[Editorial article of The Varsitarian, the official school paper of University of Santo Tomas (UST)]
Really, my immediate response to this is “Oh, my God.”
As an Ateneo alumnus, this is really offensive, even infuriating. Of course, the Ateneo (and La Salle, for that matter) is an educational institution, so it is just natural if two sides of RH are presented, discussed, and respected within its bounds. The school’s official stand is anti-RH, but it does not reprimand those who are for the Bill. In the theology classes I’ve taken, the teachers always present to us the official stand of the Church on certain issues, then presents the counter-argument to the issue, and it’s ultimately up to us which stand do we take. Respecting different beliefs and stands on an issue does not make one less of a Catholic. And I believe Catholic education does not involve brainwashing, just to have a singular facade.
As a Catholic, this is embarrassing. This is why Catholicism is very much prone to lambasting, mockery and criticism from non-Catholics, non-Christians, and atheists. The Catholic Church is not about being close-minded and to-the-letter. Maybe it’s the case here in the Philippines, but the Vatican had long ago became attuned to the changing times, an illustration would be its proclamation for inter-religious dialogue, and the one for the different Christian denominations. Of course, the Vatican upholds the sanctity of the potential and actual life, but it also supports social theology/liberation theology, which is about God being with the marginalized and inspiring everyone to uphold the good of these people. Again, I personally believe supporting RH Bill does not make one less of a Catholic.
They say the natural law. Yes, ecologically speaking, humans are naturally k-strategists, meaning we reproduce minimally, focusing on the quality of our offspring rather than the quantity. Other k-strategists include bears and orangutans, which usually have two offspring (I stand corrected). So to have five, seven, and more children is quite unnatural, in my humble opinion, especially if the parents cannot handle it financially, emotionally and nutritionally. Which is addressed by the RH, through education and maternal health care. Contraceptives are only part of the option, not to be forced into the couples.
They say intellectual pretenders and interlopers. Well, don’t you think these pro-RH professors consulted first theology, biology, medicine, political science, and economics experts before issuing an official statement? They’re not degree holders for nothing!
There’s more I want to vent, but I’ll just end with this: the Varsitarian editorial is fallacious, irresponsible and tabloid. Whatever happened to Philippine journalism?