On the whole CBCP announcement regarding the RH bill and communion

So there’s this “announcement” making the rounds with the gist being this.

…we would like to advise parishioners who promote or support the RH Bill NOT (repeat NOT) to receive Holy Communion until they go to Sacramental Confession and renounce the RH Bill.

I was just supposed to comment on it in FB, but for some reason I couldn’t post a comment to my friends that are posting this, nor can I comment on my own re-post (and I have to deal with the damned character limit of FB) so I thought I’d just blog about it.

Here’s the text in full:


In faithfulness to the call of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Parish Pastoral Council of Sanctuario de San Jose would like to implore all parishioners to reject the RH Bill recently approved by the Lower House on the grounds it is not only unconstitutional and ineffective but immoral and evil.

In this connection, we would like to advise parishioners who promote or support the RH Bill NOT (repeat NOT) to receive Holy Communion until they go to Sacramental Confession and renounce the RH Bill. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of all Sacraments where Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Our Lord and Savior is present in his true body and blood, his true humanity and divinity. The Church forbids receiving Holy Communion if we are not in a state of grace, meaning we have not committed a mortal sin. Because the RH Bill is inherently immoral and evil, recommending, supporting, defending, promoting and practicing its provisions and tenets constitute a mortal sin against many of the 10 commandments.

While we realize this admonition may be received with some controversy, we wish to clarify this is not a condemnation of sinners, but a condemnation of sins and a call to the sacrament of reconciliation.

Disobedience to the Pope, represented by our Cardinals, Bishops and Priests, is disobedience to God. If you are uncertain about the reasons for why the Church opposes the RH Bill, we implore you to attend talks organized by your parish, read and study the bill, the 1987 Constitution where we implore the aid of our almighty God and commit to protect the sanctity of life, Humana Vitae, the 1968 Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, the Bible and other good books we will make available for sale outside the church. The duty and responsibility for educating our children lies not in the school but in the home, which is the first school, so it is incumbent upon parents to be well-informed so they can form their own children.

The Parish Pastoral Council of Sanctuario de San Jose stands one and united with our local Bishops and Cardinals, with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and our Lord Jesus Christ in this fight against evil, and we implore the aid of God the Holy Spirit in guiding us as we fulfill the will of God. Thank you.

I obviously need not point out the “problem” – I think any sane individual can spot it a mile away. Honestly, I’m actually impressed that the Church grew some balls and made such a clear-cut claim… at least there’s no ambiguity they can hide behind if it backfires – and for that I salute them. All the same, they re-enforce my belief that they are not to be taken seriously.

Anyways, as I was supposed to post in FB, here’s how I see it:

Unfortunate as it is, the sad reality is that, if true, Church is well within its rights to do this. It may be unreasonable, but when has Religion ever been reasonable, right?

As much as I hate how the Church tries to meddle with government directly, I did mention in the past that I find it acceptable for the Church to “push its agenda,” whatever it may be, inside its walls (as in literally, during masses, etc.) – as those “times of worship” are justifiably the Church’s exclusive domain.

So with that in mind, how can I possibly be “angered” when I don’t see any “foul” beyond what the Church already has been doing since it began (i.e. telling people how one should live their life). The only difference I see is that this time, the pro-RH bill people don’t want to be penalized for believing the contrary. Again, it’s sad and unfortunate, and unreasonable even… but I don’t think anyone should be angry about it.

Case in point: if I switched this issue to that of say, sex or polygamy – I can guarantee the hypocrisy will be pretty evident. People will probably have no problem condemning such behavior and will not contest putting a penalty for those who believe otherwise – even if there are people like us who disagree with the “popular opinion.”

But thankfully, I was never a person who needed Religion’s “approval” to do the things I choose to do or the “principles” I choose to believe in or uphold – so maybe it’s just easier for me to tune out. I don’t go to mass, and I can’t even remember the last time I had communion.

I do sympathize, however, with the people affected by this – as they are now put in such a moral dilemma. I believe I discussed that in length in a past post.

At the end of the day, the reason I’m not so “angered” by this is because of this simple fact: To me this is no different from that issue about the Zodiac being changed. It will matter to people who hang on to everything Religion dictates, just like how astrologers hang on to whatever the stars show them. But if you don’t let it bother you, it’s really a non-issue if you think about it. I can only speak for myself here, but do you really have to be allowed to take communion to prove you’re faithful to your chosen diety – or do you really need any ritual, for that matter?

All the same, for the sake of my friends and relatives that do rely on Religion that much, I hope this issue gets sorted quickly.

More importantly, I hope the Church realizes that no good can come out of this – its only hurting itself. A lot of people are already disillusioned as it is, do you really want to give those remaining in your fold more reasons to question your relevance?


You might be thinking/asking: “Carlo, I’m confused, you obviously are pro RH, and have beef against structured Religion, but it seems that you’re somewhat defending the Church this time. What’s up with that?”

I’m not somewhat defending the Church. I am, in fact, very much defending it as far as this issue goes. But take note that I’m not defending the decision as I think it’s stupid… what I am defending is their right to make such a stupid decision 😉

To call them out on this is like saying the existence of all-boys/girls schools is evil – on the grounds that education should not discriminate. If you join an all boys school, you play by their rules, or go to another school.

Simply put, when it comes to dilemmas such as this, I’d sooner blame the people being affected – because they let themselves be affected. To me, there’s really no reason to take action against a new “guideline” – especially if it’s ultimately just about something symbolic 1 And yes, I know all about transubstantiation – so don’t even! – and has no real tangible effect on daily life. I’d just let it slide and still go about living my life the way I choose 🙂

Not receiving communion doesn’t result in sickness, death, poverty, nor does it lessen your worth/capability as a human being. So if you made yourself believe that it’s something you can’t live without – then again, that’s a problem you have made for yourself.


1 And yes, I know all about transubstantiation – so don’t even!

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