Catholic and pro-RH
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
…And that’s the Truth
CAN you be Catholic and pro-RH too?
Even as the contentious RH Bill 4244 is undergoing amendment in Congress, the Church perseveres in its fight for human life. Increasingly virulent attacks against the Catholic Church continue to be launched in media, especially social media, branding her as “the biggest stumbling block” to the approval of the bill that sees population control as the solution to poverty.
Unable to resist the gravity of President Noynoy’s agenda, RH proponents voted to end the debate a day ahead of schedule. They said it was a tiresome, repetitive exercise in futility, stubbornly refusing to see that questions had to be raised over and over again because their answers dismally failed to deliver the truth.
Through the RH debates, a glaring truth surfaces: central to the head-on collision is the difference in the way the two camps regard the human being.
RH Bill sees the person (especially the poor person) as a number in the arithmetic of population statistics; the Church sees the person, any person, as a child of God.
RH Bill sees the human body as something owned, managed and used by its owner alone; the Church teaches that the human body is created by God and to be used according to a divine purpose.
RH Bill believes sexual pleasure is a human right that need not result in pregnancy; the Church maintains that sexual pleasure has its place in the divine plan, and that a new human being (unwanted or not) is always another gift from God.
RH Bill asserts that a person may freely resort to all scientific, gadgets, services and devices that impede unwanted fertilization or bring pregnancy to a halt; the Church teaches that the human body, being the temple of the Holy Spirit, must be free from defilement brought on by inventions that interfere with nature’s life-giving processes.
RH Bill sees a new human being (especially if poor) only as another mouth to feed, clothe, shelter, a burden to the country’s economy, progress, and development; the Church maintains that the new human being should always be welcome in a nation that runs its affairs with justice and equality for all.
RH Bill implies that the person is an entity that can control his destiny by ordering his reproductive system—a little more than any animate species, actually; the Church is certain that every human being has a soul, and therefore may not be treated as a mere pawn in a population control game.
The above mentioned difference in thought is not readily grasped by all, as may be observed from public reaction. If you pay attention to the exchange of comments tailing the news reports online, you might cringe from the fierceness with which RH supporters assault the Church. They harangue the bishops, berate the priests, insult the ordinary anti-RH folks, and even rebuke the Pope for being outdated, narrow-minded and “like all other Catholics, hypocritical”. For them, we are all stupid, ignorant, self-righteous, an impediment to progress, a curse on society. Such frontal attacks are no longer the domain of legitimate mainstream columnists or radio-TV commentators; they are all over—Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums of all sorts. They even divide families, while friends avoid discussing them.
It’s even more saddening when the critics claim to be Catholic. “I am a Catholic but I am all for RH” is their usual battle cry, emboldened, perchance, by someone who has said not a few times, “I am a congressman who happens to be Catholic, but I am not a Catholic congressman.”
How can one be Catholic and not let his faith inform his actions in the world? How can one claim to be Catholic and not fight for the values that the Catholic Church upholds, particularly, in this case, the right to life? How can one be at peace as a Catholic and pass a law exposing the poor to terrible danger by keeping them ignorant of the damage that contraception does to their health? How can one be Catholic and blind the poor to the truth that they possess innate strength to help them overcome difficulties without endangering their children’s future? How can one be Catholic and rob the poor of faith in themselves, in their fellowmen, and in a provident God?
A Catholic and at the same time fighting for a culture of death?
If there is one thing this brouhaha over a contentious bill is underlining, it is that the time is ripe, indeed, for the New Evangelization. And that’s the truth.