Still there's hope with Filipino Politicians, let not a letter stop their excommunication unless they uphold the Church' Moral Teachings.
Philippines senator asks bishops not to excommunicate her due to contraceptive bill conflict
Philippines, EWTN News - Responding to reports that excommunication is a possibility in a conflict over the Philippines’ “reproductive health” bill, one of the country’s senators has written to the Catholic Church asking that she not be excommunicated. Her letter also repeats a common dissenting interpretation of the 1968 papal encyclical which reiterated Christian opposition to contraception.
In a Friday letter to Bishop Nereo Odchimar, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago defended the proposed legislation as a way to “liberate the poor from social, political, and economic oppression.
"If I were to be excommunicated, I would be expelled from the Church, more particularly from the Eucharist. I would thus be placed in the same category as those guilty of so-called serious sins, such as apostasy, murder, heresy, and adultery. I plead that I am not guilty of mortal sin,” her letter continued, according to ABS-CBN News.
Citing Church teaching that mortal sin is “a fundamental rejection of God and a reorientation of one’s whole life away from all that is good and just,” Sen. Defensor-Santiago described herself as “a strong advocate of social justice, particularly the anti-corruption crusade.”
The senator said she had been taught to implement “liberation theology,” which in her view means that believers achieve salvation by liberating the poor from oppression.
“This is what I am trying to do with my bill,” she added.
She stated “respectfully” that the penalty of excommunication for bill supporters would be “too extreme and disproportionate” and will raise constitutional issues about the church-state relationship.
The senator also challenged Catholic teaching on contraception reiterated in Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical “Humane Vitae.”
“I am humbly but morally convinced that the arguments for contraception are superior,” she said.
Her letter repeated many common objections of those who dissent from “Humanae Vitae.” She cited disagreement on the commission which advised Pope Paul VI and claimed opponents of the Philippines bill “fail to recognize the evolutionary character of Church teaching.” She also said that natural law theory is “already obsolete.”
Defensor-Santiago also cited the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom, which says no one should be forced to act “in a manner contrary to one’s conscience” or should be restrained from acting in accord with one’s conscience.
“So please do not excommunicate President Aquino, myself, and those similarly situated,” her letter to Bishop Odchimar concluded. “Thank you very much.”
The “reproductive health” bill would require sex education in public primary and secondary schools and would also necessitate that public hospitals stock contraceptives. One of its goals is population control.
Catholic prelates involved in the debate have noted that some contraceptives can have abortion-causing effects.
Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Commission on Family and Life, has charged that the U.S. government is involved in promoting the bill.
He said the U.S. and other international organizations are engaged in a “colonization of morality” and are “imposing their morals on us, disrespecting our own principles and morality.”