Walk for Life – Baguio rallies faithful vs. divorce, contraception

Thousands marched against the “culture of death” in Baguio City during the Walk for Life, May 1, 2018. CHANTRY LEY DALILIS

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

May 3, 2018

Baguio City

In the face of the sad realities that signal the onslaught of the “culture of death” in the Philippines, the bishop of this diocese called on the faithful during the Walk for Life on May 1 to speak up against the pending divorce bill as well as other anti-life legislations.

Employing a mnemonic device to underline his point Baguio Bishop Victor B. Bendico said, “Our nation is embracing a culture of ‘DEATH’: a culture of divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control (through Contraceptives) and homosexual union.”

He called on the thousands present to “to stand up, walk and journey together to protect life and strengthen the family.”

Dignity of the human person

The prelate called the people’s attention to House Bill 7303, also known as the dissolution of marriage bill, which the Lower House of Representatives passed in March.

“The ‘divorce bill’ portends that marriages for any reason can be dissolved if the parties so wish. We recognize that there are marriages with difficult situations but there are legal remedies in our civil and canon laws,” said Bendico.

In the case of contraception, he recalled Blessed Pope Paul VI who wrote the encyclical “Humane Vitae” (Of Human Life) which presents the teachings of the Church on contraception in the light of the Christian view of the dignity of the human person and the meaning of marriage.

Effects of the contraceptive mentality

“Pope Paul VI prophesied that the widespread use of contraception would ‘lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality’. “Humane Vitae” was promulgated in July 1968, fifty years ago, but the truth it contains holds true today,” stressed the bishop.

He also cited George Arthur Akerlof, a Nobel laureate in economics in 2001, who confirmed through empirical evidence that the widespread use of contraceptives has led to higher rates of divorce, single parenthood, abortion, drug abuse, and other social evils.

Bendico also mentioned the on-going debate in Congress on a petition that seeks to pave the way for same-sex unions under House Bill 6595.

The petition is challenging certain provisions of the Family Code on marriage, particularly Articles 1 and 2, which uphold marriage between a man and a woman.

“We recognize that there are those who have homosexual orientations and we give due respect to them and recognize their dignity. Given their special circumstances, there is a need to look into their pastoral care of which the Church in the Philippines must look at, but ‘gender politics and societal reconstruction’ is not the answer,” he stressed.

‘Life-changing’

In a statement given on April 28, the bishop highlighted “every Christian’s responsibility” to follow the example of the Good Samaritan who “recognized the dignity in the other person and cared for the life of the victim”.

“We are called to be mature in faith and allow our faith to be the principle of life, and not simply a description. We ‘walk for life’ to uphold what life truly means as taught to us by Christ,” he said.

The bishop then challenged the faithful to “take on measures so that the ‘Walk for Life’ will not simply be a big event but a life-changing event which compels us to act and do something for the other: for our families, for our neighborhood and for our country.”