Family Planning in the Philippines

An interesting an different view from a column:

Church’s Fault?The above are arguments for a one-child or two-children family and against the Church’s advocacy of the natural family planning method. Why fault the Catholic Church?

The economists, in their paper, are asking the Church - to allow families to choose their preferred family planning method, consistent with the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that the final arbiter of moral decisions is one’s informed and responsible conscience.

The economists are correct in citing Vatican II. But are they correct in accusing the Church of not following it? The Church lays down the precept for family planning and explains the precepts. In the process, the Church compares the natural method and the artificial method, showing the immoral aspects of the latter.

While the Church teaches that what is immoral is sinful, She does not breathe fire onto the Catholics to compel them to follow the natural method alone. Teaching them so is trying to form in them “informed and responsible conscience.”

"…And, I think, the economists know their presumption as fallacious. Catholics don’t follow all their Church is telling about family planning methods. Many who disregard the natural method and advocate the artificial method attend Mass and receive the Holy Communion regularly with clear conscience. The Church does not excommunicate them.

If the government’s family planning program has not achieved the birth rate it wants – presumably, 2 percent or lower - is it the fault of the Church?

The economists should examine the government’s program since President Ferdinand E. Marcos decreed the 4-children family in early 1970s.

What’s Wrong?As a journalist, I had worked closely with Region XII Population Commission (Popcom), lending my paper as its information channel. The director was my co-professor at Notre Dame University. He was a prominent member of the Knights of Columbus. The Church did not excommunicate him. My paper, The Mindanao Cross, was a Diocesan paper advocating the natural method. The Church did not censor my Popcom news and articles…"

What the economists want is for the Catholic Church, as well as the other religious groups, to support the government’s family planing program. This is telling the Church to disregard her own “informed and responsible conscience.” Why ask the Church to save a self-destructing program?

The Church is being blamed for the failure of the government family planning program to curb birth rate to the desirable 2 percent or lower. The uncurbed population growth is being blamed for poverty in the country. So the Church is to be blamed for the poverty.

“…Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Pangasinan, in his reaction to the economists’ paper said:“It is incongruous to accuse the Church for the poverty of the country on account of population. People are wealth of the country. It is government mismanagement of the national economy that makes them poor. The Filipinos are poor, not on account of their number, but due to unabated graft and corruption.”

By “People are wealth of the country,” the Archbishop meant them to be resources that the government should harness. This the government has failed to do. Professor Roberto de Vera of the University of Asia and the Pacific expounded on this.

"… In his estimate, 78 percent to 90 percent of the heads of these poor large households did not even have high school diplomas. Lack of education is the main cause of poverty not the family size.

He categorically emphasized: “It is so easy to blame population for its poverty. But this accusation is flagrantly false. The scarcity of work is what makes them productive; the stagnancy of salaries is what disables them to spend more. The high cost of basic necessities is what makes them hungry.”

.mindanews.com/2004/12/03vws-diaz.html

[quote=HagiaSophia]The economists, in their paper, are asking the Church - to allow families to choose their preferred family planning method, consistent with the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that the final arbiter of moral decisions is one’s informed and responsible conscience.
[/quote]

Emphasis added.

An informed, responsible conscience cannot justify artificial birth control. The argument is self-defeating.

– Mark L. Chance.

[quote=mlchance]Emphasis added.

An informed, responsible conscience cannot justify artificial birth control. The argument is self-defeating.

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

I thought the coulumn of interest because this man just repeated what Kerry claimed and I wondered what has happened to catechesis on some places…

[quote=HagiaSophia]I thought the coulumn of interest because this man just repeated what Kerry claimed and I wondered what has happened to catechesis on some places…
[/quote]

My experience as a teacher in the same Catholic school for the past nine years is this: Catechesis is largely dead, both among children and their parents.

– Mark L. Chance.

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