Spot the difference

Update: INQUIRER.net has published a transcript of the Radio Veritas interview with Odchimar, which I believe provides support for the point that Odchimar did not threaten Aquino with excommunication.

Exactly what sort of message did Bishop Nereo Odchimar, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCP), wish to send to President Aquino with reference to the Chief Executive’s plan to implement population control measures?

According to INQUIRER.net, Odchimar issued a reminder.

CBCP reminds Aquino about excommunication

According to the page cached by Google (as of 30 Sep 2010 09:22:02 GMT), however, INQUIRER.net had initially reported Odchimar as having threatened the President:

Bishop threatens Aquino with excommunication over birth control


One could argue, of course, that reminding someone about a grave measure like excommunication is tantamount to a veiled threat, but surely there is still a significant degree of difference between being “reminded” and being “threatened”—the former merely prompts one to remember that the Roman Catholic Church has the capacity to excommunicate, while the latter informs one that the Church is ready, willing, and able to inflict the punishment as soon as the circumstances demand it.

Which was it, really? And why does the article page not indicate that it had been updated, modified, or revised?

Jay Salazar

Jaime Oscar M. Salazar has been blogging intermittently since 2002. He lives and works in Metro Manila. His personal blog is Random Salt.

  • Bert

    Pilo, I doubt you have anything in your head to say about the matter being discussed here. Still, any rant coming from you you can write it here and nobody will mind. It’s free, :). It will serve you better if you do your confession in front of your priest for it seems you’re in dire need of his blessings, heheh.

  • Pilo

    Bert,

    I must confess my observation about you is that you take explanations, and whether through idiocy or self-deception you diligently twist and misrepresent them to make erroneous claims and conclusions about things that you obviously have less than laymen understanding of.

  • Bert

    Dexter,

    Just to emphasize one more point, my last I guess, your last comment above tend to agree with Filicity’s argument that you and the CBCP are opposing the RH Bill just for the sake of your belief as Catholics only, disregarding all other sectors of the Filipino society. For a Catholic, that’s okay, too, except that you and your group’s meddling in the affairs of government does not sit well with the majority of the members of your flock, more so with the other sectors.

    Good luck to you anyway, Dexter.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Seems that you didn’t believe in the Bible too espeally the NT. I mentioned the two greatest commandmends. I assume that you only beleive in Civil Law. Well, the moral obligation to obey civil authority is in direct proportion to the seriousness of the law in terms of its effect on our well-being and well-being of others. And I see RH bill is against the law of love established by God.

    Thank you for your time. Have a good life.

  • Bert

    You mean, Dexter, do I believe in Christ as God? My answer is no. The reason for that, as you might have known already, is that I can’t follow and believe blindly. Having said that, if you do not want to continue with our discussion, that’s okay with me. Thank you for taking the time.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Bert,

    Let me ask you this question. Do you believe in Christ?

    If no, let’s stop this discussions.

    If yes, continue reading.

    Christ tells us that the two greates commandmenst are based on Love and that everything else stems from it.

    YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

    YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

    So – My question is, can we, trace RH Bill back to this “rule of Love”?

    It is necessary to go down into the depths of the meaning of marital love to answer it fully.

    When a man and woman unite themselves in the perfect gift of self in the sexual act, they are imaging the perfect love of God. When they contracept, the image of God is obscured because they are giving themselves totally in the way that God intended His perfect love to be shown. It perverts this beautiful gift that we as human beings have been given.

    So in a way the teaching on contraception goes down to the fundamental meaning of love: the total gift of self to the other in union with them.

  • Bert

    The problem, Dexter, is the application of the term “reasonable”. For example, a Catholic may argue argue that it’s okay to use the rhythm or withdrawal method of contraception but not the condom, and that is reasonable, while an atheist may disagree with it, and you say he’s not reasonable, when, in fact, both intentions are the same that will yield the same result—and that is preventing conception. Are you saying that ‘reason’ should be selective in its application and that because you have faith in the way you want to apply the term “reasonable” in the matter being discussed therefore you are more reasonable than the one who did not share your faith? Is ‘reasonableness’ applicable only to the faith in religion?

  • Dexter Amoroso

    However, in the absence of proof we must go with what is reasonable.

    I believe that position against artificial contraception is more reasonable and thus it is more reasonable to make the leap of faith that it is true versus the leap of faith that a purely physical, but unproven and flawed..

  • Bert

    Indeed, Dexter. Though faith does not prove anything, one can believe anyway, I guess.

    That could be very hard to do for some people, me, for example.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Bert,

    One can accept it on reason, or not, but to believe it requires faith.

  • Bert

    I envy you, Dexter, living your life wonderfully in a catholic environment where there is no need for you to figure out things that needed to be sorted out. You said you are a man of faith and science. I believe now you are indeed a man of faith.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Bert,

    In this situation, it is a wonderful thing to be a Catholic! You can simply point out to the individual that Jesus founded a Church that he promised to guide and protect abd that you are in it! He did not leave it up to each person to sort out these things. We (individuals) may sometimes be confused, but the Church is there to answer these questions. The Church declares which scriptures are the Word of God.

  • Bert

    “If one claims to be Roman Catholic then one must defer to the teachings of the Magisterium on matters they do not fully understand and have not fully researched. That is why we have the magisterium. To help us with those things we cannot fully understand on our own.”-Dexter

    Dexter,

    I agree that’s one option. If one claims to be Roman Catholic, one option is for him/her to follow the Magisterium even if, as you said: ” follow its guidance whether you fully understand a teaching or not.” That’s the lazy method of doing it, I suppose.

    Another option would be, to open ones eyes and use his/her mind and resources and research some more in order to be fully informed and understand without having to follow and believe anything blindly.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    The arguement of whether or not the teaching of Birth Control is infallible or not is a straw man. You are trying to rationalize the continuation of sin.

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Birth_Control.asp

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Jay Salazar,

    The ordinary teaching Magisterium of the Church is infallible. IOW, the Pope has never made an ex cathedra declaration that Jesus was raised from the dead. But it is an infallible teaching. It is the continuous and unchanged teaching of the church and binding on the faithful de fide.

    The prohibition on contraception is also the ongoing and unchanging teaching of the church, based on the natural moral law. It is, therefore, infallible. As you are aware, not until 1930, when the Anglicans at the Lambeth Conference conceded that contraception could be used licitly in marriage for serious reasons, did ANY Christian body allow it.

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Birth_Control.asp

    Do you understand the difference between the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Magisterium?

  • Bert

    Jay, thank you for indulging me, I think it’s getting a bit clearer already, :).

  • Bert

    “In light of the foregoing, particularly the third point, each Catholic is allowed to decide on the matter of artificial contraception based on what his or her conscience tells him or her. If he or she cannot accept the official stand of the Church, he or she may dissent without fear of being disloyal. This right or capability to dissent derives from the teachings of St. Thomas of Aquinas.”-Jay

    Jay,

    First, let me state that I clicked on your link, and read it.

    Second, I may have to differ a bit with your statements above. I think that there is a difference between what you said, “the official stand of the Church, and “allowing the Catholics to follow his or her conscience”. Farther, you said, “If he or she cannot accept the official stand of the Church, he or she may dissent without fear of being disloyal”. These are your statements.

    Reading from what you’ve written, it is implied there that there is an official stand of the Catholic Church, and that official stand prohibits the use of artificial contraception, isn’t that correct? Is it fair to say now that that official stand can be concluded as the teaching of the Church, can’t it? Your saying that the Church does not want to enforce their teaching by allowing Catholics to “follow their conscience” does not negate the fact that their official teaching does not allow artificial contraception, does it?

    So now, Jay, do you think my previous statement, “the teachings of the Church does not support any kind of artificial birth control.” is wrong?

    • Jay Salazar

      Bert,

      (1) Yes, the Church has an official stand on artificial contraception. As I pointed out, however, this stand is not considered infallible.

      (2) The Church also instructs that a Catholic may choose to dissent from a non-infallible teaching if that is what his or her conscience tells him or her.

      (3) Therefore, the teachings of the Church can, in fact, be seen to support artificial contraception insofar as it allows individual Catholics to dissent from the prohibition on artificial contraception (or any other non-infallible teaching) according to the dictates of his or her conscience.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Jay,

    I believe that i have have already been addressed all that on the other flawed subject “Why the Church RH position is tenuous”

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Bert,

    If one claims to be Roman Catholic then one must defer to the teachings of the Magisterium on matters they do not fully understand and have not fully researched. That is why we have the magisterium. To help us with those things we cannot fully understand on our own.

    The issue of contraception is a good example. There are many in the Church, who disagrees with some or all of the Church teaching on this. But how many of those people really seek to study and understand WHY the Church teaches as it does? I suspect it is not many. As a result there are many people who are rejecting a church teaching based more on Pride and convenience than on actually having a well formed conscience. They prefer to simply dismiss the teaching as coming from “celibate men” who know nothing about how it is in the “real world”.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Felicity said : “Does everyone believe in Christ? No. End of argument.”

    My response:

    Indeed. First, for you to understand this, you must start with the acceptance of Christ, His life, death and resurrection.
    If Christ is God and the Church is His Mystical Body, that Body is therefore perfect. Its beliefs in matters of faith and morals is truth itself. There must be no error in her teachings, doctrines and dogma. The Christian life endorsed by Catholic Christianity is all in consonance with the will of God.

  • FE RAMOS

    ABSURD.TANTYA KO WALA SA 500THOU.NA CATHOLICS ANG HINDI NAGKO CONTRA CEPTIVES.ALMOST,I REPEAT, ALMOST ALL ARE USING CONTRACEPTIVES.KAYA DUMADAMI PA RIN ANG NABUBUNTIS DAHIL MISINFORMED,DI SUMUSUNOD SA INSTRUCTION,NAKAKALIMUTAN?(DAHIL MAKALIMUTIN,OR DAHIL MAY MAKAKITA)OR HINDI TALAGA MARUNONG GUMAMIT OR WALANG PAMBILI,KAYA TYAGA NA LNG SA WITHDRWAL.PAGNABUO,PAMIMIGAY,O HAYAANG DEPRIVED ANG ANAK SA FOOD,EDUC.SHELTER.IRRESPONSABLE E.RESPONSIBLE PARENTING IS,WILLING KA MAG SPEND TIME,EFFORT OR MONEY,TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PARENT.

    Dear Fe,

    Thank you for your comment and it is a great response, but could you in the future, not use all capitals? Netiquette is not to use all capitals in responses online because it is like shouting. Again, we appreciate your comment and I’m sure our Pro Pinoy community does too.

    Cheers!

    -Editor

  • baycas

    @mb,

    RV: “Possibility po ‘yun, Bishop?”

    BO: “Ah, It can be a possibility, but I DO NOT say…aah…right now..naah..it is a proximate possibility.

    One may hear the audio here in a Saksi news video uploaded on 10/01/2010 @ 12:15 AM.

  • Bert

    correction: ‘be blind’, damn keyboard, :).

  • Bert

    But, Dexter, does it says there that we should close our eyes and follow blindly, when it’s so easy finding the right path with our eyes open. Does the church meant us to blind?

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Bert,

    1) Did Christ establish a community/Church? – Yes
    2) Did Christ give this Church Authority? – Yes (Mt 16:18-19 and Mt 18:15-19) (Note that these are the only 2 places in the Gospels where the term Church is used.)
    35) Did Christ Promise to be with His Church, to not leave us orphans and to Send the Paraclete? – Yes
    3) Did Christ leave us a Church to guide us? – Yes

    • Felicity

      Does everyone believe in Christ? No. End of argument.

  • Bert

    “If so, you need to join this Church, and follow its guidance whether you fully understand a teaching or not;…”-Dexter

    Dexter,

    That’s a good one, but might be hard for some people to do, me, for example. I mean, following a guidance without understanding it. Isn’t that following blindly?

  • Dexter Amoroso

    Bert,

    Jay cannot show you one because it has been a constant teaching of the Church since apostolic times. The question here is whether you believe the Catholic Church to be the true Church founded by Christ and given authority to teach. If so, you need to join this Church, and follow its guidance whether you fully understand a teaching or not; of course, you should be praying to be able to understand and accept all of the teachings of the Church.

    • Jay Salazar

      Dexter and Bert,

      Please note that, in my separate comments to you, I included a hyperlink to an old blog entry of mine, “A matter of conscience“. As you seem to not have clicked on the link, allow me to briefly outline the arguments I made there.

      The use of artificial contraception by Catholics can be supported by referring to the following:

      1. Gaudium et Spes recognizes that procreation is not the sole function of marriage;
      2. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7:5 that husband and wife should fulfill their martial duties to each other on a periodic basis, lest they succumb to the temptation to be unfaithful; and
      3. Humanae Vitae is not an infallible teaching, as it is not based on divine revelation. The Code of Canon Law itself proclaims, “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”

      In light of the foregoing, particularly the third point, each Catholic is allowed to decide on the matter of artificial contraception based on what his or her conscience tells him or her. If he or she cannot accept the official stand of the Church, he or she may dissent without fear of being disloyal. This right or capability to dissent derives from the teachings of St. Thomas of Aquinas.

  • Bert

    Begging for your indulgence, Jay, can you show me just one passage from the teachings of the Catholic Church allowing the faithful the use of any kind of artificial means of birth control. I know that there are diverging opinions among Catholic leaders with regards their views on artificial birth control, but those are personal views of the individuals and not the teaching of the church. So, please if you may, just to enlighen us.

  • UP nn grad

    Abortion — the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus.

    Huge difference between the “balot sa latex” and abortion.

    Condoms and IUD, like “rhythm method”, is intended to prevent the sperm cell from getting in contact with the egg cell.

  • manuelbuencamino

    Excerpt from transcript of interview.

    Q: Message niyo kay Noynoy?

    A: Well, being the President of all you must consider the position of the Catholic Church because we are approaching this issue from the moral aspect, the morality because life is at stake, the life of the unborn. Dahil for us, abortion is a grave crime, as a matter of fact, excommunication is attached to those who commit abortion. That used the gravity, that is violation of God’s commandment.

    Q: Bishop, ito po kapag nagstep-in ba si Noynoy ng pamimigay ng contraceptive, automatic bang ex-communicated from the Catholic Church?

    A: That is a possibility, we will look into it. We will exhaust all means to come to a point of confrontation.

    Q: So possibility yun bishop?

    A: That is a possibility, kasi right now it is a proximate possibility. But right now we are open for dialogue…yung poverty it’s always an equation of population…puwedeng graft and corruption, those are also factors. Then why pinpoint solely the population.

    Q: Bishop, what are the grounds for excommunication?

    A: Maraming grounds yan. It should be specified that a certain crime is among those listed punishable by excommunication …abortion is one that is possible by excommunication.

    Q: Ang pamimigay po ba ng contraceptive ay accessories na sa crime ng abortion?

    A: Yes, but there are certain conditions. It should be (on a) case to case basis.

  • UP nn grad

    And then, this — there are many Pinoys and Pinays in Pilipinas who while attending Catholic mass 40 or more times a year do not want to follow Vatican teachings against condoms. Different folks, different strokes.

  • UP nn grad

    Bert believes that the teaching of —the Church— his church does not support any kind of artificial birth control.

    Many Pinoys in Pilipinas do not belong to the Roman Catholic Church. Many Pinoys in Pilipinas are Buddhists. There also are atheists.

    Different folks, different strokes.

    I support Bert’s rights not to use condom when it comes to the spacing of his children (just as I respect that President Noynoy Aquino at 50 has been “careful” over the past many years in that “Noynoy” apparently still has not yet fathered a child yet).

  • Bert

    the teachings of the Church does not support any kind of artificial birth control.

    • Jay Salazar

      Bert,

      Yes, they can, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere.

  • Bert

    “God will judge each individual on their own merits.”-Dexter

    Yes, Dexter, I think He will. Only that people fear their predicament more than they fear their God. Ignorance is passe due to the advent of fast-pacing Information technology and prolific high-tech media, but self-interest will win over spiritual desire anytime, the reason perhaps for the Bishops’ need to intimidate President Noynoy, :).

  • Dexter Amoroso

    I definitely agree Jay.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    I can only say that, by God’s grace, I must uphold the teachings of the church.

    The Government of the Philippines will pass, or not pass, legislation as it sees fit.

    The People, as individuals, will act as they see fit.
    They will choose, out of ignorance, or self interest, or spiritual desire, whether they will use ABC methods or not.

    God will judge each individual on their own merits.

    I truly hope that our country will be able to overcome her problems including widespread corruption and poverty.

    • Jay Salazar

      Dexter,

      It might be helpful to bear in mind that birth control can be supported by the teachings of the Church.

  • Bert

    It’s the same, the purpose of which is one and the same… to intimidate the president.

    Come on Bishops, show us whether you can walk your talk. Do it. Show your flock that you have the clout and the wherewithal to herd them to the moral direction that you want to herd them, :).

  • Felicity

    Reuters and AP have a standard format: [2ND EDIT — Revised 2nd par. )details here)]

  • Felicity

    ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!! I’m outraged. Excommunicated for providing condoms to poor people???

    Dear CBCP, just stay out of politics. Please, for the good of your “flock”

  • GabbyD

    good call. this is a confusing issue and the inquirer is NOT helping.

    pls keep these records and tell people about this. we need to keep journalists honest.