(1) Human life is the most sacred physical gift with which God, the author of life, endows a human being. Placing artificial obstacles to prevent human life from being formed and being born most certainly contradicts this fundamental truth of human life. In the light of the widespread influence of the post-modern spirit in our world, we consider this position as nothing less than prophetic. As religious leaders we must proclaim this truth fearlessly in season and out of season.The Bishops opened this Pastoral Letter by promising to present a position based "not on specifically religious teachings" but on "the basis of the fundamental ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people." ( A promise they immediately violate in the above two points. )
(2) It is parents, cooperating with God, who bring children into the world. It is also they who have the primary inalienable right and responsibility to nurture them, care for them, and educate them that they might grow as mature persons according to the will of the Creator.
This is to be expected. The Bishops have their zuchetos on, not their Barong Tagalog. But I do not understand why the CBCP should be COY about presenting their most powerful THEOLOGICAL arguments, since their Clerical Slips are much in evidence beneath the thin Secular Disguise.
Nonetheless, the Bishops have put forward a STRONG position that doesn't beat around the bush very much. They go right for the JUGULAR!
In Finger #(1) the Bishops are sanctimoniously insinuating that everybody involved with Condoms, Pills, IUDs are MURDER or HOMICIDE suspects. The crime and weapon of choice? Premeditated Murder of Zygotes using lethal abortifacients.
In Finger #(2) the Bishops reveal what their most PRECIOUSSSSS possession actually is: the Freedom of Indoctrination! The sacred Right to teach Theology in Kindergarten and Grade School so that Organized Religion may guarantee its survival into the next generation of urban and rural poor idolaters--in the name of Morality.
Two underlying principles may be gleaned from the Pastoral Letter:
(1) SEX must never exclude the possibility of PREGNANCY.What are the Catholic Faithful to make of this Pastoral Letter? Here is the Free Choice they are offered by the Catholic Bishops:
(2) Contraception must never include the possibility of HOMICIDE.
You may have WORRY FREE SEX with Artificial Abortifacients like condoms pills and IUDs, or you may adhere to Mother Church's approved method of Vatican Roulette--the Rhythm Method--to assure that you get GUILT-FREE SEX. (( This form of Accidental Family Planning is completely NATURAL and not ARTIFICIAL. ))This leads me to observe that the Sin of Artificial Contraception contains a MOTIVE that is completely identical to the MOTIVE behind the Grace of Natural Family Planning: SEX without making a baby.
In most cases, I do believe it can also be shown that the MEANS employed cannot in any metaphysical or moral sense be differentiated along the lines of what is NATURAL vs. ARTIFICIAL.
Natural Family Planning--and whether or not it is in any moral, legal or philosophical sense different than Artificial Contraception--is the weakest link in the Catholic Bishops' rhetorical position on Reproductive Health public policy.
The matter of CONDOMS is occasion of great consternation and confusion for the Catholic Bishops, nonetheless for the undeniable fact that the Vatican itself and Pope Benedict XVI have apparently come around to the 1987 position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In 1987, the administrative committee of the US Catholic bishops' conference argued that limiting sex to marriage was the moral and most effective way to stem the spread of AIDS. But they went on to "acknowledge that some will not agree with our understanding of human sexuality." As a result, in "The Many Faces of Aids" they said that public education "could include accurate information about prophylactic devices or other practices proposed by some medical experts as potential means of preventing AIDS."The above quotation is from an article by Thomas J. Reese, S.J. in the Washington Post, Sex and the Fifth Commandment which is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the recent comments of Pope Benedict XVI on Condoms. Here what we find is that the Pope allows condoms to uphold "Thou shalt not kill!" -- but the Sixth and Ninth Commandments still stand!
(( Forgive me gentle Readers of Philippine Commentary. But lately I've been having problems doing the LONG FORM of blogging. Kindly follow my attempts at nano-blogging @SagadaSun on Twitter ))