Always a silver lining-A A +A
Monday, March 18, 2013
BACOLOD Bishop Navarra must have been one of the happy readers of yesterday's front page news in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. That was about the phenomenon recently noticed by priests all over the country of more and more young people going to confession for having used contraceptives, for aborting a fetus or for having engaged in pre-marital sex. The title of the article was also eye-catching: "Thanks to Edcel, the young now go to confession".
Congressman Edcel Lagman convincing the young people to go back to the confession box? That intriguing question grips you by the neck and forces you to read more.
According to Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP, It seems that after all the debates between the Church and the proponents of the RH Bill which was bannered for almost three years inside all national and local tri-media (radio, print and television), more and more of the younger generation have come to realize that using contraceptives is a sin, that abortion is a very grave sin and that pre-marital sex is against the laws of the Church; and more and more of them have been regularly going to confession and receiving absolution.
"The RH Law is a tragedy", says Fr. Castro, "but thank God it has become a means for people to go back to God." . . . Deep inside, people yearn to do what is right."
Fr. Castro additionally explained that not all priests had authority to grant absolution in abortion cases, because it is considered a "very grave sin", similar to physically attacking the Pope, or desecrating the consecrated host and wine. "Because of the gravity of the sin of abortion, only bishops can give absolution. What the bishops do is choose priests and give them the faculty to absolve this sin. It is very limited."
Giving an example, Fr. Castro then said he can be authorized to give ten such confessions. After 10 cases of abortion he must then inform the bishop. This way, the diocese can also monitor the extent of abortion cases occurring in the diocese.
Up to today, there are heated debates on whether or not the RH Law is pro-life or anti-life, with both sides not giving a quarter on the other. The debate and the disagreement have unfortunately also divided the Catholic Lay and even the priests themselves.
But as the saying goes, behind every dark cloud is always a silver lining. This phenomenon of young couples and of unmarried mothers going to confession is certainly one such silver lining. For that, I suppose Catholics can really thank Congressman Edcel Lagman.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 18, 2013.