It’s about temporal power after all

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

The real motive behind the Philippine Catholic Church’s opposition to the RH Bill is exposed by Liberty Chee. (The Wom[b]an question…)

    Regulating sex and sexuality assures the moral order as defined by Church ideology. In the case of the Philippines, curtailing the power of the church to regulate birth and to produce truths about the human body and the purpose of human life would also mean diminishing its political power in the earthly domain. It would replace the divine moral order with that of the secular authorities. This is perhaps why the pastoral letter reminds its readers of the Church’s role in restoring democracy in the Philippines.

By sheer coincidence, Cardinal Jose Sanchez, confirmed Liberty’s conclusion.

Here’s an excerpt from a story in the Inquirer:

    Sanchez said he came back to the country from Rome to ward off the “tendencies that threaten to destroy the Catholic Church.” 

    “I did not come here to fight the RH Bill. I came here to protect the Catholic doctrine. (The RH bill) is insignificant as far as the problems of the world are concerned. But I’m happy that it is being faced seriously by the Philippine Church,” Sanchez said.

What was it like before Sanchez retired? How much political power did the native priest enjoy during his time?

    Sanchez recalled that when he was once a bishop assigned in Bicol, he was a “friend to all the congressmen” so it was easy for him to confront them when a proposed law contradicted church doctrine. 

    “If there are bills contradictory to the Catholic teachings, I would go to these congressmen one by one to enlighten them with the Catholic teachings and they would easily agree with me. And as friends, they would find it hard to go against the bishop,” Sanchez said.

The bishops oppose the RH Bill because it involves something more basic than morality, it is a direct challenge to their political power.

They have become accustomed to politicians bending over and kissing their rings so they will not surrender power and all the perks and privileges that come with it without a fight.

That’s why they have pulled out all the stops and resorted to using weapons – intimidation, lies, misrepresentation –  that no one who professes to be a good Catholic would dare touch.

It’s a fight to the finish as far as the native bishops are concerned. If they lose, then the unthinkable and the unbearable happens: goodbye to the corridors of power and hello to slum alleys, ministering to the poor and powerless (which is really what they should have been doing in the first place).

But who can blame a bishop for preferring to save the souls of the rich instead of the poor? Who will choose to get mud on their shoes and eat pagpag for dinner when one can also do God’s work while enjoying the salons and tables of the rich and powerful?

Image credit: Darth Narutorious, some rights reserved.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • isn’t coercion of a public official illegal?
    tsk tsk
    of course it could be gods will.

  • The RH bill is bad for the political power of the church but it is good for the Filipino people especially women!