How’s that for an all caps title?
As of this writing, my church, specifically, the bishops of the Catholic church in the Philippines are under fire. They took a stand against a congress proposed bill number 5403 called “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008” of the RH bill. The church has expressed it’s position on this bill ever since it was proposed.
But now, left and right, my church get all the punches. Proponents and supporters of the bill have harassed the bishops. Since other denominations have taken the other side of the fence, the Catholic church seems to be on its own. If you are a catholic supporting the stand of the church, you may be called idiot, hardcore, or being close-minded. T-shirt designs which are meant to put down the bishops flooded the internet.
When Raissa Laurel expressed her faith after being subjected to DLSU bombing, Filipinos made a quick salute. There is nothing wrong with that, I, personally is inspired by Ms. Laurel. However, when the bishops express their faith together with their members against the RH bill, the opposite happens.
I love my church. For when my church expresses it’s faith, beautiful things happen. Faith in christian education by providing the best possible education in the country (DLSU, ADMU, San Beda, St. Paul, and St. Scho among others). Faith in the sacredness of democratic elections by guarding the votes (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting or the PPCRV). Faith in action by feeding the poor, being a refuge for the homeless, caring for the old, housing the abused women and street children, and enabling the incapable (Caritas Manila, Anawim and CFC-Gawad Kalinga among others). Best and brightest schools, numerous hospitals in far flung areas, bringing health care through missions and free medical clinics, rescuing the abused, filling the stomach of the helpless, responding quickly during calamities – these are places and events where you will find my church expressing it’s faith.
When I was younger, my old folks used to tell me to go home when the sun sets. I did not understand this for many of my playmates stayed on the streets after the street lights bring their flare. I questioned their approach on this. At some point, I inquired why I have to come home while other kids enjoyed their time under the moon. After ten or more years, I saw why. Those kids who stayed on in the dark street succumbed to drugs, to early marriages and to crime while on the other hand, my siblings and I completed our education.
Today, people may not understand my church’s take on the RH bill. Hopefully, years from now will be different.