Is the Philippines losing the faith?
CEBU City – Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the Philippines has gone from a country known for drawing the largest papal Mass crowd in the Church’s history to having a much-admired president who cusses the Pope to public applause.
Some people are starting to observe a radical shift, particularly in Christian family and faith life.
“We are a majority Catholic country and we are proud of that and yet we see an erosion of faith and values of faith, life, and family,” said Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Human Life International (HLI) regional director for Asia – Oceania, during an interview at the sidelines of the HLI Lay Lay & Life Advocacy Conference on April 29.
‘Very aggressive push’
“Of course, we know from the very beginning, we, Filipinos, all of us people have the same thinking: we are very pro-life and very pro-family,” she added, noting, however that times are changing.
“Now, there are many Filipinos who think that abortion is ok. It is so sad that when we watch TV [we see] feminists discussing very openly about the need for abortion in the Philippines,” said Acosta, who gave the first talk of the conference, “The Threat of Ideological Colonization.”
The medical doctor blames the “very aggressive push” of “the peddlers of the culture of death” in the form of abortion, divorce, euthanasia, total population control, for the shift in Filipino family values and beliefs about life.
This is apparent even to an outsider, who has been closely following developments in the political and social life of the country.
“In this beautiful country, family life is struggling,” said Fr. Shenan Boquet, HLI president, who gave talk 6 of the conference entitled “Evangelium Vitae: Key to Attaining True Freedom in the World.”
Not the same Philippines
Boquet quoted Lipa Archbishop Emeritus Ramon Arguelles as saying, “Don’t be fooled by what you see…The Philippines is changing before our eyes.”
The priest was quick to link the general health of the country with the spiritual life of the family.
Corrosion, he explained, happens “when we start neglecting the families.”
“This is what we’re starting to see and have seen for many years in the Philippines…so we have to return to what is always true and that is the dignity and sacredness of the individual, the beauty of matrimony and the sacredness of marriage, the beauty of family life and to allow faith to really flow into the family,” said Boquet.
Some 220 participants from all over the country attended the conference, which carried the theme “Defending the Natural Family: Hope of the Dying World.” CBCPNews