Continuing scandal in Ateneo de Manila after MVP’s speech: LADLAD and the Reproductive Health Bill

I.  The School Forum on MVP’s Speech

I attended the forum on MVP’s commencement speech yesterday.  There were four speakers, but I can remember only two: Fr. Ben Nebres, S.J. and Mr. Leland de la Cruz.  Fr. Ben announced the resignation of MVP and he emphasized the Board of Trustee’s decision was based on Catholic Moral Theology: there are many mitigating factors to the deed and among them are full knowledge and consent.  Leland, on the other hand, talked about the hurt experienced by other members of the Ateneo community.  His question is essentially on how do we reconcile the academic honesty we teach to our students with MVP’s speech.  I admire Leland for his courage.

I did not share my opinion in the forum.  I only listened.  I noticed that those who speak in favor of BOT are generally older teachers and those who speak in favor of Leland are generally younger.  If you ask my opinion,  I shall say that this issue is beyond my competence as a blogger.  I cannot directly quote from the Catechism or from a papal encyclical.  This is not a doctrinal problem, but something academic or something on the question of personal culpability which I am not competent to judge.  And besides, MVP and the Board of Trustees are not my colleague: they are my superiors.  I can air my disagreement to my colleague’s opinions, but for those of my superiors, I shall prefer to be mum and let those in authority  decide on the issue.  My code of conduct is governed by St. Ignatius 10th Rule for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church:

Rule 10. We ought to  be more inclined to approve and praise the decrees, recommendations, and conduct of our superiors than to speak against them.  For although in some cases their acts are not or were not praiseworthy, to speak against them either by preaching in public or by conversing among the ordinary people would cause more murmuring and scandal than profit.  And through this the people would become angry at their officials, whether civil or spiritual.  However, just as it does harm to speak evil about officials among the ordinary people while they are absent, so it can be profitable to speak of their bad conduct to persons who can bring about a remedy.

I haven’t seen the letter of Leland’s group before it was published on the web.  And many faculty members haven’t seen it.  It would have been better if they shared it with all the faculty first, get the pulse of the community, and broadcast it afterward.  More could have added their names on the list.  But that is only in hindsight.

II. The Continuing Scandals: LADLAD and the Reproductive Health Bill

One faculty walked to one of the microphones to speak her opinion.  And she passed behind my chair.  And while passing by I heard her whisper something to this effect: “the Catholic teaching on … is next.”  From the tone of her voice and murmurs I hear I can sense that she is referring to the issue of the Reproductive Health Bill which many faculty signed in support of the bill.  For this matter I can speak my mind, because I will not be speaking my mind but the mind of the Church: I shall simply quote Humanae Vitae:

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. (section 14, par. 3)

Danton Remoto, the founding chairman of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered party list group LADLAD sits somewhere to my left.  From the mention of the word “ladlad” which means “to lay bare in public” in one of the opinion presentations on MVP’s speech, I can see some nods in approval of LADLAD.  This is the second continuing scandal in Ateneo de Manila University: you have a professor in a Catholic University which pushes for the adoption of homosexual norms in the government, in defiance of Catholic moral teaching on homosexuality as stated in the Catechism.

Unlike MVP who admitted his error, the proponents of the Reproductive Health Bill and LADLAD in Ateneo continued to claim to know better than the Church’s Magisterium.  Fr. Ben Nebres’s appeal to Catholic teaching on full knowledge and consent for the sinful deed to be grave falls on deaf ears: you have a group of faculty members who do not anymore believe in the Church’s teaching authority.   If the Catholic Church can err in its teaching on contraception and homosexuality, then the Catholic Church can also err in its teaching on venial and mortal sins.

The disobedience to Church’s teaching authority also leads to another thing: the spirit of dissent to authority in general.  Dissent begets dissent.  I saw this years ago when the Vice President for Loyola Schools, Dr. Cuyegkeng, was standing in front of the students explaining the new University dress code–a code for modesty as a guardian of chastity.  Some Faculty members and Student leaders lambasted her in her face.  They find it difficult to follow a simple rule as to dress decently when you are in school.  Where is academic freedom in that?  they say, forgetting that students come to the Ateneo not to tell Ateneo what to do, but rather to be formed by Ateneo in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.  You don’t talk down to the Vice President; you entreat her in deference to her position, to the dignity of the office that she represents.  And I feel that the wording of the letter in response to the BOT’s decision on MVP could also have been written in the same spirit: the spirit of entreaty and deference.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

52 Responses to Continuing scandal in Ateneo de Manila after MVP’s speech: LADLAD and the Reproductive Health Bill

  1. Tim says:

    Very well said. I very much appreciate reading your blog. It gives me a good understanding of what is happening at the Ateneo. Your defense of the Church is to be praised. Too bad others have lost their way. Keep up the good work!

  2. norman says:

    when you say to adopt homosexual norms, what do you mean exactly? ladlad would stand for equal rights at one’s place of work. is this not a sexless “norm”?

  3. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    By adoption of homosexual norms I mean the adoption of homosexual ideology: homosexual acts and marriages are normal and should be protected as a human right. If the Philippine government adopts this ideology, then it would follow that (1) the Bible must be censored: it is a hate-literature for it speaks against sodomy and homosexuality. (2) Christianity should be regulated by the government: priests and bishops cannot anymore speak against homosexuality. (3) Homosexual couples must be allowed to adopt children; Catholic adoption institutions who refuse to allow such adoption must be closed down by the government. (4) Textbooks in elementary should also talk about the marriage of two kings or of two queens. (5) Sex education in high school should encourage homosexual sex because there is no danger of pregnancy. (6) Gay priests should be allowed in the seminary and pedophilia is part of helping young boys attain sexual maturity. (7) Gay soldiers should not be discriminated in the military. I can name some more, basing on what happened to other countries who adopt the homosexual ideology. LADLAD is not only after equality in one’s place of work. LADLAD wants nothing less than to overhaul the Philippine sexual morality.

    There is no equality between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong. Homosexuality is a psychological disorder, an abnormality that must not be a societal norm. Homosexual acts are perversions which should not be encouraged by law. Homosexual ideology is based on a lie: God created male and female and nothing more. Truth is correspondence to reality: male and female is defined by the human body, and no amount of wishing, writing, hiding, cutting, or inserting can change this fact. Do not be deceived.

  4. norman says:


    Please do not mislead readers.

    How is it possible that you are unaware that it is not a disorder? You are still teaching, right?

    My brother is gay, and was beaten to near-death by Catholic boys. Two among the 4 culprits are now in jail, and these two have confessed that the hatred they feel towards my brother was taught in school. Can you imagine that? Well, for one thing, priests do sometimes speak as if there is no Christ at the center of their idea.

    If I had the power to change the past, I would, but then again, this incident opened the eyes of my family and made us re-examine our beliefs, and treat my brother with renewed respect.

    My wife and I are deeply disturbed with your response.

    Items #1-7 are preposterous.

    1) The bible has not been “banned” in any country that “supports the homosexual ideology”.
    In fact, there is no effort made to even burn it. Why this paranoia? By the way, you do know a lot of Catholics are gay, right?

    2) Separation of Church (and of course, other religions) and State is really very, very important.
    Several Catholic institutions have rejected the application of my 4 year old niece, simply because she was born out of wedlock. There ought to be a law against this.

    3) In this country, anyone who is psychologically-ready and has the resources should be allowed to adopt. In this country, the Catholic Church should at least promote responsible parenthood, and teach people how to support themselves — kill the “i-asa ang lahat sa panganay” syndrome, “i-asa ang lahat sa 10 anak” syndrome, “i-asa sa gobyerno” syndrome or worse “i-asa pa rin sa mga lolo at lola ang panggastos” syndrome.

    4) History is history, facts are facts. If two persons of the same gender did in fact get married, then put them in the books. Which part of history should we leave out? You remember Japan taking out a lot of facts (on the crimes of their nation, sins of their fathers) in their textbooks?

    5) It encourages responsible behavior, not sex with someone of the same gender, or someone who is infertile. Your claim is silly.

    6) Priests who are pedophiles are NOT homosexuals–do not confuse the two. A lot of the priests who are pedophils actually abused women.

    7) Why should there discrimination of any kind in the military?

    “wishing, hiding, cutting” — refer to transexuals?

    “writing” — does this refer to writers of Ateneo?

    Why so much hate?

  5. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    Speaking the truth is not hatred but charity. Actually, it is a responsibility. As God explained to Prophet Ezekiel:

    “You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me. If I tell the wicked man that he shall surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way, he (the wicked man) shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death. But if you warn the wicked man, trying to turn him from his way, and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall save yourself.” (Ez 33:7-9)

    Truth is like a two-edged sword: it cuts through the heart. If you and your wife are disturbed, I am sorry, because truth is really disturbing. Pilate was faced with Truth Himself in the Person of Christ and Pilate was deeply disturbed. He asked Christ, “What is Truth?” In the face of truth, a man can only either reject it or accept it Reject it and you conscience will disturb you. Accept it and your old world will collapse. This is collapse called conversion. But Christ promised: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5).

    If you are a Catholic, then you must recognize the teaching authority of the church in matters of faith and morals:

    Catechism Art. 2357: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

    If you are a bible-believing Christian, you would listen to the Word of God:

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination. You shall not have carnal relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; such things are abhorrent. “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things by which the nations whom I am driving out of your way have defiled themselves. Because their land has become defiled, I am punishing it for its wickedness, by making it vomit out its inhabitants.” (Lv 18:22-25)

    “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:9-10)

  6. Meg says:

    Thanks for your commentary on the forum. I respect Father Nebres for agreeing to explain the position of the Board.

    I’m a bit confused: was the forum supposed to be about the Board’s letter to Mr. Pangilinan or on various position papers of the faculty?

    While I wish that the faculty had written the Board privately, I sympathize with the sense of frustration and helplessness, because I wrote the alumni office to express my views and did not get a response.

    I agree with you that the Ateneo faculty’s position on the proposed RH Bill and on the party-list Ladlad contradict the Catechism. It’s sad.

    But I hope the audience did not think that those who signed the letter disagreeing with the Board are necessarily the same teachers who support the RH Bill and the party-list Ladlad!

  7. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hi Meg,

    The forum is essentially about the BOT’s decision, because the letter of the faculty was written in response to this decision. At the end of the day, the question is “How do we as the Ateneo community move forward?” Some institutional structures may be placed so that there is a mutual dialogue between the BOT and the faculty before major statements are made, which I think is a good development.

    There is no connection between signing the letter and supporting LADLAD and RH Bill, but I haven’t yet compared the signatories of the letter and the bill.

  8. norman says:


    Your interpretations are quite distorted. I thank all my Jesuit teachers (non-gay) in Ateneo for teaching me that the same bible we read (I assume you teach or have taught at Loyola) does not teach hate, that it teaches humility, openness, respect, love.

    In 1975, the American Pychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the list of disorders. You can probably start reading on this too.

    I sincerely hope my CATHOLIC children will know what to say to you, if and when they become your students.


  9. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    I teach physics full-time at the Ateneo de Manila. I studied here from college to postgraduate school. I studied the same English, Philosophy, and Theology courses that you took. I also have many Jesuit teachers. So as Ateneans, we are equals.

    Please tell me how my interpretation of the plain texts of the Scriptures are distorted. Did the biblical teaching on homosexuality change from Genesis (Story of Sodom and Gomorrah) to Leviticus (laws against homosexual acts) to the Letters of Paul (sodomites and boy prostitutes cannot enter the kingdom of God)? Or is it rather you who is trying to distort the Scriptures to justify the sin of homosexual acts? Satan can also quote Scriptures as when he tempted Christ to jump from the top of the temple (c.f. Mt 4:6-8), but that doesn’t make the Father of Lies truthful.

    There is a distinction between a sinner who repents and the sinner who persists in his sin. God accepts the repentant sinner as in the story of the Prodigal Son. Christ forgives the sin of the woman caught in adultery, but He tells her: “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more” (Jn 8:11). But for those who persist in their sin, Christ said: “You will die in your sins” (Jn 8:24). Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners to call them to repentance, “for the Son of Man came to save and seek what was lost” (Lk 19:10), as in the story of Zacchaeus. After his conversion, Zacchaeus promised reparation for his sins: “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over” (Lk 19:8).
    In the last Judgement, will Jesus say: “Come to me you evildoers for I accept and respect your evil deeds because I love you”? No, he shall say: ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers’ (Mt 7:21-23).

    Whom should we believe: the Word of God in the Scriptures or the American Psychiatric Association? If you ask Peter and the other Apostles, they will respond: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)

    I sincerely hope that your Catholic children will become my students someday, so that they will know what the Catholic Church truly teaches.

  10. cpolice says:

    The problem with some Ateneans, after being regaled by some heretic and agnostic professors, feel intellectually superior and “enlightened.” And when they are corrected by more conservative quarters like UST, whose school paper carried the orthodox position on RH in a stinging rebuke on the Ateneo 14, they merely dismiss the critics are backward.

  11. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    I am glad the UST is living up to its name as the Catholic University of the Philippines in this battle between the forces of Life and Death. It is time to unleash the dogs of war: the Domini Canes.

    I also have Dominican blood.

  12. cpolice says:

    Sorry for the grammar lapses in the previous post. I was in a hurry. Anyway, the Jesuits have a great order and they offer a unique brand of spirituality, which is somehow absent from the Dominicans. I am sure there are also dissidents in UST, but they know their place. In the Ateneo, the dissidents occupy influential positions and are not afraid to junk the Magisterium.

  13. Wants To Be Anonymous says:

    I thought you said you’d quote from Humanae Vitae? What do you think of the following opinion —

    “The Church continues to reflect “in an ever new and deeper way on the fundamental principles that concern marriage and procreation.” The key message of Humanae Vitae is love. [Pope] Benedict states, that the fullness of a person is achieved by a unity of soul and body, but neither spirit nor body alone can love, only the two together. If this unity is broken, if only the body is satisfied, love becomes a commodity.”

  14. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Wants to,

    I now placed a quote from Humanae Vitae: “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.” Thank you for reminding me.

    I would be happy if you gave a link to your source of your quote, so that I don’t have to look for it:

    The actual text of Benedict XVI in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est is the second paragraph of section 5 of Part I:

    “This is due first and foremost to the fact that man is a being made up of body and soul. Man is truly himself when his body and soul are intimately united; the challenge of eros can be said to be truly overcome when this unification is achieved. Should he aspire to be pure spirit and to reject the flesh as pertaining to his animal nature alone, then spirit and body would both lose their dignity. On the other hand, should he deny the spirit and consider matter, the body, as the only reality, he would likewise lose his greatness. The epicure Gassendi used to offer Descartes the humorous greeting: “O Soul!” And Descartes would reply: “O Flesh!”.[3] Yet it is neither the spirit alone nor the body alone that loves: it is man, the person, a unified creature composed of body and soul, who loves. Only when both dimensions are truly united, does man attain his full stature. Only thus is love —eros—able to mature and attain its authentic grandeur.”

    What’s your problem with it? I have no problem on the opinion of your source as you quoted it, but its previous paragraphs wants to dilute the following statement in Humanae Vitae:

    “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.” (section 14, par. 3)

  15. norman says:


    It makes me wonder… how you would respond… what your thoughts would be like if your own gay brother/ sister were killed because of the actions of a person who believes in and uses the “Catholic defense”. Assuming of course, you even treated your brother or sister with much respect, give your sibling much love after discovering/ finding out about his/ her true self.

    My Catholic children, and many other Catholic children who have parents who have graduated from the ATENEO, will see through the distortions perpetuated by persons such as yourself, and if these “kids” can be as brave (baka naman kasi gantihan mo sa grades), tell you off in a respectful manner what is wrong about your assertions (see #s 1 to 7 in previous messages)–although I guess you would not really have this kind of a conversation with them during physics class.

    Society will not break down because of an “evolution” (i.e. before, no burial rights were given to those who take their own lives. this has changed). Nor would faith be diminished. Would it be too incorrect to assume you have issues and “strong concerns” about the matter of suicide?

    In our democratic society, you do have the right to remain ignorant, hateful, or become the only kind of proud Catholic no one wants to become.

    By the way, I sincerely hope you do not preach nor suggest that people vote for somebody like Kit Tatad– and if you are blind to his role in Martial Law, may you finally, as we see the 38th “anniversary” of Martial Law in 2010, open your mind.

  16. blackshama says:

    You wrote “This is not a doctrinal problem, but something academic or something on the question of personal culpability which I am not competent to judge. And besides, MVP and the Board of Trustees are not my colleague: they are my superiors. I can air my disagreement to my colleague’s opinions, but for those of my superiors, I shall prefer to be mum and let those in authority decide on the issue.”


    This is something that a correctly formed conscience can tackle.

    The CCC says

    “1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:”

    Recall that Jesus the Christ never was silent on these kinds of matters!

  17. cpolice says:


    You’re fudging. Of course killing is condemnable. Suicide is viewed by the Church as something that God would deal with. But gay marriage, that is where we draw the line.

    It is you who should open your eyes — follow Christ! Stop twisting his teachings to suit your preferences. It is not your will, but his will that should prevail.

  18. Tim says:

    It is you who are distorting the issues. The teaching of the Church is quite clear on the matter. This is not to say those of a homosexual orientation are to be treated with disrespect or violence. The Church has spoken against that. The church however does believe that homosexual ACTS are wrong. The Vatican declaration on this states:
    “10. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

    But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.”
    ” In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” See:

    “Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.”
    This can not be compared to suicide, and there is no “evolution” in the Church’s teaching on suicide; it is always wrong. We cannot however judge the subjective guilt of someone who committed suicide. That is always up to God. It seems you are trying to imply that the Church now condones suicide be because it allows a funeral Mass for those who died by suicide. That is absurd.
    If those at the Ateneo do not teach as the Church teaches then it is they who are wrong. As Jesus told the Apostles “he who hears you hears me”.


  19. cpolice says:


    this is the catechism. tell me if this is “hate”

    Chastity and homosexuality

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

  20. norman says:


    Reread your own comment/post.
    Your thoughts, that are full of hate, should hopefully change your views on life.

  21. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    Calling a sinner to repentance by condemning his actions is not hatred but charity. Now, I would like to ask you three questions:

    1. Do you believe that the Catholic Church has the divine authority to teach in all matters regarding Faith and morals?

    2. If your answer in (1) is yes, why do you not listen to the Catholic Church in its condemnation of homosexual acts?

    3. If your answer in (1) is no, why do you still call yourself Catholic?

  22. norman says:


    Before you ask me to answer your questions, I believe you should go answer all of the questions I have previously posed.

    P.S. All my Jesuits priests call me Catholic too. You’re the only one is saying otherwise.

  23. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    Your points have been adequately answered by cpolice and Tim, and you never replied to them. And I am wondering why you never quote Scriptures or the Catechism in your arguments. I think it is now futile to quote Scriptures or the Catechism or Papal Encyclicals. Your Jesuit teachers may call you Catholic, but you did not say, “I am Catholic”, because deep in your heart you don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches.

    To a homosexual member of the family, the charitable thing is to tell them what the church teaches about homosexuality: those with homosexual tendencies are also called to be chaste, to master themselves, to be saints. If he listens, rejoice. If he does not listen, then you are not anymore answerable to God for him.

    I do have conversations with my students on religious matters, because they ask questions, especially during laboratory hours after they have done what is asked of them. I also have students with homosexual tendencies and I tell them what the church teaches. It is up for them if they listen or not. I grade their exam papers and laboratory reports using the same standard I grade other students.

    If you want to see what a broken society is, look to the US. First they introduced divorce, then contraception, then abortion, then homosexual marriage. I don’t know what is next. Maybe polygamy and bestiality. Is this the kind of “evolved society” you wish Philippines to become? Society must be founded on the unchanging set of morals as provided by the ten commandments. If you distort the commandments to make it evolve and adapt to modern times, you end up destroying the society itself.

    I am doing my best to study the Catholic Faith. So I am not ignorant. Regarding hatred, I made my Baptismal promise like you did every Easter: To renounce Satan and all his works and all his display. We are called to hate sin and save the sinner.

    I can vote for Kit Tatad. You can vote for Ladlad. Let us cast our votes on May 10. You are trying to deflect the issue to Martial law. You think that Tatad’s support for Martial law nullifies his other good laws. These are human laws. But there are such things as divine laws:: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offends in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

  24. Wants to Be Anonymous says:

    My friend,

    I am in general agreement regarding homosexuality. Regarding your last point about “the law”, which I think you meant to touch several topics in this post and commentaries,I think you could have chosen a better passage from scripture because:$4WE
    “The law upon which the last judgment will be based is the law of freedom. As Jesus taught, mercy (which participates in God’s own loving mercy) includes forgiveness of those who wrong us (see ⇒ Matthew 6:12, ⇒ 14-15).”

    Regarding Humanae Vitae, notice how for the


    I do not think that his holiness dilutes the message of humanae vitae, rather reminds us about the reality of “the TRANSMISSION of human life/HUMANAE VITAE tradendae”

    I understand that it is important to choose one’s battles, having said that, YOUR OWN theology/exegesis of original sin (which is also indirectly touched in the documents above) is still outstanding should you decide to pick up the glove.

  25. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Wants to,

    We may be able to find a better passage. Many things I don’t clearly understand in Pauline writings, to paraphrase St. Peter (c.f. 2 Peter 3:16), but this I am sure: Jesus has not abolished the Ten Commandments in their essence, but has fulfilled and perfected them in His Law of Love: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

    Yes, I agree that the Last Judgment will be based on mercy: God will forgive us in the measure that we forgive others, as we always pray in the Our Father.

    Humanae Vitae only mentions the phrase “transmission of human life”. It does not delve into the doctrine of Original Sin.

    Concerning Original Sin, have you checked out the link I posted on St. Augustine’s view of it? What do you think of his view?

  26. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    I am sorry for making a rash judgment when I said, “deep in your heart you don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches.”

  27. Tim says:

    You accuse others of hate yet cite no evidence of it whatever. If you cannot show such evidence, you should withdraw the accusation. As to the subject of suicide there has been no “evolution” of the Church’s teaching here. She does now allow a funeral mass for those who die by their own hand in hopes they obtain God’s mercy. The Church however has not changed her teaching on suicide.
    The Jesuits have no business dissenting from the teaching of the Church. Their history since Vatican II is one of an apparently doomed order which will continue to self destruct unless they come to their senses. The orders that maintain the truth will survive. It’s that simple.

  28. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    My friend, if you are referring to your comment

    “If you want to know more about the relationship of Original Sin to mankind’s suffering and death, read a summary of Book III of the City of God by St. Augustine of Hippo:

    Let me ask, how do you know that the person who put up the site did not shade the original teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo?

    Second, regarding the ENCYCLICAL LETTER DEUS CARITAS EST OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI, His Holiness clarifies that …the biblical narrative does not speak of punishment… which is in direct contradiction to the possibly compromised translation available in newadvent. FOr the sake of argument, assume that the translation in new advent is not compromised, then the only logical explanation is that the writings of st. augustine hippo must be reinterpreted since the encyclical is in line with the church’s current interpretation of the bible and also in line with the catechism (which, if memory serves well, his holiness spearheaded while we was a cardinal).

    Therefore, I think there are much better materials out there for original sin and if one really wants to use St. Augustine of Hippo’s writings as a starting point and give it its due, one has to go to primary (worst case, use reliable, secondary) sources. The one you quoted has already been translated, revised and edited “for new advent”.

    Moving on, the incipit of Humanae Vitae is “The transmission of human life…” and I would like to request for you to rember HOW human life is normally/naturally transmitted? And with the way you have responded in this blog, won’t you consider that original sin is involved? True, it is not directly addressed, but all serious and (almost-complete) discussions of original sin would touch most of the items discussed in Humanae Vitae — Marriage/Sexual Union, Morality/Moral Law, God’s Love, Married Love, Parenthood, Procreation. True, it also talks about other things, relatively at length, but still, it doesn’t take away the fact that the teachings regarding original sin is also discussed (although not explicitly mentioning original sin).

    Does this mean you are ready to pick up the glove and “Gird up your loins now, like a man…”

  29. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Wants To,

    I don’t debate; I dialogue. You have many points in your comments in Please, allow me to restate your points, so that you can correct me if I am wrong:

    1. The story of Adam and Eve is only a myth which never happened.
    2. After the Fall of Adam and Eve, their mortality, man’s need to work in order to eat, and woman’s increased pain in childbearing are not punishments for disobedience.

    I maintain the contrary opinion. The other readers may chime in.

    St. Augustine’s exposition on original sin which you linked summarizes my point of view regarding point 2. New Advent is a reliable source, since it is the online publisher of the Catholic Encyclopedia. If you believe there are better translations that are consonant with your opinion on original sin, please send me a better translation. We may like to go back to the original Latin text of the City of God, but the City of God is very long (the abridged version in our library is thicker than the Bible) andI am not a Latinist. I only know enough Latin to follow the Roman Missal of 1962.

    Regarding your point 1, the Catechism is clear:

    “The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.” (Art 389)

    “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.” (Art. 390)

    Please write the excerpt and the section or paragraph number of the Deus Caritas where you got your quote. In this way, I do not have to read the whole encyclical to find the quote.

  30. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    My friend, I am very much disappointed in you.

    I think the way you paraphrased my points is similar to the way I think New Advent revised and edited the translation City of God (assuming that the person who translated it has translated it properly). I take offense in your overly simplistic restatements, although you may be mistaking me for someone else who commented in your blog (I have a valid email address mind you).

    My first comment was here with the second one over here

    Lest you forget, I myself quoted the Catechism, the exact paragraph you mentioned.

    I understand that a busy person such as yourself may have better things to do than read encyclicals and other such materials, after all, having been trained in Ignatian Spirituality, your work is surely ad majorem dei gloriam.

    I must have been mistaken in assuming you were from that generation of Ateneans (if there ever was any other than a few people from every generation) who take pride in having digested every word of every important promulgation and encyclical from the Vatican.

    Regarding New Advent, let me remind you, as wonderful and maybe even “effective” a translation of a bible is the King James/New King James, it isn’t Catholic. Putting up the old catholic encyclopedia does not mean everything else is in line with the catechism and the promulgations of the vatican.

    I apologize for having troubled you, “God our Saviour desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

  31. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    May I add that I really wish that then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his team, if not even Pope John Paul II and his advisors, had been more specific/elaborate regarding PARAGRAPH 390 and ALL INTERRELATED PARAGRAPHS and adding sufficient comment on all sources it has drawn upon for these items. Especially for people who “believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it.” — I think issues can occur for whites and blacks that have not have been defined as such.

    If I was not clear before, let me stress it now, paragraph 390 of the catechism begins:

    “How to read the account of the fall

    390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.”

    I believe and understand that one key phrase here is that there was a primeval event and this event was a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Was that man’s name Adam? That’s not important. Was there a physical garden of eden on earth? That’s not important either — it is funny that suddenly recall Ernie Barong claiming that if there was a garden of eden and if it had perished throughout the centuries, then it is likely that it was in the middle east, but then how would one account for the oil in other parts of the world? I strongly suggest that at the very least you revisit the discussion in the catechism and each of the links in the concordance and the notes

    Similarly, I believe that the authors of sacred scripture used another primeval event, I cannot remember if Moses had a lot of hands-on influence on Genesis, let us recall that they used Abram/Abraham as the first person who was able to explicitly distinguish and obey the true, authentic, voice of God.

    Trivia: the catechism is divided by Part, Sect., Chapter, Paragraph, although it is confusing that similar paragraphs are grouped into articles which are then subdivided into paragraphs (although not explicitly the same from one part/chapter to the next).

    At any rate, is my understanding correct that YOUR “point 2” is that man was PUNISHED? If so, once again I strongly suggest that at the very least you revisit the discussion in the catechism and each of the links in the concordance and the notes

    There were consequences of man’s sin. That is true. Where they punishments? I believe not. In fact, the catechism calls them as they are, merely consequences of man’s sin.

    I certainly hope that there would be another vatican council in our lifetime that would have clearer promulgations among other things

  32. cpolice says:

    speaking of jesuits, it’s depressing how john caroll and joaquin bernas have undermined the church position on RH. these and the infamous ateneo 14, dissenters all, are the kinds of people norman must be referring to

  33. meldy says:

    Just want to say I am very happy to stumble into your blog. I thank God there are still people like you who are ready to defend the teachings of the church and will not compromise God’s Word. Keep up the good work!

  34. Interesting post together with the comments and rebuttals made. Although not an Atenean and neither have completed college, I find MH’s most admirable. If I am to continue college education, I’d be feeling very fortunate to have him as my professor in Theology.
    I know a few Jesuits. Fr. Jose “Pepe” Fuentes, S.J. from Ateneo and Fr. Juan de Andechaga, S.J. of Mary the Queen. Both passed away along time ago. The only connection I have with the “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” people.

  35. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Wants To,

    Thank you for clarifying your point. So our question reduces to this: whether Adam and Eve were “punished” with mortality, the man’s need to work in order to eat, and woman’s increased pain in childbearing, or whether these are simply “consequences” of man’s sin. This is now a language problem. Consequence sounds passive: things will happen afterward because of your actions. Punishments sounds more active: because of your sins, I, God, will do this and do that. Let us look at whether God speaks in the active or in the passive sense:

    “To the woman he said: “I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master.” To the man he said: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, “Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” (Gen 3:17-18).

    For birthpangs, God is active: “I will intensify…”. I think this is punishment.

    For toiling on on the ground, God is passive: “In toil you shall eat its yield.” So I think you are right, labor is not a punishment but a consequence. However, when God said “Cursed be the ground,” it sounds more active, though God only did something to the ground but not directly to Adam.

    For Adam’s death, God is passive: “For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” God is only stating what shall happen.I think you are right, this is a consequence and not a punishment.

    If we agree to the validity of this passive-active semantic analysis, then you win 1 vs 2, and I stand corrected.

  36. Wants to Be Anonymous says:

    My friend,

    I am very sorry to hear about the recent worries that you have encountered and posted. May the lord send you an angel for your “quest” as He did our so many of our spiritual forefathers and ancestors.

    Regarding the matter at hand, I do not think it is a matter of semantics, it is much deeper than that, and I think it actually requires faith in the way that the Catechism reminds us to look at the whole picture. Consider the point form summary in the translated, revised, and edited version of city of god in new advent that you have referred to, and the following article by Fr. Michael Guinan from Catholic Update which carried an imprimatur, which I found wile looking for exegeses about original sin written for the layperson:

    I am sure you can notice the big difference and I hope this would entice you to read more about the recent encyclicals in detail and to read the catechism in more depth. I may have some issues in the way Fr. Guinan worded some of his statements towards the end, but the spirit of what he wanted is inspired in my opinion.

    My friend, there is no contest and this is not about winning. You said you were a physicist, surely you would know that what we are after is the truth even though quantifying religious and spiritual matters is probably impossible if not absurd. I merely implore you to revisit your roots and to remember that as christians and catholics, original sin and the teachings surrounding it are important to our faith, thus it has to be understood well and interpreted with care.

  37. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Wants To,

    Fr. Guinan, in the section on “What’s original sin about?”, in the 5th and 6th paragraph wrote:

    “Applying this principle, Scripture scholars today are taking a new look at this story. We realize more clearly now that the story of Adam and Eve is rather something like a parable. The truth is in the message of sinfulness rather than in factual history.

    The overall narrative of Genesis 2—11 reflects a “creation-flood story” that was well known in the ancient Near East; several examples have come down to us from Mesopotamia. The biblical authors used this familiar (to them) story to teach their own distinctive view of God, the world and human beings. In other words, to read the story of Adam and Eve as a historical account is to misinterpret the text. Like a parable, it teaches a profound truth.”

    The key phrase in Fr. Guinan is “like a parable”. “The story of Adam and Eve is rather something like a parable.” So I clearly understood you well enough in Point 1 where I said that you think the story of Adam and Eve is only a parable or a myth which never happened. This is an erroneous teaching condemned by Pius XII in his encyclical “Humani Generis”:

    38. Just as in the biological and anthropological sciences, so also in the historical sciences there are those who boldly transgress the limits and safeguards established by the Church. In a particular way must be deplored a certain too free interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament. Those who favor this system, in order to defend their cause, wrongly refer to the Letter which was sent not long ago to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies.[13] This Letter, in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, although properly speaking not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense, which however must be further studied and determined by exegetes; the same chapters, (the Letter points out), in simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured, both state the principal truths which are fundamental for our salvation, and also give a popular description of the origin of the human race and the chosen people. If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents.

    39. Therefore, whatever of the popular narrations have been inserted into the Sacred Scriptures must in no way be considered on a par with myths or other such things, which are more the product of an extravagant imagination than of that striving for truth and simplicity which in the Sacred Books, also of the Old Testament, is so apparent that our ancient sacred writers must be admitted to be clearly superior to the ancient profane writers.

    40. Truly, we are aware that the majority of Catholic doctors, the fruit of whose studies is being gathered in universities, in seminaries and in the colleges of religious, are far removed from those errors which today, whether through a desire of novelty or through a certain immoderate zeal for the apostolate, are being spread either openly or covertly. But we know also that such new opinions can entice the incautious; and therefore we prefer to withstand the very beginnings rather than to administer the medicine after the disease has grown inveterate.

    41. For this reason, after mature reflection and consideration before God, that We may not be wanting in Our sacred duty, We charge the Bishops and the Superiors General of Religious Orders, binding them most seriously in conscience, to take most diligent care that such opinions be not advanced in schools, in conferences or in writings of any kind, and that they be not taught in any manner whatsoever to the clergy or the faithful.


    Peter has spoken through Pope Pius XII. The case is closed.

  38. Wants To Be Anonymous says:

    My friend, there was no case to be closed to begin with. I feel very sorry about this whole thing, you refuse to debate yet and claim that you dialogue, yet you have not been listening and you have not been understanding (you may think you are, but true understanding can sometimes take more effort than what one would like to or can even afford to exert), or is the matter something else?

    I pray that the Lord God enlighten your heart and your mind. If you would not listen to a humble priest such as Fr. Guinan, whose update has been blessed with an imprimatur, may I ask have you been so cooped up in your garden that you have forgotten that the Venerable Pope John Paul II, short of telling off Pope Pius XII because Pope John Paul II is such a kindred and wise soul, has practically “written over” Humani Generis?

    True, many people, and I am sure there would be very many, that would argue that Pope John Paul II only specifically spoke about evolution in “speaking over” (actually) Humani Generis, but if one reads / “listens with the heart, mind, and spirit” (since it was a speech) his words carefully, there is much more lesson to be learned. And is not the genesis account an account of the moral/spiritual evolution of man and of mankind (which I think I have mentioned previously as a comment to one of your posts). I feel disappointed that Pope John Paul II did not give a definitive stance regarding original sin, but I guess since he was speaking to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, his message regarding evolution should have been enough.

    Part of me wished I had not dropped out of the Ateneo (out of my own choice), but if the theology classes you took after 101 and 202(?), which are probably the minimum to do a reasonable exegesis of genesis, have led you to this path, I implore the whole community to pray for you my brother from another mother. This does not seem to be right.

    When I entered the Ateneo, teachers were proud that they should never have to spoon-feed their students. I am not your teacher, but my friend, you seem to be lost and the neighborly response would be to tell you: open your mind, read the (official) words of the late Venerable Pope John Paul II which you can find in

    By the way, you insult even my meager intelligence when you just grab encyclicals like that from web pages left right and center. I thought you were an Atenean and currently a professor at that? Okay, you’re not a professor of theology or religion, but shouldn’t you know better?

    If (electric) power is not short in our community right now and if the internet has been stable, and perhaps if I am not so much hungry, I probably would have attempted to give you a more decent comment.

    By the way, did you know that some sect-like groups who call themselves Christians or even claim to be Protestants (and I guess some of them, in the spirit of ecumenism, the catholic church acknowledges as christians) have been using the words Humani Generis against us Catholics to convince some Catholics to convert to their religion? I think you fell for the same trap. Be careful. Be vigilant. Indirectly, aren’t you supposed to be part of the community of the Pope’s and God’s marines?

  39. Wants To Be Anonymous says:

    If you want something more “authoritative” than “just an address”, Pope John Paull II’s words and ideas in Evangelium Vitae can also be used as an excellent starting point for an exegesis of original sin and the genesis account in general. It’s like a good mathematical problem, the framework is there, but you have to come up with a lot of theorems, corollaries and lemmas, and if you are lucky, make a leap of faith (like inventing imaginary numbers, which I am sure you use in your work, directly or not) before coming up with an answer that is good enough.

    Let me give you an example which you have somewhat contested before, but this time, why don’t you contest Pope John Paul II’s words:

    “The Gospel of life, proclaimed in the beginning when man was created in the image of God for a destiny of full and perfect life (cf. Gen 2:7; Wis 9:2-3), is contradicted by the painful experience of death which enters the world and casts its shadow of meaninglessness over man’s entire existence.”

    Did you miss it? The Venerable Pope John Paul II has just clarified that it is the painful experience of death that has entered the world a a consequence of original sin.

    “Truth cannot contradict truth” — Pope Leo XIII, Pope John Paul II mentioned this as well when he was discussing the apparent conflict between evolution from a natural/scientific standpoint, and the message from Divine Revelation.

  40. Wants To Be Anonymous says:

    I really have to say that I am very much disappointed. How can you defend the Catholic Faith if you dialogue like this? I implore the whole community to pray for you my friend.

  41. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Wants To,

    Pope Pius XII has invoked his teaching authority on the historicity of the story of Adam and Eve and charges everyone not to entertain heresies which deny this. Listen to his words:

    “For this reason, after mature reflection and consideration before God, that We may not be wanting in Our sacred duty, We charge the Bishops and the Superiors General of Religious Orders, binding them most seriously in conscience, to take most diligent care that such opinions be not advanced in schools, in conferences or in writings of any kind, and that they be not taught in any manner whatsoever to the clergy or the faithful. ”

    Theologians may argue on the meanings of texts, but when a pope makes a definitive ruling on this matter, all arguments should cease. And the faithful should make an assent of Faith. A pope’s speech or an address which does not invoke his teaching authority is not of the same authority compared to an encyclical who does. Furthermore, what is heresy in the time of Pope Pius XII remains a heresy forever, because truth is immutable. Pope John Paul II could not give a definitive stance regarding original sin and evolution because Pope Pius XII has laid out the boundaries in Humani Generis:

    36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.” (Humani Generis)

    The text in the encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” may state that the painful experience of death that has entered the world a a consequence of original sin. But this statement does not nullify the historicity of Adam and Eve which is denied by Fr. Guinan.

    In matters of faith and morals, I do not have my own opinion. I only follow what the church teaches, so I have no qualms about quoting entire paragraphs from encyclicals when they directly answer the question at hand, rather than deriving theorems and corollaries from an encyclical passage which does not directly address the question.

    Maybe I am a freak Atenean: I studied 16 units of Philosophy and 15 units of Theology. I have read the writings of Kung, Schillebeex, and Gustavo Gutierrez. I have learned Feminist, Marxist, and deconstructionist readings in Filipino and English classes. Yet I turned out differently. Maybe. But there are more Ateneans and Jesuits who believe in the truths of the Catholic Faith same way as I believe in and most of them are dead. From them I ask for prayers.

  42. Wants To Be Anonymous says:

    My Friend, no one is calling you a freak. In Part 1, Section 1, Chapter 1 of the Catechism,, we are reminded that

    34 The world, and man, attest that they contain within themselves neither their first principle nor their final end, but rather that they participate in Being itself, which alone is without origin or end. Thus, in different ways, man can come to know that there exists a reality which is the first cause and final end of all things, a reality “that everyone calls God”.

    35 Man’s faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. The proofs of God’s existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

    May I suggest that perhaps you should re-discover your roots, you are a researcher after all, aren’t you?

    You may not be doing it directly, but you can call me a heretic if you want, however, aren’t you saying that Pope John Paul II’s words are heretic as well? So, are you also saying that The Second Vatican Council’s works are heretic?

    My friend, you are taking Pope Pius XII’s words in piece meal and out of context. Did you not see that Pope Pius XII, in that very encyclical you quoted has put several “escape clauses”, burdens he passed on to future exegetes, theologians, and catechists, the very same used by Pope John Paul II to deliver his speech. I am sure if he had maintained his vigor and health that he had in his youth, we would have enjoyed and benefited from more definitive, wise, loving, and kind encyclicals from him and perhaps much more.

    DId you miss that “Pope Pius XII wrote with wisdom and concern: “Everyone knows how much the Church appreciates the value of human reason, which has the task of proving with certainty the existence of one personal God, of proving invincibly by means of divine signs the foundations of Christian faith itself… But this task can be carried out suitably and reliably if reason is duly cultivated…” (Humani Generis, 29).”

    Or how about “9. Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand these same theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.”?

    My friend, even monk’s need to go out of their comfort zones sometimes. Even hobbits are capable of heroism.

    You being a physicist, and as someone who claims to be a religious Catholic ready to be in defense of the church, should I even have to remind you of your “forefathers” Galileo and St. Ignatius of Loyola? Have you forgotten that Pope Paul V who canonized the first superior general, because of the limited understanding, not just of science, but also of theology, exegesis, and spirituality at that time, was the same Pope that ordered Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of copernicus, with him being tried as being “vehemently suspect of heresy”?

    How can you say that you follow what the Church teaches when you don’t even seem to understand them? My friend, I apologize if I made you think that I am your enemy, but if you want to defend the Catholic faith, defend it properly! Don’t be a coward and just hide behind “quoting entire encyclicals”, “only follow[ing] what the church teaches”. Remember, my friend, not all encyclicals are definitive, most are to encourage further study and prayer, including the one that Pope Pius XII has given that you have quoted. Have you even read and understood Humani Generis, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word for word and it’s notes and the materials it quotes and the materials that quote it and so forth and so on until the last time an authority of church has visited the matter?

    We could probably make this simpler, have you consulted any priest, doesn’t even have to be a jesuit priest, about your “ideas”, what you claim you understand from the teachings of the church?

    Or perhaps, we should just take a step back and remember “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    It does not seem to be right to lightly dismiss someone else’s, a catholic priest’s, theology on original sin as non-catholic, and without even presenting your own theology, or at the very least doing a proper exegesis, it seems “cowardly” that you just hide behind words I don’t even think you fully understand.

    Where are the writings of those Ateneans and Jesuits of our lifetime that you speak of who would disagree with the words of Pope John Paul II and the Second Vatican Council among other things?

    This has been dragged on long enough. Ask from prayers from whomever you chose. I pray they pray for you.

    On my part, I still consider you my friend. I can only pray that you would stop thinking otherwise.

  43. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    My friend Wants To,

    We must never lose sight of the original question: did Adam and Eve really exist as historical figures? Fr. Guinan and you answer in the negative (NO), while Pope Pius XII answers in the positive (YES) in Humani Generis: the first 11 books of the old testament pertain to history in the true sense. This is not only Pope Pius XII’s opinion as a theologian, but a statement that the Pope charged the bishops and superiors of religious orders to defend, “binding them most seriously in conscience”. So you cannot anymore say that Humani Generis has not made a definitive statement on this matter. A spiritual and moral interpretation of the Story of Adam and Eve can be made, as long as we do not reject their historicity.

    If you do not believe in the teaching authority of Pope Pius XII in these matters–even when he explicitly invoke his teaching authority–but rather on the authority of Fr. Guinan the theologian, you may like to read the work of another theologian, St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, in his book “The Literal Meaning of Genesis”:

    One (1) point for Fr. Guinan, one (1) point for St. Augustine. Both are equal, so we can choose what to believe in. But this is not how the Catholic Church operates. The gift of infallibility is not given to theologians but to the Successor of Peter alone. When a pope makes a definitive statement regarding an article of Faith, Catholic theologians must cease supporting a contrary view. As Augustine wrote: Rome has spoken, the case is closed.

    If you still wish for answers on this matter with imprimaturs (permission to publish) and nihil obstats (the materials presented in this work are free from doctrinal or moral errors) from bishops, you may visit the Catholic Answers website:

  44. Wants To Be Anonymous says:

    My friend, last time I checked, the genesis account has not bean dealt with in the fashion of papal infallibility. The closest would have been Pope John Paul II’s speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Remember, encyclicals may also come in forms of speeches.

    You still miss the point. There is no case to be closed. It is not about which theologian to hear from. How can you defend the Catholic Faith like this? You sound like a half baked protestant, shape up my friend!

  45. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    My friend Wants To,

    You have the last word. Let us now allow the readers to ponder on your words and mine. Thank you for your time and God bless.

  46. Tim says:

    Your position is quite right. As for you “Wants to” you are wrong. Your real problem is a misunderstanding of John Paul’s speech as the EWTN has pointed out: ” It should be noted that an hypothesis is the preliminary stage of the scientific method and the Pope’s statement suggests nothing more than that science has progressed beyond that stage.”
    The controversy is explained at some length here:
    This commentary from Catholics United for the Faith is particularly relevant:


  47. Wants to be Anonymous says:


    I would like to respectfully point out that your comment is misleading. Read that link from ewtn you sent again. Look for the official document released by the vatican, which I have quoted above or were you just too lazy to listen to Pope John Paul II’s words? and understand it carefully and remember that before you do that, at the very least, make sure you’re up to speed with all the second vatican council documents and all the encyclicals issued since the second vatican council and of course the Catechism of the Catholic Church which then Cardinal Ratzinger helped to shape (perhaps as a foreshadowing that in his own way he will help to shape the church as our current Pope).

    If Pope Benedict XVI or any succeeding Pope issues a more definitive stance on the genesis account and related matters, I’ll be happy to hear it in my lifetime.

    Remember, there was an Adam, there was an Eve. But that’s not the point, nor the issue. The important thing is to remember that in the beginning of human civilization, God has inspired Adam and Eve to grow, to be moral. Although it is interesting to note that Moses and the writers of genesis were not specific about whether after Adam and Eve learned right from wrong, if they were able to distinguish the true voice of God. It was Abraham who was the first example of that virtue.

  48. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    And by the way, you can infer a lot about the consequences of original sin from Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, but do not read it piece meal like Ang Dating Daan or some “Born Again Christians”, like the Holy Bible, it must be read wholistically and in its entirety.

  49. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    I posted the following as a comment to the entry in but since that topic is at quite a skewed tangent (sic), I post it again here.

    My friend [Monk’s Hobbit],

    I am in complete agreement with your comment [regarding Paul]. Needless to say I would like to refresh your memory regarding the senses of scripture that can be found in Part 1 Section 1 Chapter 2 Article 3 of the Catechism.

    The senses of Scripture

    115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

    116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: “All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.”

    117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

    1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.

    2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.

    3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.

    118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:

    The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
    The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.

    119 “It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God.”

    But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.

  50. Pads says:

    Norman, don’t bother arguing with those blinded by their faith. You’re wasting your breath.

  51. Norman says:


    For saying “I am sorry for making a rash judgment when I said, “deep in your heart you don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches.” — thanks. I hope in the future you would catch yourself/ prevent yourself from making any kind of judgment on a person’s faith.

    2) Why do I have to respond to Tim, etc. when I am posing my questions to you.

    3) On the killers of my brother — your response was ” To a homosexual member of the family, the charitable thing is to tell them what the church teaches about homosexuality: those with homosexual tendencies are also called to be chaste, to master themselves, to be saints. If he listens, rejoice. If he does not listen, then you are not anymore answerable to God for him.”

    Would you not go further and tell them it is wrong to take a human life and cite these Catholic teachings/views on homosexuality as justification? That they have twisted the words they see; that there should be no hate nor contempt nor even “charity” via “belittling them as humans”?

    4) On suicide — no, I am not implying that we encourage suicide. What I referred to was the position of the Church as regards blessing the soul of those who took their own lives. I am certain the shift in the position came as a shock to those who were “resistant” to “evolution”/”changes” in the Church’s teachings at that time.

    5) I am saddened by your view on Tatad. I hope you did not vote for any of the Marcoses last year, and that as a citizen, you have expressed you want them to be accountable for their actions in the here and now. Why continue to put the same people in public office?

    6) You need not look at the US to see a “broken society”. Just ask around, open your eyes; our country experiences the same and has the same societal problems. I am sure you know ours is not a perfect society as well.

    7) I am back at this blog because of my parents–their first time to log on to the internet–and they have read our exchanges; they asked me to say they think God loves their homosexual son wholeheartedly, not as an act of “charity”, and they cannot understand why the Church sticks to the same interpretation to this day. They also want to say woe to the priests who continue to “bless” the former president GMA and those who forget to remind her to be accountable for her sins in the here and now.

  52. irked says:


    I stand contrary to your opinion but I respect that they stem from a deep and astute understanding of the Scriptures and of Magisterium. I am quite bothered, however, by how “cold” you received the reality of Norman’s situation–that you may call battering and eventually killing a homosexual person an act of “charity.” I may not be as learned as you in the Catholic doctrine but as human being I cannot condone such vile acts and then dress them as “charity.”

    Also, ang LADLAD stands for equality. It does not have to be a norm of society. It is not and it will never be. What ang LADLAD asks for, is an understanding of the REALITY of homosexuality–and the complex issues that are intertwined with it. It is not a black and white affair. Others are of homosexual inclination but they do not act on this innate humanity because of the oppressions of our society. Many of those who do are denied jobs and other opportunities because they choose to act on the core of who they are. I cannot imagine a life of perpetual hiding, a life where you deny yourself the opportunity of living.

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