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

Cardinal Rosales in 2011 March 25 Reproductive Health Bill Rally

Cardinal Rosales in 2011 March 25 Reproductive Health Bill Rally

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:

  1. 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.
  2. The Catholic Church is for life and human life must be defended from conception to its natural end.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. We believe that in our choice regarding the RH Bill, our conscience is a sure guide which must be guided by one’s Faith.
  6. 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
Prayer Rally
Feast of the Annunciation
25 March 2011