March 21-24, 2013
San Fernando Rey Parish, Liloan
Pastoral Center (Patria de Cebu),
P. Burgos St., Cebu City 6000
Rejecting the RH Bill.
The official stand of the Caholic Church; choosing life and rejecting the RH Bill.
A pastoral letter of The Catholic Bishops'
Conference of the Philippines January 30, 2011
The pastoral letter presents the Catholic Church's official stand against the controversial RH Bill, a.k.a Responsible Parenthood Bill, "on the basis of the fundamental ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people, and not on the basis of specifically Catholic religious teachings."
The Bishops explain this approach, "Far from being simply a Catholic issue, the Reproductive Health bill is a major attack on authentic human values and on Filipino cultural values regarding human life."OUR SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS:
The RH Bill claims to promote reproductive health.
The truth is: IT DOES NOT! It promotes contraceptives which are "hazardous to a woman's health."
The RH Bill claims it will reduce abortion rates.
The truth is: THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT IT WOULD! In fact, "many scientific analysts themselves wonder why prevalent contraceptive use sometimes raises the abortion rate."
Scientists have noted numerous cases of contraceptive failure. These failures may lead to abortion. "Safe sex" to diminish abortion rate is false propaganda.
The RH Bill claims it will prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The truth is: IT WILL NOT! On the contrary, in some countries where condom use is prevalent, HIV/AIDS continues to spread. "Safe sex" to prevent HIV/AIDS is false propaganda.
The RH Bill claims it will empower women with ownership of their own bodies.
The truth is: TRUE AND GENUINE EMPOWERMENT WILL NOT COME FROM THIS BILL NOR ITS PROPONENTS AND ADVOCATES. Empowerment comes from God who created our bodies for us to keep and nourish. "We are stewards of our own bodies and we must follow God's will on this matter according to an informed and right conscience."
And lastly we object to the claim of its advocates that the RH Bill is necessary to stop
overpopulation and to escape from poverty.
Why? Because of the following:
Truth #1: Even according to our own government statistical office there is no overpopulation in the Philippines, but only the over-concentration of population in a number of urban centers.
Truth #2: Renowned economic scholars say that there is no direct correlation between population and poverty.
Truth #3: Many Filipino scholars, have concluded that population is not the cause of our poverty. The causes of poverty are: flawed philosophies of development, misguided economic policies, greed, corruption, social inequities, etc. Therefore, for our country to escape from poverty, we have to address the real causes of poverty and not population.
REASONS FOR OUR OBJECTION:
- The non-consideration of moral principles in the legislative discussions.
- The anti-life, anti-natal and contraceptive mentality reflected in the RH Bill.
- The strong efforts to push its passage quickly to prevent careful consideration of its moral implications.
- The over-all course taken by the bill towards population control.
- The use of public funds for contraceptives and sterilization.
- The compulsory sex education that would effectively let parents abdicated their primary role of educating their children on sexuality.
OUR STAND, OUR FIRM CONVICTIONS
- We are concerned about the plight of the many poor, especially the suffering the women.
- We are PRO-LIFE, defending it from the moment of conception to its natural end. We believe in the responsible and natural regulation of births through NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING (NFP).
- We believe that we are only stewards of our bodies over which we are responsible to God.
- We hold that choices related to RH Bill must be based not only on informed conscience but guided by the teachings of the faith.
- We believe in freedom of religion and right in conscientious objection in matters contrary to one's faith.
We call to our leaders and the Filipino people:
- For fundamental transformation of attitudes and behavior towards human life, especially the defenseless.
- For legislators, to consider the RH Bill in the light of God-given dignity and worth of human life; to shelve it as contrary to the ideals and aspirations towards better quality of life.
- For the government, to address effectively the real cause of poverty.
- For the establishment of more hospitals and clinics in rural areas, more health personnel, building more schools and infrastructures for development. And finally, we call on our leaders and the Filipino people, to pray together, decide together, act together always to the end that truth shall prevail over threats to human life, threats to our shared human and cultural values.