Starting September 8, 2012, anonymous comments -- whether for or against the RH bill -- will no longer be permitted on this blog.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"The Spirit will not lead you to bad-mouth the Church, whatever your stand is."

(UPDATE: In a series of blog posts in September, Pauline Cauton clarified her stand on the RH bill, from being somewhat undecided, to being not in favor of it: PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4)

(I have revised and clarified my comments in this post as of 5:00 a.m. of Sept. 22, 2012)

There are many Catholics who cannot (for now) bring themselves to agree with the stance of the Catholic hierarchy on this issue and thus withhold their assent (at least for now) from the orthodox Catholic position on this matter. If they have a hard time giving their assent on this matter, then I hope that they would at least withhold it discreetly, with reverence for the Church and her hierarchy, and in a spirit of willingness to learn and understand the Church's reasons for the position that she has taken.

Withholding assent ("I cannot as yet agree with the Church on this matter but I am open to the possibility that she is right") is not the same as dissent ("I disagree with the Church on this matter and I think she is wrong"). Unfortunately, many Catholics seem to be unaware of this difference, such that if they have difficulties understanding the Church's position, they immediately think that this means that they should reject that position. It is a rejection that is commonly expressed by lashing out against the Church and declaring her to be in error, as if a position is wrong simply because it is not easy to understand. Withholding assent also properly entails not condemning the Church's position in public, and airing one's difficulties with her position only in a manner that avoids scandalizing the faithful.

(What I am discussing here is the situation of those Catholics who find themselves privately opposed to, or unconvinced by, the public positions taken by the Church hierarchy on doctrinal grounds. This is not the place to discuss the situation of those who, precisely in the name of Catholic orthodoxy and doctrine, oppose the real or perceived compromise of some official representatives of the Church with heterodoxy.)

It is for this reason that I would like to point out the article "My Problem with the RH Bill" by Pauline Cauton, one of the founders of the Living Hope Catholic Charismatic Community. Mrs. Cauton makes it clear that she cannot, as yet, proclaim herself to be staunchly against the RH bill. Nevertheless she cries out against the wave of anti-Church vilification that has been coming out from not a few "pro-RH Catholics". 

Some of the salient passages from her article:

In the past, whenever the Church mobilized Her members to make a stand on an issue, those who deemed it worth the effort would participate in all the rallies, noise barrages and prayer vigils while those who disagreed would show dissent by staying home. This time round, everyone has something to say: Twitter, Facebook, and whatever medium our current age has to offer has been deluged with every man’s expert opinion on the matter (and yes, apparently, we are all experts on this subject). I can take people being vocal about their views, and ultimately, having some openly (and unfairly) criticize the Catholic Church is to be expected.

But what bothers me, hurts me, to the core is how Catholics themselves are insulting their own Church and their leaders.


... while I cannot, as yet, bring myself to staunchly proclaim that I am against it (at least not in the way those in the prayer rally last Saturday did), I know that I most certainly will never post an FB status, write a blog, or tweet a message openly declaring that I am for it.

Because that would be deliberately attacking the Church. And I would never do that.


Sure, at the height of passionate arguing (I presume), some anti-RH campaigners have let loose their own share of below-the-belt tirades, as have some pro-RH supporters. Again, it is no surprise when those who’ve had issues with the Church from way back rant away like there was no tomorrow. But for Catholics who parade their pro-RH stance proudly and boldly, I ask:

If you had a disagreement with your mother, would you broadcast it to the world that your mother was wrong? 
Would you call your mother ignorant, stupid, out of touch, not all there? 
Would you post it on your Facebook page that she’s a self-righteous hypocrite? 
Would you tweet that you’re declaring an all-out war on her?

For our Church is not an irritating aunt, or a nagging cousin, or even a difficult in-law–She is our Mother Church.

Blame the politicians’ hidden agendas, blame the misinformation campaigns, blame the convictions that have transformed into hate. But please, Catholics, do not blame our Holy Mother Church.

Does that mean Catholics are not allowed to have their own opinions when it comes to issues like this? Of course not–if anything, it should bring us to search for the truth, to pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance. I confidently encourage you to pray about this, because I am quite certain the Spirit will not lead you to bad-mouth the Church, whatever your stand is.

1 comment:

  1. A very great article! God bless you Carlos Antonio Palad! Mama Mary loves you!