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Fr. Anton Pascual

MANILA, June 18, 2013—As the scheduled date of the oral arguments on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) law comes to a close, a Catholic priest urged government leaders to trash the controversial measure despite its successful passage in the previous congress.

Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila and president of church-run Radio Veritas, has called on members of congress and Supreme Court justices to heed the call of the Catholic Church to crush the measure and promote family planning methods that comply with its moral teachings.

“We reach out to our decision-makers in government to already junk the RH law. It is not pro-Filipino, pro-life, and pro-God. It is against our culture as Filipinos, against family life, against everything we believe that is pro-God and pro-humanity,” he said.

“The RH measure destroys life, family, and marriage [thus] absolutely, we are promoting for its failure,” Pascual added.

He criticized supporters of the RH law, most especially public officials who lobbied for its passage, saying they lacked conviction to stand for what is morally acceptable and only depended on how the majority ruled on the matter.

“The problem with politicians is that they are always in favor of the majority. Whatever the majority supports, [they go for it],” Pascual said.

He chided the turncoatism practiced by political officials when they change principles and ideals in accordance to what can best serve their personal interests.

“Nowadays, politicians easily switch sides. The problem with them is they don’t have principles. They only depend on the rule of the majority which is not always right,” he said.

Pascual added that the passage of the RH law symbolizes the increasing secularism and relativism of human virtues that affect the moral ideals on life and love upheld by the church.

“Our values for human life are not anymore absolute but relative. We have to promote a culture of life—from womb to tomb—and overcome the culture of death. This means, absolute respect to every human being—from the first moment of conception up to the end of natural life on earth,” he said.

Responding to criticisms that the church should not intervene on state affairs, Pascual noted that confining the church to ancient teachings by virtue of the constitutional provision on the separation of the church and state is a “wrong notion” perceived by the public.

Citing the encyclical written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Deus Caritas Est, he said that the church serves as the conscience of a nation.

“The Church serves as conscience of the state. For the Spirit of truth to prevail, the reason must be enlightened by faith. This is where the Church enters,” he added.

As the church gears up for the upcoming RH oral arguments on July 9, Pascual noted the importance of prayer in seeking divine intervention to win their cause and to convince staunch supporters of the measure to resort to natural family planning and responsible parenthood.

“We are praying the outcome of the RH debate may favor life advocates and that it will be junked indefinitely,” he added. “And of course, we have concerned groups like Caritas Manila that are working extensively to promote natural family planning and responsible parenthood to urban poor families.” ( Jennifer M. Orillaza)