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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Catholics Must Oppose the Reproductive Health Bill

1. Those of us who believe in the Catholic faith entrusted by Jesus to His Church must ask ourselves: Do we respect its teaching, or do we not? Do we really believe, or do we not? The Church has the authority from God to teach about faith and about morals. If it didn’t, there would be no point in having a church – any church, not just the Catholic Church. If a church does not have its teaching from God, then it is dispensing human wisdom. But we know very well that human wisdom, even human wisdom which seems quite appealing, can be wrong. History is littered with grand ideas that took the lives of millions, often including their strongest proponents. When it comes to questions of morality, we ultimately have nowhere to turn but to God, but He speaks with authority only through His Church. The sinfulness of artificial contraception was infallibly stated by Pope Pius XI in 1930 in his encyclical Casti Connubii, “On Christian Marriage.” The purpose of Pope Paul IV’s much disputed Humanae Vitae “Of Human Life,” was simply to settle the question of whether the contraceptive pill, which had not yet been invented when Casti Connubii was issued, was an artificial contraceptive or not, and also to put to rest any notion that its invention could bring about any change in the Church’s constant teaching through the centuries that artificial contraception is sinful. These facts are documented in the book Humanae Vitae e Infallibilità: il 1.Concilio, Paolo VI e Giovanni Paolo II, by Ermenegildo Lio, O.F.M., published in Vatican City by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican Publishing House, in 1986. Fr. Lio received a hand-calligraphed, personally signed note of thanks for this work from Pope John Paul II. Do we really want to substitute human wisdom for the wisdom of God?

2.The so-called Reproductive Health bill places technology at the center of human reproduction: the creation of our children, the future members of our society. Catholics believe in God and in His authority over human life and death. It is a violation of this authority to attempt to substitute technology for the human will in the procreation of human life. Yes, technology is a great gift of God – it has allowed us to conquer our environment, and offers the promise of a life without privation, and even material abundance for everyone. Yet it is a two-edged sword. Technology is also what has allowed our forests to be denuded, our fish and wildlife to be depleted, and our air to be polluted by the emissions of the machines which serve us. In other words, it has appropriate uses, and inappropriate uses. Giving it control of the sacred act of the transmission of human life, upon which the continued well-being and even existence of humanity depends, is to apply it to something where it clearly does not belong. We tamper with the creation of life at the peril of our own welfare. The Bible tells us that “my ways are not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.” If we try to substitute technology for exercise of self control of our own behavior, as this bill will attempt to do if it becomes law, it will, in the natural order of things, come back to harm our people and society grievously, as it has in every other country which has taken this path. Europe, the Anglo countries – except the U.S. with its massive immigration, Japan, China, and even the Latin countries are all on a path to demographic suicide. All because of placing technology between man and woman.

3.The Philippine Legislators Committee for Population and Development received foreign grants of 150,000 U.S. dollars from the Ford Foundation in 2003, 300,000 U.S. dollars from the Packard Foundation also in 2003, and 400,000 U.S. dollars from the Ford Foundation in 2006. If contraception is so important to our Filipino people, why was it necessary for some of our Representatives to obtain such large grants, totaling about forty-two million pesos at the current exchange rate, from U.S. foundations which have been greatly involved in suppressing the birth-rates of non-white peoples for decades, in order to support it? Will this be good for the Philippines, or for those who think that more births in non-European countries are a threat to their lifestyle?

4.We read the following in St. Luke’s account of the Passion of Jesus, as he walked the road to Calvary: “…Jesus turning to them said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’” This passage has long been a source of mystery as to what events Jesus was referring to. The world has experienced the greatest economic boom in the history of mankind over the past six decades, yet families have far fewer children, and the wealthiest nations have the fewest. Now we are at the start of what we are told will be the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Birth rates fell significantly during the Great Depression.

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