CBCP FAQ 1-5

1) What is reproductive health? The UN defines reproductive health as the state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. It states that people have the right to a “satisfying and safe sex life.” The conjugal union is natural and proper in marriage, but in contrast, reproductive health disposes all people, including children and adolescents, to the sexual act and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to reproduce, provided that these are not against the law. (UN Cairo Conference, Program of Action).

Following this definition, if having a satisfying sex life results in an unwanted pregnancy, the mental anguish this causes will negatively affect the person’s mental and social well-being unless one has access to contraception and abortion. This is the convoluted reasoning behind UN agencies’ insistence that reproductive health necessarily presupposes access to contraception and abortion.

Furthermore, the Reproductive Health bill (House Bill 5043), which carries the same definition of reproductive health, will penalize with one to six months imprisonment, and/or 10-50 thousand pesos fine, parents who for example prevent their grade school and high school children from using contraceptives, or from having satisfying and safe sex. This item, along with the fact that certain contraceptives actually cause the abortion of 5-day old babies, is often ignored in supposedly unbiased and scientific surveys on the acceptability of the Reproductive Health bill. All these are in the name of reproductive health and rights. What about the rights of parents? And the rights of the unborn?

The answer to the first question is always the most important one because its the one that should address that basic premises of any discussion. It feeds the discussion with rudimentary whats and whos that need to be satisfied in order for anything to go forward. The CBCP Faq however fails at this by misrepresenting the stand of its opponent in the most obvious way in that the provisions they are opposing no longer exist. This is a question that has already been dealt with a year before at the  very latest. The arguments raised here are against RH Bill 5043, the current form of the RH Bill (the one everyone’s talking about) is RH Bill 4422. 5043 was four versions old a year ago and thus, most if not all of the provisions opposed in this particular (and probably most important) question were already deleted. No one for example will be forced to use contraceptives, and no one will definitely be imprisoned or fined if they decide not to let fifth graders use condoms. In fact, I’m not sure even if 5043 itself ever allowed such vivid scenarios. The CBCP is aware of this fact and even have a different set of faq’s for 4422. I have no idea therefore, why this erroneous answer, with the capacity to greatly misinform, is still kept up in the main FAQ.

2) What is the difference between procreation and reproduction? Reproduction is the process by which living things replicate, to assure the continuity of their species. It is necessary for the species, but not for the individual. Reproduction, as in the case of plants and animals, does not require any bond between persons. On the other hand, procreation is the proper term for human generation as it refers to a loving act between spouses which prepares for a possible creation by God of a new person. Procreation points to a collaboration of parents with God as the ultimate source of this new life. None of these characteristics of human procreation may be found in plant and animal reproduction. The conjugal act is like a language with two meanings: the unitive and the procreative. Through their union in the conjugal act, a man and a woman give themselves totally to each other in and through their bodies. They are telling each other: “I give myself totally to you, and I love and accept you totally; we are one flesh.” That is the unitive meaning. Furthermore, the structures and functions of the male and female reproductive systems are such that when a sexual act is performed, there is a possibility of new life to be formed. This gives a procreative meaning to the sexual union. Thus, to accept each other totally includes saying, “since I love and accept you totally as you are, including your bodily functions, I also totally accept the possibility of our love bearing fruit, the gift of a new child.” Thus, the unitive and the procreative meanings of the sexual act cannot be separated from each other. Textbooks consistently using the term “reproduction” instead of “procreation,” even if intended for Catholic schools, should be thoroughly checked for the contraceptive mentality. They may confuse the students on the Church’s clear teaching on family and life. Presenting the views of dissenting theologians as being on equal authority with Church documents would bring about such confusion.

This is an outright lie. No dictionary, encyclopedia or internet translator would ever differentiate the definitions of reproduction and procreation to such a vast degree that the two seem to be on completely different levels. Reproduction is procreation, they mean the same thing. The sexual act does not require any kind of bond or supernatural intervention in creating life for it to be called procreation. Likewise there is no difference between the siring of animals and humans on any level.

This is another fallacy that misdirects all later arguments.

Words are a tricky thing. They have different meanings for different people such that sometimes a single word can have a dozen varying meanings, and one meaning can have a dozen varying words to express it. Which is why we have definitions to  nail down meanings as firmly as we can to avoid as much as confusions as possible. However, due to the wisdom that we are of limited knowledge we grant ourselves some leeway in the defining of words so that we can change certain definitions if and when new knowledge arises that conflict or challenge our previous definitions of a concept.

For example the original definition of the word ape in 1828 http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/ape is drastically different from the modern definition because of the new information we now possess brought forth by study and research http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape. This does not occur in the case of reproduction and procreation. No new knowledge ever arose that would suffice the differentiation of definition of the words reproduction and procreation. They still mean the same thing. What this FAQ is perpetrating is a complete invention that is not only wrong but completely malicious. In the way that they have twisted the definition of a term crucial to the discussion in order to forward their agenda by resorting to a fallacious and unnecessary appeal to emotion.

3) Why is contraception morally wrong? Contraception is any action taken before, during or after the conjugal act which is aimed at impeding the process or the possible fruit of conception. In contraception, it is like the spouses telling each other, “I love you as long as we do not give birth.” In short, contraception makes the conjugal act a lie. It expresses not a total love, but rather a merely conditional or partial love. Contraception separates the unitive and procreative aspects of the conjugal act. Since many contraceptives have also been shown by medical science to have various ill effects, their use could signify further contradictions and lies. It endangers then the physical well-being of the wife as well as the spiritual health of the marriage.

Speaking of partial and conditional love, isn’t it exactly the same as promising someone eternal paradise on the condition that they dedicate their lives in worshipping him and damn them to eternal hell fire with everyone else who won’t?  

4) Why are natural methods of birth control not contraception? The natural methods simply enable the wife to ascertain when she is fertile and when she is infertile. It is scientific information placed at the service of either a procreative decision or a non-procreative decision by the spouses. In this case couples do not do anything to prevent the normal consequences of the marital act from taking place. Rather, they make use of the wife’s God-given cycle in their decision whether to have another child or not for the time being.

This question tandems with #3. After reading the answer the question then remains unanswered. What makes the calendar method different from contraception? All the elements that the CBCP are rallying against in question number 3 are still present here in number 4. The conscious decision whether or not a couple wants to have a child suddenly doesn’t mean “I love you as long as we do not give birth”. This is what’s called a blatant double standard.

5) In defending family and life, do we Catholics not impose our beliefs on others and violate the principles of tolerance and dialogue? Many Protestants, believers of other religions, and even non-believers share our belief in the dignity and value of human life. Tolerance means respect for the right of other persons to profess a different opinion and belief. However, tolerance cannot be understood as believing that other peoples’ points of view are equally good as one’s own, since this would blur the lines between good and evil and renounce the judgment of a sound and well-informed conscience. In fact, publicly proclaiming one’s own beliefs is a service for dialogue, because through this way others can know exactly what and how one thinks. One offers one’s thoughts for reflection to others while respecting their beliefs, but without assuming that all beliefs are equally valid*. Attempts to enact legislation promoting anti-family programs receive huge financial assistance and provide alluring incentives to persuade our politicians to commit themselves to their advocacy. Foreign-funded lobby groups have been operating for more than a decade to openly advocate for the enactment of population control laws, as well as abortion-friendly laws in pursuit of the UN Cairo Conference objective of universal abortion rights. It makes one wonder why countries with below replacement fertility rates, desperate for babies and spending huge sums of money to encourage their own citizens to bear more children, contradict themselves by spending huge sums of money to suppress our population growth. All these are consistent with Henry Kissinger’s 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200 entitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interest” which identified the increase in world population as inimical to the interest of West. This document has been coming out in recent public debates on reproductive health policies, and is available on the internet. Do not reproductive health advocates bow down to their impositions? Is it not more correct to say that they are the ones imposing their policies on our country?

It is true that while freedom of speech allows everyone to have ideas and the right to voice them out and be heard it is also true that there are certain opinions that have less value than others. For example the opinion that the Earth is flat has no validity against the opinion that the Earth is an oblate spheroid (Ignoring the fact that a round earth is not an opinion. This example was chosen because there is a small section of people who still hold to a Flat Earth, as it is so ludicrous it is therefore the best contraction to demonstrate the point). I agree with the CBCP on this point however disagree on their assumption of what qualifies one opinion to be greater than another. The Catholic Church (as well as other religions) state quite clearly that not all opinions are valid ones and basically make the differentiation that whatever contradicts their opinion is the invalid one as it blurs the line between good and evil. How convenient then that they have tasked themselves to referee which is good and which is evil.

The way any normal person should weigh the validity of opinions is through evidence. Going back to the example on the opinions of flat-earth and spherical earth. Both are supported somewhat by evidence. Flat-earth is supported by perception evidence while Spherical-Earth is supported by astronomy, physics and engineering. Just as hard science out weighs observational perception so too should positions whose claims are supported by the best evidence hold greater value than the one that merely holds on to simple basal assertion of authority in governing right and wrong.

All of this ofcourse go off course at a lenghty discussion about foreign pressure to pass somethin like the RH Bill because doing so imposes on our political policies. Funny, since most if the policies adapted by the CBCP are fashioned after orders from the Vatican, but all this is beside the point and is irrelevant.

The only thing to remember is no, your not intolerant for voicing your opinion or belief regarding family or life (however, please refrain from doing so if the person you’re talking has made it clear that he doesn’t want to hear it) but, if you expect anyone else to respect or even adopt that view you need something more substantial than God said so to back it up.


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