 30).
If you do not give value this life in any way or at any point in man’s life (baby, fetus, old age, strong or weak), any man’s life will not be respected–and here if life has no more value or is not given value, there is no one who shall defend it, human life will be cheated, dominated, kidnapped, perjured, and robbed.
That is why how beautiful is the Church’s teaching–take care, defend, and promote life. Do not put barriers to life through any surgery or artificial contraception. To debase this human life, whether strong or weak, that we always value is against the Filipino culture’s view on human life (Pastoral Letter, CBCP, 30 January 2011).
Poverty or overpopulation has real solution and the answer to this is also taught by our Lord Jesus Christ. First, the world’s wealth or the product of man’s labor is enough or more than enough for all. “Love one another” and be compassionate with each other in the name of love. Second, there are natural ways designed by God in the human body that must be known or studied in order to identify the days when sexual intercourse would lead to new human life. In each sexual intercourse, the married couple cooperates with God in the creation of new human life. (Humanae Vitae, n. 11)
Married life is holy, and because it is holy, God provides joy and happiness in each marital intercourse, because they shall spend their whole life rearing their children to good values, a holy life where there is compassion and respect to others until old age.
There is a natural way to prepare for that important life. And that is called NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING. And this is given by God naturally to each man, male or female. The Almighty God knows that the days are coming when we must strive to study and responsibly undertake the noble preparation for such life. That is why God naturally placed in man’s body–male or female–the right and sure way and times when the the woman is fertile and ready to give birth to a new human life, which is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27)
In studying the ways to determine these special days when the woman is fertile, anyone can use these information in order to know when not to engage in sexual intercourse. This is man’s sacrifice. There are times that discipline is needed. If there is discipline in bed, then surely there will be discipline in the streets, in the wallet (credit cards). Here we shall appreciate the “values” that are taught by the Church.
My brothers and sisters, the labor of a married couple is holy, that is why God blesses them with joy and happiness not only in the sexual intercourse, but also in the rearing of their children to good manners and right conduct, and help them grow in holiness. In this endeavor, God is with the married couple. And God never abandons a faithful couple.
Married life is holy; sexual intercourse is holy because this is part of giving forth a new life that is from God. This is not a toy that must be taught to children how to use rubber condoms, in order to prevent the spread of disease? Why are children taught these kinds of plays? Is it not what should be taught to children are the good examples of the elders and the importance of life, the holiness in restraining oneself that is called discipline? Before it was taught that if there is self restraint, there is discipline, respect, and human character. Now what we now wish to teach our young is this: use the condom, and play! That is how cheap human life is now.
It is a good thing there is still the Church and there is still the Faith that reminds us (even though there are some lawmakers or elders that have morally depraved minds, who are incapable of teaching the good values and laws that would bring back the slowly vanishing and weakening of the beautiful gem that is our Filipino civilization.
At why should the young be taught elders and lawmakers on how to escape from responsibility, without regard to reason and purity. (They say that it is in the name of cleanliness and health). False reasons are what few lawmakers want to teach to our young–that is what will be the future of the Philippines–a nation of false reasons, all knowing only how to bribe. There is a danger that we are losing the Christian and Filipino values. What should be taught to the young are purity of the soul, purity of the heart, discipline, self-restraint, and respect for other people’s money.
What kind of proposed law is this RH Bill which when becomes a law, if the Church and its ministers teach or explain things based from the Bible, Faith, and conscience of each Christian on Life and Purity, which are contrary to the RH Bill, shall be asked fined or jailed. Shall all who follow their conscience and Faith be punished? This is not the Philippines. Let us not anymore mention any country, but this is not the Philippines that was loved at offered with the lives of our heroes, three of the ten priests–Padre Mariano Gomez, Padre Jose Burgos, and Padre Jacinto Zamora. In El Filibusterismo, the first page is offered by Jose Rizal to these three priests. (And what others wish to remember is DAMASO who is not even a Filipino!)
This is what the Church stands for:
- The compassion for the poor multitude, especially those women who suffer and strive to make their lives better and those who go abroad to achieve it or enter into indecent work. The Church deeply feels for them.
- The Catholic Church is for life and human life must be defended from conception to its natural end.
- The Church believes in responsible parenthood though Natural Family Planning. Here what is needed is strong character that requires sacrifice, discipline, and respect for the dignity of marriage. Without sacrifice, there is no character.
- All men are just caretakers of their bodies. Our responsibility to our bodies must follow the will of God who speaks to us through our conscience. If we do not heed God’s voice in our conscience, it is not the mountains the seas will be shaken but own conscience.
- We believe that in our choice regarding the RH Bill, our conscience is a sure guide which must be guided by one’s Faith.
- We believe that freedom of religion and the right not to do things contrary to the dictates of our conscience. The penalties and punishments stipulated in the proposed RH Bill is the reason for our disapproval of the Bill. (Pastoral Letter, CBCP, 30 Jan 2011).
There is still time to avoid the moral tragedy that would be caused by the RH Bill.
Change that bill, or repudiate it entirely which is the nesting place for irreverence for life, loss of responsibility and discipline which is what is truly needed by our people and nation.
If the children can still be taught by the Church, we also remind our lawmakers. All of you, today and tomorrow, are part of our prayers.
May God bless you and this Nation of God. We are all loved by God and cared for by the Mother of Jesus!
+Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales
Feast of the Annunciation
25 March 2011
Can we craft a reproductive health bill that is truly for reproductive health and faithful to Catholic principles?
I am just thinking that we are being reactionary: we wait for Cong. Lagman to file the Reproductive Health Bill and then we comment on it and gather all arguments against it. This is like playing black pieces in chess: you wait for white piece to make the first move before deciding to make our own moves.
We are not proactive. We do not propose our own version of Reproductive Health Bill that truly promotes reproductive health and the Filipino Family while remaining faithful to Catholic principles. There are many things we can include in our own version of Reproductive health bill:
- research funds for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and treatment of infertility
- promotion of natural family planning
- banning artificial contraceptives that have side effects to the woman’s health
- provide private breastfeeding sections in offices and malls
- make divorce difficult
These are some things that pop in my head right now. If you have other ideas, that would be great. We can reorganize our statements into different headings and use the original reproductive health bill as template. Writing house bills is not rocket science. I think we can do better than some movie stars and sports superstars in the senate and congress.
I shall volunteer to write the draft of the bill if there is no one else, but I would need inputs. One way to go about this is to go through the original reproductive health bill line by line and write an opposite but positive statement instead of just saying “not” or “don’t”. For example, instead of sex education in elementary and high school, what do you propose? home making skills like carpentry and tailoring? We have to replace something by something and not by nothing, for nature abhors the vacuum.
I would be more free at the end of October and write the draft bill for your further comments. Or we can have a brainstorming session where we can all meet together. After we have ironed the kinks of the bill, we can send a copy to CBCP to hear the side of the bishops. Then we approach our lawmakers and look for a sponsor and lobby for the bill.
“Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Eph 6:12)
Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM): Forum on responsible parenthood and all-natural family planning program
THE CENTER FOR FAMILY MINISTRIES (CEFAM)
invites everyone to a forum on
RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD and ALL-NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAM
Speakers : Abp. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD
Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro
Ms. Ann C. Pielago
Coordinator, RP and All-NFP Program
Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro
Date : March 17, 2010 (Wednesday)
will start promptly at 9:00am until 12 noon
Venue : Center for Family Ministries
Ateneo de Manila University Campus
Loyola Heights, Q.C.
The forum is free of charge. All interested parties are welcome but
limited slots available. For reservation please call CEFAM at 4264289 92
on or before February 28, 2010
by TJ Burgonio Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:25:00 01/27/2010
MANILA, Philippines—Gilbert Teodoro offered no apologies on Wednesday for abandoning the reproductive health bill, and even proposed granting conditional cash transfers to poor couples employing the so-called natural methods of birth control.
The administration standard-bearer found himself defending his and his wife’s decision to withdraw support from the controversial measure before doctors and medical students at a forum at the University of the Philippines in Manila.
At the forum “Make Health Count,” Teodoro explained that the debate over the measure in the House of Representatives had become so “acrimonious” that the stakeholders totally forgot about the problem of population.
“The big debate is whether or not the government can shape a moral choice. And that is the argument of the Church. That the government should not actively advocate for making a moral choice. The debate stopped there,” he said.
Teodoro indicated that he agreed with the Church position, and said that the government should be “neutral” but should support the “moral choice” of every individual with resources.
The Church, for its part, should take it upon itself to shape the “moral choice” by acknowledging the problem of a growing population, he added.
“What should the government do? Instead of being involved in debate, we should support a moral choice,” he said in response to former Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez’s question why he and his wife Tarlac Rep. Nikki Prieto-Teodoro withdrew support from the bill. “I’d rather have resources to support a moral choice rather than fight over a bill.”
Teodoro said there was a need to come to a “mutual and common understanding” on addressing population “whereby the government respects the moral choice and provides resources toward supporting that moral choice.”
“If they use the rhythm method, we can have some resources to support that by a conditional cash transfer if they do not have a birth within a year or so for the poorest of the poor,” he said, referring to the government’s program of granting cash to poor families with children enrolled in public schools.
“He has caved in to the Church and and agreed with his President, whose position is the reason why we have a big problem in population,” Romualdez said.
Monk’s Hobbit Notes: Gilbert Teodoro is now positioning himself more on the Pro-Life side in the debate regarding the Reproductive Health Bill. If he solidifies his position against artificial contraception and campaigns against it and contrasts himself against all the other Presidential candidates who support the Reproductive Health Bill such as Noynoy Aquino, the tide of the Teodoro’s campaign may turn in his favor. I shall offer my prayers for Teodoro and his wife in this battle against artificial contraception. I shall ask Our Lord, Our Lady, and the entire celestial court to aid Teodoro in this battle, “for our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Eph 6:12). The supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill may be Legion, but fear not! Remember the story of Elisha the Prophet:
When the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city. His servant said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16He answered, Don’t be afraid; for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 17Elisha prayed, and said, Yahweh, Please open his eyes, that he may see. Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 18When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, and said, Please smite this people with blindness. He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15-18)
I think I can now in conscience put Gilbert Teodoro’s website in my sidebar together with the Kapatiran Party.
St. Ignatius’s rules for thinking with the church and the Ateneo faculty’s dissent against Humanae Vitae
A group of faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila University recently made a position paper in support of the Reproductive Health Bill 5043:
We respect the consciences of our bishops when they promote natural family planning as the only moral means of contraception, in adherence to the teachings of Humanae Vitae (1968). In turn, we ask our bishops to respect the one in three (35.6%) married Filipino women who, in Declaration of support for the Reproductive Health Bill’s immediate passage into law their “most secret core and sancturary” or conscience, have decided that their and their family’s interests would best be served by using a modern artificial means of contraception. Is it not possible that these women and their spouses were obeying their well-informed and well-formed consciences when they opted to use an artificial contraceptive?
I disagree. St. Ignatius’s rules on thinking, judging, and feeling with the church, as stated in his Spiritual Exercises, is clear:
Rule 1. With all judgment of our own put aside, we ought to keep our minds disposed and ready to be obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church.
Rule 13. To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord of ours who gave the ten commandments that our Holy Mother Church is guided and governed.
The teachings of Humanae Vitae; regarding contraception are clear:
14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)
Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)
Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.