I DON’T agree with the erudite–and principled—former senator Kit Tatad that the passage and enforcement of the Reproductive Health Law could cause “a Catholic revolt.” In fairness to Kit, he wrote that opinion before the Supremes released their decision to declare the law “not unconstitutional” because they struck down eight of the unconstitutional key provisions the Pro-Life movement had vehemently objected to.
The Reproductive Health Law still contains what non-lawyer I think are unconstitutional provisions. And I think that, if the congressmen and congresswomen were not blinded to the truth and common sense by International Planned Parenthood and the UN, and by Malacañang’s lucre, they would not have passed that law.
From the sheer fact that it has two titles, the law would not have been passed by a more honorable—and obedient to the rule of law—set of congressmen and women. The law says every law must have only one title and that title must reflect what the law is all about.
The law also contains provisions that are either honestly impossible to carry out or must be left unimplemented. But this weakness of the RH Act is common to almost every law passed these days.
Why a Catholic revolt is impossible, even if the Supremes had not stricken down eight provisions, is largely because it is NOT true that the Philippines is a country whose population is 85% Roman Catholic.
It may be true that 85 percent of the population—meaning 85 million Filipinos—are baptized Catholics. But that does not mean the 45 million adults among these, who are able to make up their own minds competently, are all true believers of what the Church teaches and what the Church’s Credo tells the faithful at Masses are the basic beliefs that the baptized person must hold.
I personally think most of these 45 million adults have turned their backs on the fundamental tenets of the Church, have decided to live contrary to the moral teachings of the Church and the Ten Commandments, and don’t care to be close to the Lord Jesus Christ at least once a week.
If 30% instead of only 15% of all the adult Catholics and their children went to Mass every Sunday, there would be a need to build 10 times more than the Catholic churches there are in our country. Or, if this cannot be done, then every one of the present churches all over the archipelago would have to hold at least 20 Masses on Sundays and holidays of obligation.
And I believe, observing the behavior of those who do go to Mass on Sundays, that at least one-third of them are just attending the Mass because they have nothing more entertaining to do. They rush out before the priest has given the final blessing. They look bored to death listening to the homily. They chat with each other as if what is going on were just a TV show and not the miracle of heaven and earth meeting in the Consecration and the Lord Jesus being truly and substantially present in the consecrated communion host (the wafer) and the consecrated wine.
So, with so few Roman Catholics taking their (our!) Church seriously, why should there be a revolt when a law is passed that will force Catholic doctors and nurses to perform abortions, and nurses and midwives to write prescriptions for contraceptives that don’t prevent conception but actually kill the fertilized ovum (the human zygote), which if allowed to swim in healthy and not poisoned amniotic fluid will become a human fetus in his/her mother’s womb and grow into a baby, then a child and an adult human being.
Why should there be a critical mass of Catholic parents who will stand up to fight the authorities because their teenage daughters are being given the right to have an abortion without their consent?
Cardinal Tagle’s amiable treatment of President Aquino
Another sign that there would not be a Catholic revolt over an oppressive RH Law is our Archbishop Cardinal Tagle’s ready endorsement of the RH Act the Supreme Court has approved.
Some other bishops made noises that they would continue their fight against this law that, in principle, violates the canons of the Church. But Cardinal Tagle, who is the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, called on the faithful to support it.
He called on the Catholic faithful to maintain esteem and respect for the Supreme Court and its decision. He reminded the faithful that the Church must continue to uphold the sacredness and dignity of human life and the human person and safeguard the life of every human person from conception to natural death. But he called Catholics to move on from being an RH Law reactionary group.
In the grandly attended reopening of the Manila Cathedral on Bataan Day, April 9, Cardinal Tagle’s homily was interrupted several times by “ rounds of deafening applause,” the CBCP News said.
But he did not talk about the RH Law.
Photographs of him sort of bonding with President Aquino and the glittering presence of Aquino siblings and officials were all over the media.
Malacañang’s propaganda machinery has made good use of the photos and the words of camaraderie between the Cardinal and the President.
Leaders of the Pro-Life movement are now worried that Cardinal Tagle is sending them a message to stop fighting against abortion, contraception and the Culture of Death being advanced by President Aquino and his Cabinet.
I think those fears are a bit radical. If the fears are true, though, there will surely be a revolt of the Pro-Lifers.