(RH Bill Perspective)
In the 14th Mindanao Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC) held in Digos Diocese last Oct. 18-22, 2010, and attended by a cross-section of the Catholics in Mindanao belonging to the 21 ecclesiastical jurisdictions (archdioceses, dioceses, prelatures, and vicariates), there were in all 213 delegates composed of Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women, and Lay faithful. The topics centered on the Word of God, Creation and Peace. For the sake of brevity, we just select one item in the approved statement which is connected to the ongoing controversy of the RH Bill which presumably seems to acquiesce to the idea of artificial contraceptives and abortion, whether directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly.
Namely the section asserting the following: “In the name of God, the Giver of Life, we condemn in unequivocal terms: Everything and every act which harms, endangers, destroys and kills life: extra-judicial liquidations, terrorism, drug pushing; artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion; thus everything and every act which prevents the conception and birth of human life.”
In the newspapers we read of contrary opinions asserting that people could use their conscience even for acts contrary to the Church legislations, if and when their conscience tells them so. This is where the warning of Jesus directs us to beware of false prophets (teachers) who come under the guise of sheep but are really ravening wolves tempting to erroneous ways that would end in spiritual ruin and eternal damnation (see Mt. 7:15). Instead of teaching the “narrow gate and hard road to life and salvation” (Mt. 7:14), they do seem to be permissively tolerant, yet such is the way deception creeps in. Surely conscience has to be formed and guided by God’s word and the official voice of the Church. We have the guarantee of truth and right when we respect and follow God’s word and instruction as Jesus told Peter, the first pope, after Peter acknowledged Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: “Simon, son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter (the original petros means rock) and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16:17-20).
It’s good to remind ourselves of an angle St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina once pointed out: “Faith is not to be argued over, either you accept it with your eyes closed, admitting the inadequacy of the human mind to understand its mysteries, or you reject it. There is no middle way. The choice is up to you.” We may quote St. Augustine: “Rome locuta est causa finite est” (translate: Rome has spoken, the issue is ended).