Skip to comments.In wake of Pope’s remarks, Filipino bishops call for a ‘re-evaluation’ of contraception ...
Posted on 02/25/2016 6:54:00 AM PST by ebb tide
After years of heroically opposing a reproductive health bill in their country that now provides major government funding for contraceptives, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has done a surprising turnabout by throwing its support behind Pope Francis' controversial off-the-cuff suggestion that there may be circumstances in which married couples can use contraception.
Speaking about the Pope's remarks last week onboard the papal plane where he stated that "avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil," CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas commented in a statement titled "Truth with Love and Mercy":
He (the Pope) however usefully called attention to two important moral precepts: First, there may be circumstances that invite a re-evaluation of the judgment on artificial means of contraception; second, the prodding of conscience should always be heeded, as long as every effort is made to form conscience properly. But Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews that the Church's teaching on the evil of contraception is "unchangeable."
"As the Brazilian bishops recently affirmed in addressing the threat posed by the Zika virus, the actual Church teaching on the matter of couples using contraception is unequivocal: The use of contraceptive methods by married couples to prevent pregnancy is always morally illicit," he said.
READ: Vatican affirms Pope was speaking about contraceptives for Zika
Pointing to the doctrinal teaching against contraception as laid down in the papal encyclicals Casti Connubii (by Pope Pius XI in 1930) and Humanae Vitae (by Pope Paul VI in 1968), Fr. Boquet said that "doctrinal truths cannot be changed by a statement made in a press release or interview."
The following quotes from each encyclical are especially pertinent:
Casti Connubi 54: "But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious." Humanae Vitae 14: "Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation--whether as an end or as a means." Archbishop Villegas noted how the Pope raised the view during the plane interview that the "evil of contraception was not of the same magnitude as the evil of abortion," and added, "Clearly, this was sound moral reasoning."
But Father Boquet said the distinction is irrelevant in light of the above Church teachings against the use of contraception.
"In light of these doctrinal teachings, it is difficult to understand the reference to the use of contraception as 'a lesser evil,' as compared with abortion. This may be the case, but it is morally irrelevant, since the same teachings that engage this question reaffirm that an evil may never be chosen that a good might come from it," he said.
In 2012 while opposing a "reproductive health" bill (House Bill 4244) that, among other things, mandated sex education in schools and government-subsidized contraceptives under government health insurance, Archbishop Villegas, at that time, stated, "We are battling against contraception because we know it can harm your soul. Believe me. Contraception harms your soul. Contraception is corruption."
Pro-life groups vigorously opposed the bill, which passed in December 2012, for forcing taxpayers to fund contraception and abortifacients, saying that behind the bill was a not-so-hidden population control agenda.
In April 2014, the country's Supreme Court upheld the reproductive health law, but struck down provisions of the bill that would have allowed minors to access contraception without parental consent, forced religious health providers to tell patients about contraceptive options, and penalized them for refusing to provide such information. The Court, however, upheld portions of the bill that mandated government-sanctioned sex-ed and fully subsidized contraceptive programs.
Instead of outright denouncing the ruling, Archbishop Villegas praised it for strengthening parental rights and religious freedom, and encouraged his brother bishops to "move on from being an RH-law-reactionary-group to a truly Spirit empowered disciples of the Gospel of life and love."
He (the Pope) however usefully called attention to two important moral precepts: First, there may be circumstances that invite a re-evaluation of the judgment on artificial means of contraception; second, the prodding of conscience should always be heeded, as long as every effort is made to form conscience properly.
Who didn’t know this was coming?
This world has been turned upside down by the enemy (Satan) in a poli-frontal attack on everything decent and holy
The current useless idiot is the muslim, but the whole battle is the attack on Christ
Thank you, knarf. In this era, this is certainly one of those “hard sayings”, on the subject. But, you’re right, it is about being against much more than just the “pill”.
Catholic Members should begin to think of ‘re evaluating’ the pope like get him removed!!!
Pope-endorsed abortion by Jan 1, 2017. Guarantee.
Natural family planning is as effective as condom use, and nearly as effective as contraceptive pill use, assuming all methods are used correctly. It is not as effective as the “fool-proof” methods of implants and IUDs.
Given that an agreed upon and licit method exists to avoid pregnancy, why does the Pope feel the need to recommend artificial contraception? Couples where the woman is already pregnant might use condoms to avoid male-female sexual transmission of the virus, but that seems like it should be licit already, and explaining that to people who think condoms are always illicit might be of service.
There are women who don’t believe they can refuse their husbands/lovers for a few days. There are men who won’t take “wait” for an answer. There are women whose libido is far far higher when they are fertile, and have difficulty waiting. But isn’t that where the Church is supposed to say “Listen up people!”
In South America, contraceptive use is probably as prevalent as it is in any Catholic country, so the Pope is preaching to the choir, and going with the tide, to mix metaphors.
I am sick to my stomach at what Pope Francis' foolish words have now accomplished: his "simple black shoes" kicking through the last decency barriers on earth.
Didn’t he mention that it was just the use of condoms in these disease cases?
Still — for me, it counters Humanae Vitae.
In this thing called life, we all have a part in doing our best and using the brains God gave us
We non Catholics have OUR brains attuned to a Biblical frequency the Catholic can't (or won't try to) receive
Be that as it may ... there ARE common elements we can unite around
So this is what the “Catholic” bishops do.....confirm heresy rather than call it out.
Where is the much-beloved Burke and Schneider? Will they ever step up to the plate?
Whichever it is, this is no mere verbal foot-fault. It's by far his most destructive anti-pedagogy. In my judgment, this is qualitatively different from the rest of his pastoral malpractice: it's an effective inducement into evil.
This cuts to the core. I am flabbergasted that the Filipino Bishops would do a 180 degree turn on this and head themselves straight to hell.
Francis already floated this idea on his visit to Africa and also brought up population control on his trip to, not surprisingly, the Philippines. There are some very liberal Filipino bishops, particularly Cdl. Tagle, who is widely thought to be the person Francis is grooming as his replacement. Remember the “breeding like rabbits” comment Francis made in that airplane interview? It’ was enthusiastically seconded and expanded upon by Cdl Tagle.
We have a serious problem here. Francis is interested only in destroying the Church and remaking it in his image. He really thinks he is what 2000 years of Christianity have been preparing us for. Personally, I think he may be right....the Antichrist, after all, has been expected for that length of time.
This is --- in my judgment--- orders of magnitude worse than anything that's happened with this turbulent papacy in the last three years. Not that it's all separate regrettable incidents, subject to strictly separate evaluation: on the contrary, it's all oonnected.
The enemy of souls has a lot banked on this.
What makes me more unhappy than anything else about this wretched papacy is how many people are being lost. They are being dumped off the Rock and back into the sea of confusion, and there are many others who now see the Rock as a fiction and won’t even try to swim to it.
“Bishop” Tony Palmer tried swimming to the Rock and Pope Francis kicked him back into the ocean.
I’m with you on that.
Francis has personally discouraged many potential converts. The Church just isn’t his thing, I guess. Poor Tony Palmer - I think he was very scandalized by the Pope’s refusal to welcome him. He died fairly recently, didn’t he?
Yes, he died in a tragic motorcycle accident.
The best part of Francis’ recent remarks is that there seems to be a further waking up by fellow Catholics.
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