CBCP and the RH Law

cbcpI thought the members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have already seen the light and wisdom of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law as approved by the Supreme Court (SC).

I was also inclined to believe that after the instructive pronouncements by the pope last year and echoed by the head of CBCP not too long ago, the Catholic hierarchy would now have accepted the law and allow for its smooth implementation by government health centers.

The pope said the church had become “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and has set about creating “a poor church for the poor”, in a major shift from his predecessor.

“The Church is, or must return to being, a community of the People of God, and the priests, pastors, bishops with the care of souls, are at the service of the People of God.”

A few weeks ago CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas reflected at the pope’s vision, saying: “Perhaps we can reconsider our approach to solving the problems of family and life by listening more to the wounded and the grieving broken homes rather than condemning divorce and abortion and contraception at every opportunity.”

Recent development, however, shows that resentment about the passage of the birth control or the responsible parenthood law continues to be harbored by CBCP despite the modifications made by the SC.

The bishops are said to organize seminars in their dioceses to inform government health workers of the law’s provisions, after a “pastoral guidance” has been issued explaining how government health workers can legally refuse to dish out contraceptives on ethical or religious grounds.

Fr. Marvin Mejia, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, intoned further that – “The Church recognizes that it is already a law… but it’s very important for people to know their rights.”

Mejia was obviously referring to the moral obligation of the employee, especially if one is dyed-in-the-wool, true blue Roman Catholic faithful.

My point here is why still complicate matters and rouse the issue of morality among the Catholic employees at the health centers when, in fact, the law has been reviewed by no less than the SC as ethical in its intents and purposes?

Another point I want to make here is for CBCP to put up with the law already and leave it solely to the employees to decide whether or not their new job description of providing free condoms and contraceptive pills bother their consciences. They don’t need the meddling of the bishops.

The bishops have more serious remaking or reformation to make about themselves, which is that of following the very much appreciated liberal and pragmatic footsteps of Pope Francis, who is taking the church in the right direction, so they could start bringing back to the fold the disenchanted members who have lost their trust and confidence in the priest and bishops for their arrogance, politically-toned homilies and state affair-meddling attitude.




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