Babies are not blessings? A reply to Ana Santos of Rappler

A newborn baby glistening in amniotic fluid (Wikipedia)

A newborn baby glistening in amniotic fluid (Wikipedia)

Ana Santos of Rappler wrote a piece entitled, “Babies are not blessings.” Santos quotes the figures related to having babies as given by Dr. Emma Llanto of UP-PGH and Society of Adolescent Medicine in the Philippines.  The whole article hinges on the definition of a the word “blessing,” so let us examine Santos’ understanding of this word by dissecting her statements one by one.

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Prayer Rally on Aug 4 at EDSA against RH Bill: What would St. Ignatius do?

From Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Prayer Power Rally against RH Bill on Saturday, Aug 4, 2012

Prayer Power Rally against RH Bill on Saturday, Aug 4, 2012

Dear ALMS members and friends,

The Catholic Church hierarchy has called us to join the Prayer Power Rally at EDSA Shrine on Aug. 4 against the RH Bill. Some of us may still be undecided regarding the RH Bill. But as faithful sons of St. Ignatius, it may be worth pondering on his Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Churchas stated in his Spiritual Exercises:

Rule 1. With all judgment of our own put aside, we ought to keep our minds disposed and ready to be obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.

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.

In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius asks us to meditate on the Two Standards. Now before us are two standards: the Standard of Christ and of His Church against the RH Bill and the Standard of the Pro-RH groups. The battle lines are clear. There is no middle ground. To waver is to fall. Let us join the standard of Christ and of His Church.

This is a historic moment.

Across the Pacific in US, Obamacare is currently being implemented, which requires to institutions to include contraception coverage to their employees.  Those who don’t get health insurance coverage will be penalized with tax.  The Catholic Church is against this law because Catholics cannot promote contraception.  Though the Catholic Church itself is exempted, Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities are not.  Business run by faithful Catholics have to fight their way in court to be granted exemption.  Hercules Industries won the fight vs. Obamacare.  And there are still other business and institutions who have to fight their own battles.  The US Bishops have been divided on so many issues, but not this one: they are all against the Obamacare.

And the same story is replayed in the Philippines.  The Philippine president and some lawmakers wishes to promote the Reproductive Health Bill which would require government to buy contraceptives and give it freely, so that we can lower our population, which the government thinks is the reason why we are poor.  The bishops are against this bill because it would make Filipino Catholics accomplice to the sin, because the government will use taxes to buy these contraceptives.  The Catholic Church promotes Natural Family Planning which respects the reproductive cycles of the woman’s body.  Contraceptives only makes a woman’s body a tool to be used for the sexual gratification of the man, and the proliferation of contraceptives will promote fornication and adultery to the destruction of the Filipino family.  Pope Paul VI, in his Encyclical Humanae Vitae, have prophesied all these long before in 1968:

Consequences of Artificial Methods

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Reproductive Health Bill is supported and funded by international groups: Planned Parenthood (the world’s largest abortion provider), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Marie Stopes International, the Packard Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  As St. Paul says,

“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”

All these groups seek to depopulate the Philippines and make it another wasteland like Europe whose birthrates have plummeted close to one child per woman, resulting to a graying work force that drains the government’s coffers due to more pension costs and lesser sources of taxable incomes.  If this cultural suicide of not having babies does not end, Western Europe as we know it would soon be gone.  And if US also falls, the West would plunge to a new Dark Age of Faith, and the Philippines would become the last bastion of Judaeo-Graeco-Roman Civilization.  Let us defeat the RH Bill once and for all–a defeat so definitive that  none can foresee its arising ever again.  This may be our last stand before Congress decides to terminate the debates on August 7 and decide the fate of the Philippines.  As Aragorn said before the march of the Western armies to the Black Gates of Sauron:

If this be jest, then it is too bitter for laughter.  Nay, it is the last move in a great jeopardy, and for one side or the other it will bring the end of the game.  (The Return of the King, p. 164)

Tomorrow, August 4, is a First Saturday, a day of battle which we shall dedicate to Our Lady.  She is The Woman Clothed with the Sun who accomplished the bloodless revolution in EDSA in 1986.  She is The Woman Who Crushed the Head of the Serpent who destroyed the Berlin Wall in 1991.  And tomorrow, She will be known once again as Our Lady of EDSA–Our Lady of the Epiphany of the Saints:

Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun, as awe-inspiring as bannered troops? (Song of Songs 6:10)

So tomorrow, August 4, please come to EDSA and bring your rosaries. As Our Lady said to St. Dominic whose feast we celebrate tomorrow:

Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?… I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament.  Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter. (St. Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, p. 21)

Our Lady’s Psalter is the Hail Mary. And a string of Hail Mary’s is the Holy Rosary:

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

I hope to see you there at EDSA tomorrow afternoon.  We can meet at 12:00-1:00 p.m. at Loyola House of Studies and join the  Loyola School of Theology delegationconsisting of Jesuit priests, brothers, and lay people.  Wear red for martyrdom.  Those who wish to join the convoy are asked to bring their cars.  Those who wish to join me–we’ll take the train  If there are only few who will come and EDSA is not filled to the brim, let us fear not but  bravely stand and weather the storm.  As Aragorn said:

Stand, Men of the West!  Stand and wait!  This is the hour of doom.

For this is not just our war.  Heaven is fighting with us.  And may God open our eyes as he did to Elisha’s servant, and see the hosts of angels in fiery chariots and horses surrounding EDSA (c.f. 2 Kgs 6:17)

Lex orandi, lex credendi.  May we who are faithful to the rubrics of the Latin Mass may also be obedient to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

AMDG

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.

Coordinator
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Catholic answers to common questions by members of Iglesia ni Cristo

March 11, 2012 at 12:50 am

1. Why do Catholics eat blood?

Christ said: “Hear and understand.11 It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one….Are even you still without understanding?17Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine?18h But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile.19* For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy.” (Mt 15:16-19)

2. Why do Catholics honor divorce?

There is no divorce in the Catholic Church. Annulment in the Catholic Church is not divorce. Divorce is the breaking of a valid marriage. Annulment is a declaration that no marriage happened in the first place because of an impediment to marriage, e.g. the man is a priest, there was previous marriage, etc.

3. How do Catholics expel members?

Membership in the Catholic Church is through Baptism. Expulsion in the Catholic Church is by excommunication, e.g. the man is forbidden to receive Holy Communion. The person is excommunicated until he repents of his sins and confesses them to a priest or bishop. Many theologians are excommunicated for not teaching the Catholic teaching, e.g. those who deny the divinity of Christ or the Trinity. Those who committed the grave sin of abortion also incur automatic excommunication and only a bishop or his specially designated representative can forgive this sin in confession.

4. Why do you call priests father?

If the verse you quoted should interpreted in the most literal way, then Paul is the worst interpreter of the words of Christ:

“14I am writing you this not to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.* 15Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.g 16Therefore, I urge you, be imitators of me.h 17For this reason I am sending you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord; he will remind you of my ways in Christ [Jesus], just as I teach them everywhere in every church.i” (1 Cor 4:14-17)

5. Why do you pray in repetitions?

If you love a person, you tell him “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Once is never enough. As St. Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17). The rosary is made up of prayers “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”. Jesus taught his disciples how to pray the “Our Father”. Can you make a better prayer than what Jesus made? The Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). Can you write a better way to address Mary than Angel Gabriel? When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,s 42cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:41). Can you praise Mary more than Elizabeth who was filled with the Holy Spirit? The words of Angel Gabriel and St. Elizabeth are what Catholics repeat when they pray the “Hail Mary”. If you call these prayers pagan, then Jesus, Angel Gabriel, and St. Elizabeth are pagans.