President Aquino’s support of the RH Bill has put him in a bad light, especially in the eyes of the Catholic Church, prompting Church Officials to toy with the idea of excommunication. In a television interview, Bishop Cruz fearlessly forecasts “civil disobedience” as dire consequence to PNoy’s recalcitrance.
I have grave doubts whether such “civil disobedience” will prosper. Catholics, particularly enlightened and informed ones, rely heavily on artificial contraceptives to maintain their “healthy lifestyle” (e.g. economic security). Media’s influence has led modern Catholics into following a more practical approach when it comes to family planning. The staunch members of the Faith belong to the older generation and do not have the necessary influence over the younger ones [ironically, these first generation Catholics produced an average of eight children in their lifetimes]. And who could blame the second and third generations from spurning and fearing having big families when their experience taught them to hate the lack of attention, the constant scrimping, the heart-breaking sibling rivalry, the hand me downs, the long years it takes to finish school to give way to older siblings, or not being able to go at all, or the burden of the responsibility of having to help their parents send their younger brothers/sisters to school?
The threat of excommunication, i believe to be a form of bullying so ancient it actually belongs to the Spanish Inquisition. Let’s say the bill becomes a law and the Church then excommunicates Aquino and denies him certain rights to religious rites. But Catholic doctrines do not apply to other Christian Faiths abounding in the country. Should Aquino choose to practice his religious freedom and decide to break away from the Church [though a remote possibility], other religions might be more than willing to support and welcome him into their congregations. It happened before [King Henry XIII] and it can happen again.
I think the main point of the Bill is broadening freedom of choice by broadening the choices of the Filipinos, specially the woman’s and the family’s. The State ensures that freedom through the enactment of the aforementioned bill into a law. Thus, let us now leave it to the people to decide and then respect their decisions.
The Church must therefore recognize its adversaries and counteract them by maximizing and capitalizing on its ministerial duties. But hopefully, not through moralizing, bullying or by crossing the line that separates the Church and the State. To me, these tactics are childish and manifest pathetic resort to convenient methodology to get what it wants and fast.
But this is not a happy ending by far. How often is it that we hear the line “the road to perdition is paved with good intentions”? So no matter how earnest the Government is in its effort to rid the country of the misery caused by an overflowing population, no justification is enough to deny the injury the use of artificial birth controls can inflict on the soul. To those who believe in His Word, this is the best time to remember that God’s law cannot be swayed or circumvented to suit one’s own selfish ends or convenience.