‘What now, Father, Sister?’

WHAT will the priests and nuns who supported the candidacy of then candidate Benigno Aquino III do now that PNoy declared he is for birth control and consequently pro-artificial contraceptions?

Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon was right when he challenged the priests and nuns to now explain the statement of the president favoring birth control.

“Where are the priests and nuns who supported (Aquino) and who said that he is not ‘pro-choice’ but ‘pro-life.’ Let us ask the priests and nuns, what now?” the bishop asked.

The country’s Catholic Church has been consistent in its opposition to government programs that promote artificial contraceptives as a means of family planning. Some priests and nuns were, however, so fascinated with their support for Aquino that they seemed to have forgotten some of the Church’s teachings.

Bishop De Leon said he was surprised with Aquino’s statement because his supporters in the Church assured that the president was “at the beginning pro-choice” then later used the term “responsible parenthood.”

Meanwhile, we were amazed by the statement of Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic bishops, who said the Church will support protest actions against Aquino’s pronouncements, but “they would not be there to march with the people on the streets.”

What will the bishops do? Sit there and wait for something to happen? What happened to the Church’s teaching to be always on the side of the poor, be they in the slums or in the streets calling for the defense of human rights.

The laity will be there, Father Castro said. Indeed, but how about the priests who are so good with their homilies. How about the nuns who seem to be affected by the mere mention of condoms and sex as if it’s that dirty to hear.

The President has already stated his position. He wants to give the people the choice. If they want to use condoms, so be it. Nobody is forcing anyone to use it anyway. It would still be the individual’s choice.

The Church too has made its position clear. It is against anything that is artificial. It wants the faithful to be responsible, be it with their sexual practices or in the raising of their kids.

What’s next now? Pro-Church people are preparing to march in the streets. After the march, what?
Malacanang said it is open to a dialogue with the bishops to iron out some issues. After that, what?
What’s next, Father? Sister?

A pity Father Castro has this to say to PNoy: “Priests, bishops, nuns and the laity supported because we believe he was our hope… He should not reverse [his stand] because it would not anymore be the straight path he promised. In the end, let us not sell our souls.”

Amen! Joe Torres


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