Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When Will the Killings End ?

This title appeared in one of the feature articles of the Davao Catholic Herald published in the October 2011 month. The question is really vital and actual. It is good to delve deeper into that query. It is true we cannot right a wrong with another wrong. St. Paul attests to that in his letter to the Romans 3:8. Actually we must all do something, being the one Body of Christ, to spread the positive ideas instead of the ideas of hatred, envy, greed, and materialism that are at the base of those harmful and violent reactions. Such people are only harming themselves since Jesus had warned us ‘the measure of what you give or do towards others will be the same measure to be turned back to you’ (Lk. 6:36). The Latin proverb (ideae regunt mundum.- translated: it is ideas that rule the world) has really a lot of import and momentousness in the subject we are dealing right now. It is so important we spread ideas that are true and based of justice. In the scuffle at the garden of olives Jesus told his followers who got swords to defend Him, “Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Mt. 26:52).

As members of the one body of Christ we, each one of us, have an important task to do. That is, by word, deed, sacrifice and prayer to be instruments spreading the positive ideas which Christ brought to our world: the ideas of love, joy, peace, harmony, patience, understanding, and concern for the fellowman or woman. Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Populorum Progressio mentions ‘development is the new name for peace’. Each of us therefore has to do our part, like St. Francis who prayed, ‘Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love.. For it is in giving that we receive and in dying that we’re born to eternal life’. Also one Spanish proverb asserts thus: Quien da pan, da paz (He who gives bread, gives peace). Jesus Himself tells us. “It is more blessed to give than to receive”(Acts 20:35). Let’s do our part, each of us, to spread ideas that are positive rather than negative, developmental rather than destructive, understanding rather than judgmental. It’s basic in the teachings of Jesus: ‘Judge not and you shall not be judged for with what judgments you judge, you shall likewise be judged” (Mt. 7:1).

Let’s follow the Prince of peace, the truly victorious one who assured us in the end, whose life showed no trace of violence but only love and sacrifice—“In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world” (Jn. 16:33).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's wrong?

(RH Bills)

So much controversy now about the present issue. Certainly if we are open to infallible biblical terms we must be open to search and welcome truth. Isn’t that what God’s word tells us: “The one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him” (Mt. 7:8-9). So in all these discussions between various groups concerned in the matter at hand we better ask the down-to-earth question: what is wrong and where is it?

Are we not supposed to respect couples in their inviolable right to privacy and freedom with regards to the number and education of their children? Are we not to respect God’s voice speaking through biblical lore and the constituted Church which tells us right from the first book of the Bible, Genesis: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it?” (Gen. 1:28). The basic problems come when the lure of money enters from the sale of contraceptive devices or the temptation of pleasures in undisciplined or illicit sex, in the varying circumstances of man. Truly as we hear of hidden agendas and under-the-table monetary transactions, there’s corruption in the issue at hand.

So truly has God’s word spoken: “The love of money is the root of all evils and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds” (1 Tim. 6:10). The mind of the Church in its quest for respect for life is rather we endeavor to improve the food and facilities in the table of life rather than limit the number of guests to the table of life. ‘Live and let live,’ is an age-old axiom that urges us to respect life. Since therefore sexuality is designed and connected with generation of new life, no wonder many official pronouncements of the Catholic Church, such as those for example of Pope John Paul II to the U.S. Bishops have opposed divorce, homosexuality and masturbation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Since the Bill wishes to openly press for the contraceptive methods of controlling births and population, this will be going against Catholic conscience as expressed clearly by Blessed Pope John Paul II in an address to the Bishops of the U.S.: “Exalting the beauty of marriage, you have rightly taken a position against both the theory of contraception and contraceptive practice, as did the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae. I myself, today, with the same conviction as Paul VI, ratify the teaching of that encyclical issued by my Predecessor “in virtue of the mandate confided us by Christ.” Even the propaganda for a two-child policy does seem an encroachment on couples’ privacy and inalienable rights.

You may read therefore from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, paragraphs 233 and 234.

“ 233. Concerning the “methods” for practicing responsible procreation, the first to be rejected as morally illicit are sterilization and abortion. The latter in particular is a horrendous crime and constitutes a particularly serious moral disorder; far from being a right, it is a sad phenomenon that contributes seriously to spreading a mentality against life, representing a dangerous threat to a just and democratic social coexistence.

Also to be rejected is recourse to contraceptive methods in their different forms: this rejection is based on a correct and integral understanding of the person and human sexuality and represents a moral call to defend the true development of peoples. On the other hand, the same reasons of an anthropological order justify recourse to periodic abstinence during times of the woman’s fertility. Rejecting contraception and using natural methods for regulating births means choosing to base interpersonal relations between the spouses on mutual respect and total acceptance, with positive consequences also for bringing about a more human order in society.

234. The judgment concerning the interval of time between births, and that regarding the number of children, belongs to the spouses alone. This is one of their inalienable rights, to be exercised before God with due consideration of their obligations towards themselves, their children already born, the family and society. The intervention of public authorities within the limits of their competence to provide information and enact suitable measures in the area of demographics must be made in a way that fully respects the persons and the freedom of the couple. Such intervention may never become a substitute for their decisions. All the more must various organizations active in the area refrain from doing the same.

All programmes of economic assistance aimed at financing campaigns of sterilization and contraception, as well as the subordination of economic assistance to such campaigns, are to be morally condemned as affronts to the dignity of the person and the family. The answer to questions connected with population growth must instead be sought in simultaneous respect both of sexual morals and of social ethics, promoting greater justice and authentic solidarity so that dignity is given to life in all circumstances, starting with economic, social and cultural conditions.”

The mind of the Church is we ought rather increase the food and provision in the table of life rather than limit the usual guests to life’s table. In addition, Blessed John Paul II talks on homosexuality and masturbation: “Describing the sexual union between husband and wife as a special expression of their covenant of love, you have correctly said: “The sexual relationship is a human and moral good only within the sphere of marriage: outside marriage it is immoral”. As men who speak with “words of truth and the power of God” (2 Cor. 6:7), as authentic teachers of the law of God and as compassionate pastors, you have correctly said: “Homosexual practice (which is to be distinguished from homosexual orientation) is morally deceitful”.”

“Both the Church’s teaching, according to its constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have stated without any hesitation that masturbation is a practice grievously and intrinsically disordered ” (Declaration of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning certain questions of sexual ethics, December 29, 1975, No. 9).