Prayers can move mountains, that is why Catholic bishops will storm heaven with their prayers hoping that the Supreme Court (SC) will declare the Reproductive Health (RH) Law unconstitutional.
And if that tack fails, CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, the bishops will explore all legal options in putting down the RH Law that is set to be ruled as constitutional by the SC anytime now.
Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), on Monday said he wrote a letter to all Filipino bishops for them “to urge the faithful to pray that the SC will declare the RH law as unconstitutional . . . in every mass until the end of the deliberation and the decision on the RH Law.”
He urged the bishops and the faithful to also recite Oratio Imperata, which is said to be the most effective prayer of the Catholic Church against all adversities.
Aside from the prayers, the Catholic Church will also ring the bells in archdioceses across the country.
Members of the Pro-Life group also on Monday invited the bishops to join them in a prayer rally in Baguio City, where the SC justices are holding their summer session. Opponents of the law were urged to wear red or carry any item of that color to signify their support for life.
Prayers, according to Villegas, have always been the first option of the Catholic Church in standing up its ground on issues affecting the flock.
He conceded that the government might have a majority of lawmakers supporting the RH Law, but he said that does not mean it is on the right side.
Villegas explained that “right cannot be determined by numbers” and that “right is always right and the wrong is always wrong.”
“Maybe because of the numbers available in the Senate and the [House of Representatives], [and even if]they had approved it as law, [the RH Law]remains to be morally wrong,” he said.
Villegas, however, said the teachings of the Catholic Church about life from conception until death will not be affected even if the SC declares the RH Law constitutional.
He said their duty, which came from God, not civil law, will remain the same even if the RH law is declared legal.
“With or without the [RH] law, we must keep on teaching the sacredness of life, about the dignity of the human person, about the holiness of life of the human person from conception until death,” the bishop added.
Villegas clarified that the Catholic Church will respect whatever the decision of the court on the law may be.
Justices of the Supreme Court are set to hold their final deliberations on the constitutionality of the RH Law today.
According to a well-placed source of The Manila Times in the High Court, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno will lead in pushing for legality of the provisions of the RH Law, or Republic Act (RA) 10354.
It was learned that Sereno had made her separate concurring and dissenting opinions on the case.
Malacañang spokesman Edwin Lacierda also on Monday said they will scrutinize whatever decision the SC will make.
“It would normally take us time to sift through the reasoning, in its entirety, before we make a comment. Otherwise, we might lose out on something, just relying on the decision itself,” the official said.
“The dispositive portion may not do justice to the decision itself,” Lacierda added.
He and Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. reacted to a report by The Times on Monday that the SC was set to declare the constitutionality of the controversial law.
“I really don’t know. We just have to wait. Once it comes out, then we will issue a statement. But we don’t know yet,” Lacierda said.
Coloma said it would be “best to wait for the SC to announce its ruling formally.”
With additional report from Joel M. Sy Egco