To President B. S. Aquino 3rd ‘s rather rude attempt to embarrass Pope Francis during his call at Malacanang last week, the Holy Father made no visible effort to respond. He simply refused to recognize the assault.
But in the course of his four-day apostolic and state visit, he found the opportunity to speak of “ideological colonization,” which powerful anti-life and anti-family forces have inflicted upon the Philippines, with the active collaboration and support of the Aquino government.
Whether the Pope had intended it or not, this was a fitting riposte.
In his official remarks “welcoming” the Pope, Aquino accused the Church of committing “injustices” against Filipinos during the nearly 350 years of Hispanic colonization before the nearly 50 years of American occupation of the Philippines. He also accused Filipino Church authorities of failing to speak against the much criticized administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whom his late mother, the former President Corazon C. Aquino, had asked the bishops to denounce, but against whom Aquino himself, as a member of Congress at the time, had failed to raise his voice.
A study in contrast
This was in sharp contrast to the way he has previously welcomed US President Barack Obama, whose country’s occupation forces invaded the islands after the Filipinos declared their independence from Spain, killing more than a couple of hundred thousands of the several million natives at that time. Also in sharp contrast to the way he received the prime minister of Japan, whose imperial forces butchered men, women and children, and turned so many Filipinas into “comfort women” during the last war.
To Obama, he has shown absolute servility and obsequiousness. To the Japanese prime minister, he has shown himself worthy of his late grandfather, who collaborated with the Japanese during the war, while the rest of his countrymen fought and died on the side of the Americans.
The Spaniards were poor models
Indeed, the early Spanish Church authorities were not generally models of piety or even human virtues. They committed abuses, the worst of which resulted in, among other things, the 1872 execution of Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, the three Filipino martyrs known in history as Gomburza, which sparked the armed revolt of the Katipunan under Andres Bonifacio and the Philippine revolution of 1896.
The sins of churchmen, and of the Church
But those who know the Catholic Christian faith a little more deeply are always careful to distinguish between the Church and her priests, religious or laity, who are all sinners trying to be holy. The abuses of the friars then, like the abuses among the clergy now, wounded the Church very deeply, but these did not make the Church any less of a Church, nor did they prevent Filipinos from becoming worthy followers of Christ either.
Aquino on the defensive
It was therefore easy to understand why Pope Francis did not care to rejoin and educate his boorish host on the most obvious facts of the Church’s 2,000-year history, or even the abbreviated Philippine portion of that history. But the mere mention of “ideological colonization” during the Pope’s “Encounter with Families” at the Mall of Asia (MOA) instantly put Aquino on the defensive for his role in facilitating the foreign population controllers’ “colonization” of the Filipino family.
At MOA, and at his final Mass at the Luneta, the Pope said the family, which lies at the root and center of all human civilization, is threatened by “ideological colonization,” which seeks to impose a relativistic throwaway culture, characterized by the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being modern, the promise of ephemeral pleasures and superficial pastimes, and the lack of openness to life.
The Pope elaborates
In a press conference on board his plane en route to Rome, he elaborated on “ideological colonization,” by citing concrete examples he has witnessed in his native Argentina, or heard from bishops during last year’s Synod. Foreign governments and institutions offer loans to the needy, but these are invariably tied to certain conditionalities, which seek to change the mentality, social structures and culture of the recipients.
A historical perspective
This “colonization” of the family did not happen overnight. As the 2005 Manifesto for the Natural Family by Allan C. Carlson & Paul T. Mero points out, it has a long history, dating back from the Industrial revolution, which placed the creation of wealth above old family values.
Some ideologies sought to replace the family with the individual as a basic unit of society. This seemed to enjoy formidable success with the French revolution.
Somehow the family regained its bearing after the French revolutionary fervor blew over, but communism, feminism, hedonism, racism and liberalism resumed the assault later on. In 1917, communism took power in Russia and moved quickly to abolish the family by introducing the first law on abortion. The fascists in Italy followed five years later, putting the state above the family and the home. In 1933, Nazism tore families apart in Hitler’s quest for a racially superior German empire.
The regime of birth control
After Germany’s defeat in World War II, the eugenicist’s effort to eliminate the “socially unfit” from humanity’s pool and the Malthusian drive to reduce the number of the earth’s actual inhabitants, Margaret Sanger and company came up with their elaborate program of birth control, funded by the Rockefellers and some of America’s and Europe’s richest men.
In 1974—just to fast-track the narrative—-Henry Kissinger as National Security Adviser to the US President authored the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200, which provides the template for the US global policy on population, seeking to limit the size of every family around the world to two children per, by the year 2000. This followed the international conference on population in Bucharest that same year.
It was since followed by the international population conference in Mexico in 1984, the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, the Beijing women’s conference in 1995, and the successive other conferences in Istanbul, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro, etc., which no matter what the topic, ended discussing population control and abortion as an approved method of family planning.
Aquino sells out to Obama
From President Fidel V. Ramos through Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, various administrations failed to pass any population control legislation, despite unremitting pressure from the US and European governments and certain agencies of the United Nations. This was because the very idea of population control ran counter to the religious belief and moral convictions of the Catholic Filipino majority, against their custom and culture, and against the Constitution.
But after Aquino’s legally questionable automated election, and after Obama offered him a grant of $454 million from the Millennium Challenge Fund, he announced support for the proposed RH Law which Congress had failed to pass in the last 15 years and said he was ready to distribute condoms and other contraceptives to the population.
The RH law was the most divisive legislation ever to be supported by any president in the nation’s history. But Aquino did not mind dividing the nation just to please his foreign patrons. The bill had more opponents than supporters in the two Houses of Congress, but to force its passage, Aquino used the pork barrel system to bribe the lawmakers. This was before the Supreme Court declared the “pork” unconstitutional. Thirteen petitions before the Supreme Court questioned the validity of the enactment. After protracted deliberations, the Court struck down several provisions as unconstitutional, but upheld the remaining corpus as “not unconstitutional.”
Why the law remains unconstitutional
As the petitioner who gave, on behalf of all the petitioners, the Opening Statement at the Oral Arguments before the SC en banc, I continue to maintain that despite the Court ruling, the law is patently unconstitutional. There are many reasons for saying so, but one reason alone will suffice. The Constitution mandates the State to protect the unborn from conception—and ipso facto the very process of conception itself. Therefore the State cannot be the source of any single case of contraception.
The extensive ruling of the Court failed to refute or even acknowledge this objection. For this reason, I filed a Motion for Reconsideration saying I was not accorded due process, and pleading that the Court rule that my argument was pure nonsense. But the Court ruled against my Motion without saying anything about my argument. I learned later to my dismay that the Court was receiving funding from the US AID, which has a big vested interest in the law in question.
This, for me, defines the “ideological colonization” of the Aquino regime.
Don’t breed like rabbits
In his interview, the Pope was asked to elaborate on his support for Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which condemns contraception as intrinsically evil. Noting that the average Filipino woman could bear three children during her lifetime, the Pope’s interlocutor asked whether this was not adding so much pressure to the world’s growing population. The Pope answered that he thought, three children per couple, according to the experts, would just be enough to keep the population going. “When it goes below this, the other extreme happens, like what is happening in Italy. I have heard—I do not know if it’s true—that in 2024, there will be money to pay pensioners because of the fall in population,” he said.
The Pope pointed out that the Church has always taught couples to practice “responsible parenthood.” While it is not moral or lawful to obstruct the natural flow of human life, people are not supposed “to breed like rabbits,” the Pope said. This was a mere restatement of Church doctrine, which reproaches no one, not even rabbits. But the conscript Philippine media, eager to find something in the Pope’s speech with which to bash Catholics and to suggest a change in doctrine, used the phrase to create a screaming headline as though Filipino couples were reproducing like rabbits and had to be reprimanded by their Supreme Pastor. This is part of the “ideological colonization” we must daily contend with.