I was hoping that I would not be writing about this again thinking that the much publicized warning of Pope Francis “that the Roman Catholic Church could lose its way if it focuses too much on enforcing rules against contraception, abortion, and homosexuality, instead of throwing open its doors and making the church more merciful”, would awaken and move the ranking members of CBCP into becoming more indulgent of the issues.
In fact, I was hoping that perhaps it was time for me to start attending mass again and listen to homily that enriches one spirituality instead of being filled with rhetoric demonizing the government on the issue of contraception and abortion or the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, in general, that the latter is trying to pass to law.
To me it was dismaying listening to the reaction of CBCP’s president Jose Palma when he commented about Pope’s Francis’ latest pronouncements, thus, “He is not saying that what the Church deemed before as wrong is now right. He is merely telling us to be more compassionate.”
“He won’t be saying contraceptives, and even abortion, are now okay. No! Do not expect that to happen,” Archbishop Palma added.
It seems like Palma is ramming down our throats his own priestly interpretation as if we are not equip with enough intelligence to understand what the he pope is trying to convey to all his clergies.
How arrogant and presumptuous Palma can be.
Of course Pope Francis did not say, and will never say, that contraceptives and abortions are okay, but when he said that the Church should be more open and merciful, he was also telling the Church officials to open their hearts and be more understanding, and caring, and sympathetic and/or tolerant for those where the benefits of responsible parenthood will apply to the greater number of Filipinos, most of which are poor.
Is it just a coincidence that, like Pope Francis, a Jesuit, Fr. Joaquin Bernas also seem to look at the issues in a different perspective than the rest of the Catholic leaders in the country?
Are both talking about letting the people exercise their religious freedom, instead of being made to feel guilty that the Catholic Church doctrine says otherwise?
Could this be the reason why Pope Francis warned also, saying, “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”
I say to Palma: Think progressively and have a liberal mind on the issues of contraceptive and abortion that are educationally reflected in the RH bill and start respecting its constitutionality.
The way of Pope Francis is the way to go for the Catholic Church.