RH issue shows confusion among Catholic faithful PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 October 2010 14:39

Like a chemical compound called reagent, the RH question exposes the range and scope of the confusion and disaffection among many Catholic faithful toward their Church, her doctrine and discipline. Let´s hope it will also give us an idea of the solution to be applied.

There was an explosion of views, many of them shooting from the hip, but a few also came up, from so-called theologians, with serious arguments that actually contained nothing more than sophistries.

The reckless comments are usually found in the media, with everyone, from editors and reporters to readers, giving their 2 cents worth. The more serious and dangerous ones are found in journals, in seminars and centers of higher learning.

Among the amusing arguments are the accusations that the Church wants to run the whole country, wants to interfere in government affairs, wants to destroy society by encouraging civil disobedience, etc.

We don´t have to spend much time refuting these arguments. They have a short shelf life, since they have no roots, or are like little rocks thrown at the Church, causing some  disturbance, but largely left where they fall with hardly anyone taking notice. Wild and gratuitous, they pop in and out anytime and just die under the sun or simply rot.

The more serious threats have to be taken with more caution. They usually come from the ranks of the clergy, a truly disturbing phenomenon. With PhD´s and STD´s, they like to present themselves as the true light in a world plunged in darkness or in a Church stuck in the past. But, ok, let´s always give them the benefit of the doubt.

They usually begin their arguments by introducing themselves as moderates, not hardliners, who try to hew a saner, more rational and compassionate position. With very subtle maneuverings, they try to make themselves the exclusive owners of St. Augustine´s maxim: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”

They point out to the public that their presentation is not merely anecdotal in shrill tones, but scientific in calm, sober tones, an obvious dig at those who convey the official teaching of the Church by ornamenting it with stories. The implication is that they are not fanatics, like those those who oppose RH.

But they miss out many things as they focus only on their bias of making the RH acceptable. They paint the RH Bill, for example, as a mixed bag, an assortment of good and bad elements that should not just be dismissed. In fact, it should be approved, glossing over the essential issues while sweetening its perceived bad elements.

Not only that, they now appear to be its most serious attorneys, defending it from any question or protest raised against it, openly putting themselves at the other side of the Bishops´ position. That´s loyalty for them.

They seem to be unaware of the global context in which this RH issue was born and developed—the ugly backroom geopolitics and commercial horsetrading done in its name. While they are clearly against abortion, at least, as of now, they are much at sea about contraception.

To them, contraception is not intrinsically evil, an echo of the liberals´ dissent on Humanae Vitae. Pope John Paul II reiterated the intrinsic evil of contraception in his Evangelium Vitae. How clever they are in glib talk, both cutting corners and straying into irrelevant nooks to make their point!

They make a strong appeal for the voice of personal conscience as the final arbiter, without much concern for its formation. Their favorite line is that in the end it´s just a question between the individual and God that matters. All the intervening authorities, the Church Magisterium in particular, are easily set aside.

They usually conclude their arguments by saying that we should not make laws that discriminate against the others who may take the opposite view of what the Church leaders teach. Yes, even in matters of life and morality, they preach that we ought to be open, in a blatant display of what is now known as the tyranny of relativism.

There´s no doubt that the Church authorities have to wage at least a comprehensive information campaign about the RH issue, and to sustain an ongoing formation first among the clergy and then the rest of the faithful.

Church leaders need to summon the help of all Church organs and facilities to pursue this plan. They have to weed out some bad elements in strategic locations in the Church structures, like the seminaries, parishes and some so-called Catholic schools.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 October 2010 14:49