Ateneo de Manila University officially supports the CBCP’s opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill

ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY

Office of the President

24 March 2011

MEMO TO : THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY

FROM : THE PRESIDENT

SUBJECT : STATEMENT ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL 5043

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There is a recent article in the press that “UP, Ateneo Profs call for passage of RH Bill.” The article also lists the signatories from the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila.

A similar position paper was issued by Ateneo faculty on October 15, 2008 and, on that occasion, I issued a statement to the Ateneo community to clarify the stance of the University. In that memo, I said that the position of the Ateneo de Manila is as follows:

1) We appreciate the efforts of these members of the Ateneo faculty to grapple with serious social issues and to draw from Catholic moral teaching in their study of the bill.

2) We acknowledge their right to express their views as individual Catholics and appreciate their clear statement that their views are their own and not that of the University.

3) However, the Ateneo de Manila University does not agree with their position of supporting the present bill. As I said in my letter of October 2 to Archbishop Aniceto and Bishop Reyes, it is “the considered opinion of our moral theologians that, although there are points wherein the aforesaid bill and the Catholic moral tradition are in agreement, there are certain positions and provisions in the bill which are incompatible with principles and specific positions of moral teaching which the Catholic Church has held and continues to hold.”

We thus have serious objections to the present bill in the light of our Catholic faith.

4) Ateneo de Manila thus stands with our Church leaders in raising questions about and objections to RH Bill 5043.

5) It is also the responsibility of the Ateneo de Manila as a Jesuit and Catholic university to ensure that, in our classes and other fora, we teach Catholic faith and morals in their integrity.

6) At the same time, as I also wrote on October 2, we support continuing efforts on the critical study and discussion of the bill among Church groups including the University and in civil society.

The position of the Ateneo de Manila remains the same. In matters of faith and morals, the Ateneo de Manila as a Jesuit and Catholic university, stands with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. At the same time, we recognize the right of our faculty, as individuals, to express their views and appreciate their clear statement that these views are their own and not that of the University.

BIENVENIDO F. NEBRES, S.J.

President

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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