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MY column this week would dwell on my analysis of the controversial Reproduction Bill now in the process for reconciliation of the House and Senate versions and finally for approval by the 15th Congress of the Philippines.

If passed by both chambers of the Philippine Congress, President Benigno Aquino III has signified his intention of signing the bill into law notwithstanding the Catholic Church’s threat to excommunicate him.

Catholic Church’s objection

The Catholic Church is opposed on any form of birth control except the rhythm method under the Reproduction Bill.

A columnist of another Fil-Am newspaper, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Willie F. Jose cited two papal pronouncements on the subject of the use of contraception, namely:

1. Pope Paul VI said: “Every conjugal act has to be open to the transmission of life.”

2. Pope John Paul’s statement on the subject: “Contraception judged objectively, is so profoundly illicit that it can never, for any reason, be justified.”

According to my professor at San Beda Catholic School, popes when speaking ex-Cathedra are infallible on faith and morals.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

According to Pope John Paul II, he approved the Catechism of the Catholic Church on June 25, 1992 by virtue of his Apostolic Authority as a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scriptures, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.

The Catechism states on Article 5 - The Fifth Commandment on abortion: Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

Direct abortion or abortion willed as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.

The Catholic Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.

However, the Catechism is silent on the subject; the use of contraception by Catholic couples.

Author’s comment

There are two major problems confronting President Aquino during his six-year tenure as president of the Philippines:

1. Overpopulation which breeds extreme poverty, crimes, drug abuse and famine.

2. Signing into law the Reproduction Bill if eventually approval by both chambers of the Congress of the Philippines and the possibility of excommunication by the Catholic Church by allowing the use of contraception by Catholic couples which is opposed by the Catholic Church.

The Catechism mentions only the threat of canonical excommunication for formal cooperation in an abortion and not the proposed law which allows the use of contraception by Catholic couples.

Query: Which is the greater evil — overpopulation and extreme poverty; or the use of contraception by Catholic couples to limit population growth?

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