Understanding Church’s view on RH | Inquirer Opinion

Understanding Church’s view on RH

08:59 PM August 14, 2012

With the Reproductive Health bill awaiting congressional action, perhaps it will be worth our while to examine the Catholic Church’s view on the matter.

The Church always looks at things from a long perspective—in fact, from the viewpoint of eternity. So with the RH bill. Undoubtedly, this bill will bring immediately and for the short term a measure of economic progress, as birth rates will go down and there will be less mouths to feed—as the UP School of Economics so learnedly proposes. It will also lessen sexually transmitted diseases and make life easier for many, especially the poor.

But these are short-term benefits from the Church’s viewpoint. The Church is not willing to sacrifice morality and its bedrock teachings for short-term economic progress or for ease of living. Its rich history adequately shows this.

Pro-RH bill advocates may say that it is also immoral to allow so much suffering and disease because people do not have adequate access to artificial birth control. The Church would counter and say that this approach is barking up the wrong tree. It treats the symptoms rather than the real cause. And the real cause, it says, is the breakdown of morality, wherein people would persist on their so-called immoral practice of using certain forms of birth control, rather than obey the laws of God on the matter, as put forth by the Church which acts as a kind of a Supreme Court in interpreting God’s will for Catholics, at the very least.


In the long term, it may not be so bad an idea to have a young and growing population. The vibrant countries of the world are those with young populations. World population growth, including that of the Philippines, is slowing down; and Europe, the United States and all developed countries are showing negative population growth. In fact, serious demographers have predicted (National Geographic January 2011) that the world’s population will top 9 billion, and decline after that. And they say the world’s resources, if harnessed properly, can easily support 9 billion human beings. Hence, they say that the issue at hand is not limiting population, but how to harness and utilize the world’s resources properly so that it can more than support the world’s population. And therein lies the real problem: social justice, preserving and enhancing the integrity of creation, developing and implementing technologies that will deliver food and basic services efficiently and effectively, and curbing graft and corruption, among others, rather than limiting population, because that is self-limiting in the first place. In the Philippines, anti-RH advocates are saying that the whopping P3-billion budget for the RH bill should be better spent in addressing these problems, rather than curbing population growth, which is a non-problem after all in this perspective.

I can see the logic of the pro-RH advocates; but I can also admire the long-term view of the Church from the perspective of eternity, as it were. For indeed it was founded on Rock, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it …..


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TAGS: Catholic Church, letters, Population growth, Reproductive Health Bill

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