“No Boundaries: The Reproductive Health Bill”: a postcard campaign, exhibit, and forum at the Ateneo de Manila University

A few days ago, a student of mine sent in our physics class yahoo group an announcement on the postcard campaign pro (and/or con?) the Reproductive Health Bill (see below).  I posted a reply to her in our yahoo group and she thanked me for my views.  She said that that she will make it certain that my views will be forwarded on.

Here is the reply I posted:

Hi Angelica,

Not all ideas and opinions on the Reproductive Health Bill and Contraception are of equal value for there is no equality with truth and falsehood.  Because Ateneo de Manila is a Jesuit University, we must always ask ourselves, “What would St. Ignatius do?”  St. Ignatius formulated his Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church (http://www.saint-mike.org/library/rule/excerpts/rules_orthodoxy.html) to help us.  This is Rule 13:

Rule 13.  To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What I see as 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.

Thus, St. Ignatius always wants us to obey the teachings of the Catholic Church hierarchy.  Many Catholic theologians disagree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception, but they do not have the mind of St. Ignatius because they do not think with the Church.  To think with the Church is to obey the teachings of the highest authority in the Catholic Church–the Pope–because only he is the successor of Peter and Peter was was given by Christ with the gift of infallibility (cannot teach wrong doctrine):

Jesus said to [Peter] in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:17-19)

Concerning contraception, Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical Humanae Vitae wrote:

Unlawful Birth Control Methods

“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.

To think with the Pope is to think with the Church.  To think with the Church is to think with Ignatius.  Let us think with Ignatius.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.
Physics Department/ Manila Observatory

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

One Response to “No Boundaries: The Reproductive Health Bill”: a postcard campaign, exhibit, and forum at the Ateneo de Manila University

  1. Tim says:

    Thank you Dr. Sugon for a brilliant post and the good reminder from St. Ignatius which all Jesuits should take to heart. May God bless you abundantly for your courage and wisdom!

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