Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Limbo--An Honorable Way Out for Catholic Dogmatists on Birth Control

I am obliged to reassure the good and gentle readers at Catholic and Enjoying It that my recent "strange reasoning" on birth control is not intended to cast doubt upon the evils of torture, murder, rape, or "death penalty clemency" just because there are no explicitly infallible Papal Bulls against the same. I am merely pointing out a possibly honorable or face-saving way out for Catholic dogmatists (such as our own Philippine Bishops) with respect to the incoherent and disunited teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the preventative forms of artificial birth conrol. Limbo--or more precisely the fate of that particular hoary old teaching about the destination of unbaptized infants--is that way out. Indeed, Humanae Vitae and its entirely maculate conception in the irreformably disturbing disagreement between Pope Paul VI and his own expanded Papal Commission on Birth Control would surely qualify it far more to be consigned to the uhmm, limbo of discardable former articles of faith no longer requiring the full assent of the faithful, than the formerly long-running dogma on that Autonomous Region of Inferno that was indeed called Limbo. (By the way, there were two Limbos --one for said unchristened infants and one for the Old Testament's own unshriven Patriarchs supposedly rescued by the alleged Jesus of Nazareth when he descended to the Dead--both dogmae presumably now optional.

I should point out that along with Hell and Purgatory, said Limbo was the selling point of the commercial, if simoniac, enterprises of the former frailocratic rulers of the Philippine province. Not even the treasures of all the sunken galleons between Manila and Acapulco could compare to the hoard amassed by the Spanish Catholic Taliban hawking scapulars, rosaries and other holy trinkets and souvenirs of sanctimony allegedly exempting their souls, or those of their ancestors and progeny from the fires or desolation of all three.

But could there be any more wicked dogma than those of Hell, Purgatory and Limbo? These distinctly New Testament innovations which promise unimaginable suffering for infidels, even babies, after they die far exceed the cruel deaths, enslavement and rapine of their enemies vouchsafed by Yahweh to his Chosen People in the Old Covenant.

Actually, I suppose the teachings on condoms, pills and IUDs, may qualify, in a sense, for they do condemn millions to poverty, hunger, hopelessness and the horrors of unwanted, unplanned pregnancies, such as the half million abortions that occur for one reason or another.

There is a simple way out for the blind dogmatists: simply admit the fact that the Catholic Church has never declared the dogma infallible and consign it to Limbo. Y'all know how it's done! (Casuistry!)

By the way, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was playing fast and loose with statistics during her State of the Nation Address yesterday on this subject:
Rice production since 2000 increased an average of 4.07% a year, twice the population growth rate. By promoting natural planning and female education, we have curbed population growth to 2.04% during our administration, down from the 2.36 in the 1990’s, when artificial birth control was pushed. Our campaign spreads awareness of responsible parenthood regarding birth spacing. Long years of pushing contraceptives made it synonymous to family planning. Therefore informed choice should mean letting more couples, who are mostly Catholics, know about natural family planning.
Utterly dishonest and specious of her to claim credit for the downward trend in population growth rate that's been observable for almost half a century on her population policies. More telling is the fact that we are indeed the LARGEST IMPORTER of rice in the world--whilst our neighbors, like Thailand who merely copied a 1970 Philippine Population Management Plan, have made the demographic transition to a more sustainable regime.

Sure, sure, overpopulation per se is not the cause of poverty. No. It's the poverty of the mind and spirit and our clinging to the infantile illusions fostered by a Church long-lost in her own inutility and helplessness. Sure, sure, it's "the System" that's to blame. Unfortunately, the Philippine Catholic Church and especially its hierarchy, has long been the biggest, oldest and I daresay, often the baddest part of "the System."

Time to give up pride and hubris. The people are suffering and they are truly fed up with reverential, but inhuman and hardly divine, dogma.


blackshama said...

Education DJB is the best contraceptive. The UN, Catholic Church and all pro-choicers recognize that.

Now is educating women "natural"? Isn't that "artificial"?

This should tie the Opus Dei and other Humanae Vitae fundamentalists in logical knots unless they admit that women should be kept uneducated!

Gloria confounds things. It may be education that reduced the pop. growth rate stats not natural family planning.

An educated woman is likely to follow the artificial methods as common sense dictates!

DJB Rizalist said...

I was most intrigued by the concept of "female education"--as if the men have nothing to do with this!

manuelbuencamino said...

As good Catholics, Filipinos applauded her support and policies for “natural family planning and female education.” During her administration, population growth was reduced to 2.04% from 2.36% in the 1990’s. Filipinas deciding to have less babies while she is in charge, what better proof is there that her female education program works?

blackshama said...

Manuel Buencamino

If those stats were indeed true, how come Abp Oscar Cruz wasn't convinced? Gloria is obviously courting the bishops approval. But the bishops are not that dumb!

Education if it will be successful as an artificial "contraceptive" starts in the grades. This includes an honest to goodness SCIENTIFIC treatment of human sexual biology and this starts even before children hit puberty. These subjects turn Catholic prudes red! They have thwarted sensible treatment of this important subject.

With dropout rates increasing in the reign of Gloria, it is increasingly hard to believe this female education thing. The first to drop out are girls. Like in any developing country, Pinoy boys are preferred with what little parents can invest in education.

With little education opportunities you can expect girls to have little say on whether they want kids or not, or how many kids they want.