A challenge to ‘meddling’ bishops
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has no moral authority to impose Roman Catholic doctrines on Congress and the whole nation.
In pretending to know better than government how to handle the country’s population concerns, they are like a Grade 1 teacher, who is notorious for letting his failing pupils proceed to Grade 2, volunteering to be a resource speaker in a seminar for teachers. The bishops are supposed to be the moral guardians of the Catholic faithful who constitute about 85 percent of the Philippine population, yet our country is one of the most corrupt in the world!
Secondly, one of the main reasons for the Catholic clergy’s dismal failure to instill Catholic values among Catholics is “overpopulation.” According to statistics, there is only one priest for every 12,000 Catholics or more. We say that more than 50 students to a classroom are too many, so how can one priest be effective in teaching the far weightier lessons in morality and spirituality to 12,000 souls? Smaller sects encounter much fewer immorality issues because their pastors have more time to regularly visit their members right in their homes and, just like classroom teachers, they remember the name of each member. Now the bishops want more babies when their priests can’t even attend to the spiritual needs of their many parishioners.
Thirdly, by meddling in legislation, the Catholic clergy is violating the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. Christ himself said: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). This means that Christ does not approve of threats nor will He move heaven and earth to “abort” the Reproductive Health bill.
Christ denounced the ungodly acts of the Pharisees, but he never criticized the government. St. Paul wrote: “Let every soul be subject to government authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-3). And Apostle Peter, said to be the first pope, urged Christians to subject themselves to civil authorities: “Therefore submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme. Or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (I Peter 2:13, 14).
I challenge the bishops to show any passage from the Scriptures that would justify their attempt to take control of the government’s legislative function relative to the RH bill and other proposed laws that they deem go against Catholic teachings.
—ESTANISLAO ALBANO JR.,