Skip to comments.Archbishop Villegas to bishops on contraception, abortion: Listen more, condemn less
Posted on 07/06/2014 7:26:00 PM PDT by ebb tide
The leader of the Philippines' Catholic Church, which routinely denounces abortion and contraception, called for the clergy on Saturday to listen more and condemn less, in the latest sign of a liberal shift in the powerful institution.
Church leaders exert vast influence in the conservative Philippines, Asia's bastion of Catholicism and the only state apart from Vatican that still outlaws both divorce and terminations.
But with many modern Filipino Catholics embracing attitudes that were once considered taboo or frowned upon, and the more conciliatory tone of the Vatican under Pope Francis, there are signs that the Philippine church is softening its stance.
Speaking at an annual assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, where he is president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas said a change of tone would be a fitting welcome for the pope, who is expected to visit the Philippines next year.
"Perhaps we can reconsider our approach to solving the problems of family and life by listening more to the wounded and the grieving broken homes rather than condemning divorce and abortion and contraception at every opportunity," Villegas said.
"Perhaps we can reach out to more people by stretching our minds and lowering our fences and listening... without being judgemental or punitive."
In 2012 President Benigno Aquino signed a law requiring government health centers to hand out free condoms and birth control pills, in a major defeat for the church, which fought a 15-year campaign against any form of family planning laws.
The law took effect this year after the Supreme Court ruled against a church-backed legal challenge.
The Catholic Church, which counts over 80 percent of the Philippines' 100 million population as members, led street protests denouncing the law as "evil," and at one point threatened Aquino with excommunication.
The pope last year said the church had become "obsessed" with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and has set about creating "a poor church for the poor," in a major shift from his predecessor.
Bishop Oscar Cruz, a former president of the Catholics Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said earlier this year he expected divorce, abortion, and even same-sex marriage could eventually be legalized in the Philippines.
Abortion = Murder
Murder is to be condemned
***”Perhaps we can reconsider our approach to solving the problems of family and life...***
This is the Church’s problem right here. The purpose of the Church is to bring people to the knowledge and saving grace of Jesus Christ. Once saved, to glorify God through their daily lives. And bring others to Christ.
‘Solving family and life problems’ is farther down the priority list and not worth compromising Biblical principles for.
And just what is "listening more" going to accomplish?
The danger is, the “low information” Catholic will (wrongly) see this as an admission of error. They will then wonder what else has the Church been wrong on - or just come see that their view of the Church as a cafeteria of optional beliefs is justified. They will think one only needs to wait long enough, and the Church will then bow to the blowing winds of change.
I am sure Pope Francis did not intend this; but his tendency to speak without much deep reflection at times appears to have had some harmful consequences. At some point, either he or his successor will have some mopping up to do.
To be brutally honest it would be much better for the Church had Benedict not stepped down. This Jesuit is a real problem and should SHUT UP.
I for one would like him to STOP TALKING about conciliatory messages of love and forgiveness when he is turning a blind eye to the fact that a vast majority of Catholics are committing mortal sins because he thinks it sounds good to not condemn the very acts that will condemn the perpetrators to an eternity in Hell.
You don't need to outreach to the active homosexuals, their acts should be condemned as what they are. A one way ticket to hell. The same is true of artificial contraception and abortion is all but unforgivable as it is murder for hire of innocents all in the selfish name of convenience.
I don't know what Church any of these Bishops of Francis has ever attended, but I can not recall the last time either contraception or abortion was uttered in a mass and I attend at least weekly. The constant drum beet of God is all love is incessantly pushed down our throats as if God doesn't have justice and true punishment on his side.
He is after-all all to willing to allow a person to sin their way into Hell for all eternity and it is written that MOST of us will find it difficult to impossible to enter into Gods Heaven.
For this reason alone, he should step down if unprepared to aggressively proclaim sinful acts as sinful.
The New and “Improved” “Catholic” Church.
St Pius V, Pray for us.
The “Seamless Garment”—the theory that support for abortion causes a politician to be infallibly correct on every other issue, and that opposition to abortion causes a politician to take evil positions on every other issue. This theory is so idiotic that only a Catholic bishop is capable of believing it.
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Since Bergoglio was the runner-up at the previous conclave, and since BXVI has pointed out that the Holy Spirit doesn't elect popes, he must have had a strong inkling of who had the likeliest chance of becoming his replacement, yet he resigned anyway.
What, pray tell, are you responding to? Are you denying there are many Catholics of the ‘low information’ variety sort who (a) do not understand the faith or (b) do not understand why they should accept it or (c) think they have the option of picking and choosing what part of the Catholic faith they want?
I was criticizing the bishop for his stance, i.e., “listening more.” What is needed is not bishops who “listen more”, but bishops who teach clearly, such as in clearly explaining the Catholic faith, and the necessity of following it.
Sorry if you didn’t catch my meaning. Sheesh.
Sorry I didn’t change that to all. Just trying to educate people on contraception.
No problem. It is a good list, though. Parishes should have this sort of stuff posted to their websites.
Have Bishops been driving through neighborhoods in Bluesmobile clones with huge speakers blaring out Church teaching about contraception and abortion again?