Church and State observe uneasy period of truce

The Church and State have entered period of ceasefire over the explosive issue of birth control.

Catholic church leaders have acceded to a Palace request for a truce to calm everyone, to pause, assess and pray, and avoid issuing imflamatory and incerdiary statements.

The truce is going to hold until the bishops come to a face-to-face dialogue with President Aquino, according to Fr. Melvin Castro, the executive secretary of the Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

But what Fr. Castro probably did not know or was no informed of, the proposed dialogue is not going to be exclusive between the bishops and the President.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte clarified this yesterday by saying that all religious groups should join the dialogue with President Aquino, who is also the chief executive of other Filipinos belonging to other religions. She said the Muslims also ” have a stand on the issue so we should listen to all stakeholders.”

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, however, said the Aquino Administration will not back down on its pro-choice stand on pending birth control legislation.

As Malacanang maintained its pro-choice stand, it told Catholics that as chief executive, the President is obligated to  attend to the needs of members of other religious groups, by giving contraceptives to couples who need them to limit the number of their children.

The Catholic Church with the largest number of adherents in Asia, has indicated that it will not stop lay groups who had earlier announced plans to hold protest actions over President Aquino’s pronouncement to carry out the distribution of artificial contraceptives which includes birth pills, condoms, sterelization and other barrier methods, spermicides, coitus interruptus or withdrawal method, etc.

As this developed, the Opposition is surprisingly silent, it not adamant, to actively participate in the birth control legislation debate that the church and state found themselves in collision course.

Is this what the opposition has been waiting for to carry out its return-to-power agenda? As the popular Filipino saying goes: “Libre lang ang mangarap.”

For a better understanding of church’s stand on artificial contraceptions, a quick look at church’s history reveals that Pope Paul VI issued in 1968 his famous ecncyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Human Life), reiterating the Church’s teaching that it is intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from being born.

The encyclical defines contraceptions as “any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act or sexual intercourse, or its accomplishment, or in the development of its consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.” This is what we call artificial contraceptives which as we mentioned earlier include sterelization, condoms, and other methods, spermicides, withdrawal method, birth pill, such methods.

The Church says that sexual intercourse, must not be abused deliberately frustating its natural end which is procreation. Cornelio R. de Guzman

U.S. TEENS TOP USERS OF CONDOMS

This was based on a study of Americans’ sexual behavior since 1992 which has found that condom use is becoming the favorite method of contraception for sexually active teenagers. (PDI, page A-8, Oct. 5, 2010.)

A vast majority of sexually active 14- to 17-year-olds said they had used a condom the last time they had intercourse, compared with well under half of US adults involved in casual sex.

“I think that just as teenagers quickly develop an expectation that they’re going to learn to drive no matter where they live, there’s the same general widespread sense among contemporary teenagers that as you get to the point where you start thinking about having sex, condoms are going to be part of that decision,” said a co-author of the survey, Dr. J. Dennis Fortenberry, a professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine of Indiana University.

The results, presented in nine peer-reviewed studies in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, debunked stereotypes about teens being reckless when it came to sex.

Only 14 percent of 14-year-old boys reported any kind of sexual interaction with a partner in the prior three months, but almost 40 percent of 17-year-old males did, Fortenberry told a media briefing, adding that the findings were similar in females.

He said many teens reached the age of 18 with no sexual experience, and for those who did have sex, condom use was routine.

“In this study, somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of adolescents reported condom use at their mose recent vaginal intercourse,” Fortenberry said. “This indicates we’ve had a real public health success that we need to acknowledge.”

The new study– the first to include participants as young as 14 and as old as 94– has found that decades after the sexual revolution, the gap between men’s and women’s sexual satisfaction persists.

The study did not say the wide use of condoms among young people led to promiscuity or indiscriminate sex acts.

In  the Philippines, one of the points raised by pro-lifers against use of contraceptives, particuraly condoms, is that it leads to promiscrity or casual liasons.

Apparently, use of condom by American teeners is more an after-thought not a precondition to carnal knowledge. Church and State observe uneasy period of truce

The Church and State have entered period of ceasefire over the explosive issue of birth control.

Catholic church leaders have acceded to a Palace request for a truce to calm everyone, to pause, assess and pray, and avoid issuing imflamatory and incerdiary statements.

The truce is going to hold until the bishops come to a face-to-face dialogue with President Aquino, according to Fr. Melvin Castro, the executive secretary of the Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

But what Fr. Castro probably did not know or was no informed of, the proposed dialogue is not going to be exclusive between the bishops and the President.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte clarified this yesterday by saying that all religious groups should join the dialogue with President Aquino, who is also the chief executive of other Filipinos belonging to other religions. She said the Muslims also ” have a stand on the issue so we should listen to all stakeholders.”

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, however, said the Aquino Administration will not back down on its pro-choice stand on pending birth control legislation.

As Malacanang maintained its pro-choice stand, it told Catholics that as chief executive, the President is obligated to  attend to the needs of members of other religious groups, by giving contraceptives to couples who need them to limit the number of their children.

The Catholic Church with the largest number of adherents in Asia, has indicated that it will not stop lay groups who had earlier announced plans to hold protest actions over President Aquino’s pronouncement to carry out the distribution of artificial contraceptives which includes birth pills, condoms, sterelization and other barrier methods, spermicides, coitus interruptus or withdrawal method, etc.

As this developed, the Opposition is surprisingly silent, it not adamant, to actively participate in the birth control legislation debate that the church and state found themselves in collision course.

Is this what the opposition has been waiting for to carry out its return-to-power agenda? As the popular Filipino saying goes: “Libre lang ang mangarap.”

For a better understanding of church’s stand on artificial contraceptions, a quick look at church’s history reveals that Pope Paul VI issued in 1968 his famous ecncyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Human Life), reiterating the Church’s teaching that it is intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from being born.

The encyclical defines contraceptions as “any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act or sexual intercourse, or its accomplishment, or in the development of its consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.” This is what we call artificial contraceptives which as we mentioned earlier include sterelization, condoms, and other methods, spermicides, withdrawal method, birth pill, such methods.

The Church says that sexual intercourse, must not be abused deliberately frustating its natural end which is procreation. Cornelio R. de Guzman

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