I recently had a short exchange of messages with Prof. Randy David, a regular columnist of the Inquirer. I wish to share the ideas with you.
Dear Prof. David,
I liked your sober and balanced treatment of this delicate question about Church-State relations as regards the passage of the RH Bill into law.
My personal opinion about this issue is this: the Church’s aim is to proclaim and defend the moral truth. It does not seek to impose it on anyone. The Church proposes and defends. People are free to accept it or not.
The moral truth at stake in the RH Bill is the evil of contraception. As of now, the only institution in the world that proclaims this moral truth is the Catholic Church. As you know, it is not a very popular truth.
But as history teaches us, moral evil does not have the last word. More and more nations that have practiced contraception are regretting it: Japan, China, Singapore, France,… the list keeps getting longer.
In many developed countries it is only the faithful Catholics (and the Muslims) who are having children. It’s like a process of “natural selection” where those who practice contraception make themselves extinct.
People learn the hard way. When Leo XIII proclaimed the evil of communism, the world laughed at him and dismissed him as a senile Pope. He was in his 90s. The world said that if the Pope spoke about angels, there’s a chance the world might believe. But speak about economics? In 1917 Russia had to impose communism by force contrary to the predictions of Marx who said things will develop naturally. But after 70 years, some three generations, the world started toppling down the Berlin wall and the statues of Marx and Lenin. The Pope was right after all.
In three generations our great grand children might realize the inanity of the RH Law. They might be wiser than us by that time.
So what direction will the Church take? As always: teach and defend the moral truth.
This was his reply:
Dear Fr Magsino,
Thank you for your rejoinder to my last column. You’ve put it well, and I can’t agree with you more: “So what direction will the Church take? As always: teach and defend the moral truth.”
The issue however is how, by what means? It would be disastrous for the Church to wade in political waters.
And I wrote to him:
You’re very right. The Church should not enter into and interfere in politics. Her only means are preaching, teaching and celebrating the sacraments.
I think the best model for this modus operandi is Blessed John Paul II. He contributed much to toppling down the communist regime in Poland and in Eastern Europe by tirelessly preaching about moral truth, human dignity, and freedom. He also denounced the lies propagated by the communists. He let the lay faithful do their job.
One thing the debates about the RH Bill clearly showed is ignorance about the moral truths at stake. Mea culpa. We the shepherds in the Church have not done our job.