That Team Patay saga-A A +A
Monday, March 4, 2013
THEY simply failed to understand why. And so, when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod plastered the facade of the Cathedral with its "Team Buhay" and "Team Patay" streamer, many lawmakers reacted with expressions of shock and dismay.
I particularly sympathize with Congresswoman Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel. For such a long time, she had been a staunch advocate of Church views and programs: she is herself a religious person, and it is easy to feel her consternation at being included in Team Patay just because she ratified the Reproductive Health Law.
Maybe, it's because they are law-makers that they cannot understand the Church's opposition to the RH Law. The Riza Hontiveros that I know is as pro-life as they come, but like many of her colleagues in the House of Representatives, she was apparently lulled into thinking that because the law contained provisions that prohibit killing a life already conceived, and ban artificial means that will prevent it from completing its life journey, then that law cannot be anti-life.
But the Church views the RH Law from a different plane. The letter of Bishop Vicente Navarra that was read in all masses yesterday explained from what vantage point the Roman Catholic Church viewed it. While acknowledging that the law prohibits abortifacients, the Bishop pointed out that it does not criminalize or punish the act of a pregnant woman who will use them. The law may therefore sound pro-life in legalese, but it is anti-life morally. It does nothing to punish anti-life activities.
And for the Church, the RH Law is only the start of a series of legislation that puts the morality of Philippine Society in grave peril. I remember years earlier when the proposal for the RH Bill was just being floated about, the Roman Catholic Bishops were already predicting that once the RH Law is passed, the Divorce Law and a Same-sex Marriage Law will not be far behind. Recent news coming out from the House of Representatives are proving them right.
I still believe Congresswoman Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel does not qualify as an "anti-life" advocate. Unfortunately, because she voted for the RH Law, it does not remove her from Team Patay either.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 04, 2013.