In wake of FrankenPope’s remarks, Filipino bishops call for a ‘re-evaluation’ of contraception in some cases

In wake of FrankenPope’s remarks, Filipino bishops call for a ‘re-evaluation’ of contraception in some cases

[PinoyChurch goes further down the slippery slope of the culture of death]

Pete Baklinski

MANILA, Philippines, February 24, 2016 ( ) — After years of heroically opposing a reproductive health bill in their country that now provides major government funding for contraceptives, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has done a surprising turnabout by throwing its support behind Pope Francis’ controversial off-the-cuff suggestion that there may be circumstances in which married couples can use contraception.

Speaking about the Pope’s remarks last week onboard the papal plane where he stated that “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil,” CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas commented in a statement titled “Truth with Love and Mercy”:

He (the Pope) however usefully called attention to two important moral precepts: First, there may be circumstances that invite a re-evaluation of the judgment on artificial means of contraception; second, the prodding of conscience should always be heeded, as long as every effort is made to form conscience properly.
But Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews that the Church’s teaching on the evil of contraception is “unchangeable.”

“As the Brazilian bishops recently affirmed in addressing the threat posed by the Zika virus, the actual Church teaching on the matter of couples using contraception is unequivocal: The use of contraceptive methods by married couples to prevent pregnancy is always morally illicit,” he said.

Pointing to the doctrinal teaching against contraception as laid down in the papal encyclicals Casti Connubii (by Pope Pius XI in 1930) and Humanae Vitae (by Pope Paul VI in 1968), Fr. Boquet said that “doctrinal truths cannot be changed by a statement made in a press release or interview.”

The following quotes from each encyclical are especially pertinent:

Casti Connubi 54: “But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

Humanae Vitae 14: “Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.”

Archbishop Villegas noted how the Pope raised the view during the plane interview that the “evil of contraception was not of the same magnitude as the evil of abortion,” and added, “Clearly, this was sound moral reasoning.”

But Father Boquet said the distinction is irrelevant in light of the above Church teachings against the use of contraception.

“In light of these doctrinal teachings, it is difficult to understand the reference to the use of contraception as ‘a lesser evil,’ as compared with abortion. This may be the case, but it is morally irrelevant, since the same teachings that engage this question reaffirm that an evil may never be chosen that a good might come from it,” he said.

In 2012 while opposing a “reproductive health” bill (House Bill 4244) that, among other things, mandated sex education in schools and government-subsidized contraceptives under government health insurance, Archbishop Villegas, at that time, stated, “We are battling against contraception because we know it can harm your soul. Believe me. Contraception harms your soul. Contraception is corruption.”

Pro-life groups vigorously opposed the bill, which passed in December 2012, for forcing taxpayers to fund contraception and abortifacients, saying that behind the bill was a not-so-hidden population control agenda.

In April 2014, the country’s Supreme Court upheld the reproductive health law, but struck down provisions of the bill that would have allowed minors to access contraception without parental consent, forced religious health providers to tell patients about contraceptive options, and penalized them for refusing to provide such information. The Court, however, upheld portions of the bill that mandated government-sanctioned sex-ed and fully subsidized contraceptive programs.

Instead of outright denouncing the ruling, Archbishop Villegas praised it for strengthening parental rights and religious freedom, and encouraged his brother bishops to “move on from being an RH-law-reactionary-group to a truly Spirit empowered disciples of the Gospel of life and love.”

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3 comments on “In wake of FrankenPope’s remarks, Filipino bishops call for a ‘re-evaluation’ of contraception in some cases

  1. Progressive progress progresses. I.e., this has been the plan all along.

    … the Pope raised the view during the plane interview that the “evil of contraception was not of the same magnitude as the evil of abortion,”

    And Bergoglio is outpacing both. There is a millstone awaiting him for this.

  2. Will even one cardinal speak out against Bergoglio’s latest most heinous crime?

  3. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! The comments by Pope Francis on contraception and the lack of public criticism by any Cardinals of this slippery slope toward Situation Ethics…
    Analyze using your usual superior Vulcan logic!

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. Perhaps, as in the earlier Rubbergate controversy in papal hermeneutics, an appeal to Occam’s Razor will clarify Pope Bergoglio’s recent comments…

    Captain Kirk: Rubbergate?

    Spock: When Pope Benedict seemed to approve the use of condoms in certain situations and was quoted widely on that subject by the media.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: The Pope was speaking hypothetically in that situation.

    Professor Jürgen Habermas: I speak hypothetically sometimes.

    Father Sarducci, S.J.: That happens sometimes. Teilhard de Chardin used to speak hypothetically quite a bit. As did Karl Rahner, of course.

    Professor Sartre: The hypothetical clause comes up quite a bit in existential phenomenology. One thinks of Kierkegaard, for instance.

    Captain Kirk: But how does Occam’s Razor clarify the controversy, Mister Spock?

    Spock: As you may recall, Captain, Occam’s razor is the logical principle in epistemology and scientific method for seeking the simplest solution – lex parsimoniae, the ‘law of parsimony’ in Latin, a logical and rational “problem-solving principle” formulated by the medieval 14th-century English Franciscan scholastic philosopher and theologian. William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347).

    If I may consult the ship’s computer for a moment…
    “The oldest and very clear equivalent of Occam’s razor is the one of Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans two millennia before Occam, as Proclus very clearly describes. The Pythagoreans have the principle that we have to make the simplest suppositions as Pythagoras ordered them to do when they describe what is necessary to describe: “τῶν μὲν Πυθαγορείων … παρακέλευσμα ἦν …… δι’ ἐλαχίστων καὶ ἁπλουστάτων ὑποθέσεων ἐπειδὴ δὲ καὶ τοῖς κλεινοῖς Πυθαγορείοις” και “δεῖν γὰρ ἐπ’ ἐκείνων καὶ αὐτὸν παρακελεύεσθαι τὸν Πυθαγόραν ζητεῖν ἐξ ἐλαχίστων καὶ ἁπλουστάτων ὑποθέσεων δεικνύναι τὰ ζητούμενα·” The 13th-century scholastic philosopher Robert Grosseteste, in his Commentary on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics Books (Commentarius in Posteriorum Analyticorum Libros) (c. 1217–1220), declares: “That is better and more valuable which requires fewer, other circumstances being equal… For if one thing were demonstrated from many and another thing from fewer equally known premises, clearly that is better which is from fewer because it makes us know quickly, just as a universal demonstration is better than particular because it produces knowledge from fewer premises. Similarly in natural science, in moral science, and in metaphysics the best is that which needs no premises and the better that which needs the fewer, other circumstances being equal.”

    Or in the Latin of 17th-century Irish Franciscan scholastic philosopher and theologian John Punch: entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate (entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity). In simplest terms the principle may be summarized in the following manner: “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

    Reverend Neuhaus: Now that that is cleared up, I wonder if we could discuss the Naked Public Square in modernity and Professor Charles Taylor’s secularization theories in light of the crisis of values which follows from disenchantment in the sense in which Max Weber explained when…

    Bob Hope: This is the good part, Bing!

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, we’re covering some of this in the new course on Lonergan at Fordham…

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