Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is the Catholic Church Slowly Destroying the Philippines?

The following is's current editorial printed in its entirety. I thought this is so important that I would just have you read it for yourself without any comment from yours truly. However, I would like your reaction, please:

Last Wednesday (9/17/2009) Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo issued a veiled warning to presidential candidate Sen. Noynoy Aquino indicating that the senator's support of the Reproductive Health Bill which he co-authored in theCotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo on a bike tour with other prelates. Inset - Archbishop Quevedo's palatial residence in Cotabato City. Philippine Senate could be detrimental to his presidential aspirations. Aquino, who currently leads the pack of presidential contenders is a strong supporter of sensible population control for his overpopulated Philippines.

Bishop Bagaforo, who goes bike touring around parts of the country decked-out in designer eyewear is emblematic of the Bishops, Archbishops, and much of the Philippine Catholic Church hierarchy who seem totally disconnected with the present plight of the nation. These old men of the cloth live lives of relative luxury. They have their assistants and secretaries, eat at least three good meals a day, and regularly hobnob with the rich and powerful. They have as much in common with their poorer parishioners as say a resident of exclusive Forbes Park has with the scavengers and garbage collectors of Smokey Mountain.

The Philippines today is struggling to move forward, but for every step forward it takes—be it in improved farming methods, or conserving its natural resources, or controlling and recycling waste—it is pushed two or three steps backwards by the ever increasing demands of its exploding population. Many Westerners who arrive in Manila are immediately struck by the mass of humanity that they see in the streets. And the worst part is government statistics show that the segments that are increasing the fastest are the poorest segments of Philippine society.

China which has a strict one-child policy in most of its provinces, and until recently an avowed atheistic country, is prospering and may soon eclipse the United States and Europe as the wealthiest and most advanced country in the world. The Philippines on the other hand a deeply religious country, practicing all sorts of esoteric rituals is stuck in a rut and is falling further and further behind even its Asian neighbors.

Joseph Estrada waves to supporters during his trial where he was found guilty of plunderAnother question many are asking is: if the Catholic Church is going after Noynoy Aquino for his support of the Reproductive Health Bill, why has it remained silent about former president—and possible presidential candidate—Joseph Estrada's philandering ways and his many women? Aren't those acts also a blatant violation of one of the Ten Commandments? Does this double standard exist because the Church privately condones such acts for the high and mighty be they inside or outside the Church?

It is high time that Filipinos told their bishops and archbishops to simply concentrate on performing their Confirmations and singing their Gregorian chants and leave politics to those who are actually answerable to their constituents and not to God. Otherwise, the Philippines might soon follow in the footsteps of the United States where a recent American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), showed a significant increase in the number of people who said they do not belong to any organized religion at all.


  1. I feel strongly FOR the RH Bill. I suspect that a lot of those who oppose it haven't even bothered to read it. It does not preclude the right of Catholics to practice their faith and to make choices consonant to their beliefs.

    This is crucial issue for Noynoy. It is not the one factor to swing my vote, but if he staunchly defends his view in this RH, and does not buckle to Catholic hierarchy pressure, then he gets my attention and my respect.

  2. I got this comment from Facebook,
    "They're afraid of the Muslims -- that the Muslims would take over the world by virtue of their overwhelming numbers. This is already happening in Europe. That is why the RCC doesn't like controlling Catholic population growth."

  3. What specifically is in the Reproductive Health Bill? What I have noticed is that "Reproductive Health" is often code word for Abortion On Demand. If such is the case, I would find it completely understandable for Filipinos to oppose such a bill, though I find the leaders of the RCC in the Philippines to have a large percentage who will one day hear the words, "Depart from Me, you cursed, for I never knew you".

  4. Yes, with regards to population, the Catholic church is causing more problems than solving it. But in other aspects of Filipino life, Catholics are in fact helpful to the Filipinos.

  5. According to Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, "The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government."

    Abortion will never be legal in the Philippines, at least not in the next hundred years.

    However, estimates on illegal abortions performed in the Philippines run as high as 400,000 annually. This is not to advocate the legalization of abortion. Abortion should never be allowed in this country. The State, though, has the moral obligation to inform the public that pregnancy can be prevented through the use of artificial birth control methods.

  6. I would agree that many Filipino Catholics are helpful. Take Gawad Kalinga, for example. But I observe that for the most part, a great majority of Filipino Catholics, particularly among the poor, are ignorant of the tenets of their faith. As a result, the value system of Jesus Christ is never applied to day-to-day living. Thus, corruption in every aspect of public life is obvious and obviously tolerated to the detriment of our national dignity.