29 May 2011

Pastoral Statement of the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan on the RH Debate


Pastoral Statement of the Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan to be read as the homily in all Masses on May 29, 2011, the Sixth Sunday of Easter. (Pangasinan Translation can be found at the end of the statement)

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Love is the core of the message of Jesus in today’s gospel. Love is indeed the trademark of the followers of Jesus. The Lord promises further in the gospel that if we choose the path of love and keep His commandments we will never be orphans.

The past few months have seen many of us who belong to the same Church and who share the same faith in Christ at odds with one another on the issue of the reproductive health bill in Congress. It is indeed sad and perhaps even scandalous for non Christians to see the Catholic flock divided among themselves and some members of the Catholic lay faithful at odds with their own pastors. If we fail to have love, we make ourselves orphans.


It is certainly not our intention to add more flame to the fire but rather to make an appeal for the triumph of reason and sobriety. We want to make a plea for greater charity even as we passionately state our positions on this divisive issue. At the end of the heated debates, we will all be winners if we proclaim the truths we believe in with utmost charity, courtesy and respect for one another. Charity is at the heart of the social doctrine of the Church Pope Benedict XVI reminds us. In the first letter of Peter today, he admonishes us today never to be without gentleness and reverence.


We appeal to our Catholic brethren who stand on opposing sides on the reproductive health bill to return to the voice of conscience, to state their positions and rebut their opponents always with charity. Today’s second reading is a call for clarity of conscience beyond reproach. The moral conscience is man’s sanctuary through which the voice of God is heard, that voice that tells us to embrace what is good and reject what is evil. However, conscience is not the ultimate tribunal of morality. Conscience must be formed in the light of truth. Conscience must be enlightened by the Spirit of God. We appeal to both sides engaged in debate to pray, to seek the light of God and allow the voice of an enlightened conscience to prevail. We pray conscience does now allow itself to be swayed by statistics or partisan political positions. The only voice conscience must listen to is the voice of God. The only way for conscience to speak is through the language of Christ-like charity.


We appeal to our Catholic brethren to remember that the unity of the Church does not only pertain to the acceptance of a set of doctrines. Our Catholic faith has a moral mandate. It is not enough to recite the Apostles’ Creed; we must show that we are Catholics by living by the norms of Catholic morality. We are Catholics by creed and cult and code. We are Catholics in beliefs. We are Catholics in prayer. We are Catholics with one moral life.

In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things charity!

The issue of contraception belongs to the realm of faith not opinions. Blessed John Paul II repeatedly taught us during his papacy that contraception can never be justified. We must not make wrong right by the sheer force of surveys or legislation by the majority or the convenience of some. People in authority who mislead others on the matter of contraception put themselves in open conflict with the law of God and lead others to sin.


The Church holds close to her heart the dream of everyone to rise out of poverty and live the fullness of life. Pope Paul VI correctly pointed out to us that “the causes of underdevelopment are not primarily of the material order. They lie above all in the will, in the mind and, even more so, in “the lack of brotherhood among individuals and peoples”. In other words, the greater cause of underdevelopment is corruption of the soul and corruption of society. Contraception adds to the moral corruption of our society and family.

We all want progress for the nation and for the family of nations. We cannot progress without freedom. Jesus died and rose to set us free. Indeed EDSA 1986 taught us that. But freedom must always be grounded in truth. Freedom is not absolute. Freedom must submit to truth. Freedom without truth is only sentimentalism and will only lead to social laxity.

In fact, ethical relativism eventually leads to totalitarianism. Ethical relativism destroys freedom. Ethical relativism turns freedom into licentiousness. Licentiousness and laxity has destroyed many great civilizations of history. Those who ignore the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.


We plead with our officials in government and our friends in media to look at the Church as a partner in the mission of development. The Catholic Church throughout its two thousand year history in the world and almost five hundred years in the Philippines has proven itself as a potent agent for holistic authentic human progress and not an obstacle for development. If the Church issues this stern warning about the reproductive health bill, it is not to impede national progress but to protect our nation from greater harms and tragedies in the generations ahead. On this highly divisive issue, the Church is still a mother protecting her children from greater dangers and moral traps which until now her beloved children are still unable to foresee.

We need God if we want development. Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life for us. There is none like Him. We will be lost without Him. Ignoring Him and setting Him aside in pursuing progress we do only at our own peril.

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, May 24, 2011, Feast of Mary Help of Christians.


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan




Pastoral Statement of the Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan to be read as the homily in all Masses on May 29, 2011, the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

Pinablik iran agagi ed Kristo:

Say panangaro so walad utel na mensahe nen Jesus ed say Ibanghilyo natan. Say panangaro so twan tanda na saray mananombok nen Kristo. Walay sipan na Katawan diad ibanghilyo ya no pilien tayo so dalan na panangaro tan tooren tayo ray ganggan to, ag itayon balot magmaliw ya olila.

Diad saray apalabas ya pigaran bulan et anengneng ed saray dakerakel ya kabiangan na saksakey a Simbaan tan minanabang ed saksakey a pananisia ed Kristo so mansusumlangan nipaakar ed say isyu na reproductive health bill diad Kongreso. Saya so twan makapaermen tan ingen makapa-iskandalo para saray aliwan Kristiano ya makakanengneng ed saray dibisyon na saray Katoliko, tan saray arum  a Katolikon laiko so walay sumlangan dad saray pastol da. No agtayo mangaro, pagmamaliwen tayon olila so dili tayo.


Anggapod getma tayon aruman a parlangan so apoy, no ag say panpikakasi tayo ya mantalongaring komon so dunong tan kareenan. Labay mi so mikasi para say mas baleg a panangaro, anggaman masimoon min ipapalapag so posisyon mi nipaakar ed sayan isyun mangiiter na dibisyon. Kasumpal na sarayan ampetang a sangsangan, sikatayon amin so mantalongaring no ibelyaw tayo so katwaan ya panisian tayo a katekep na panangaro, respeto tan pamagalang ed balang sakey. Say panangaro so walad puso na social doctrine na Simbaan. Saya so ipapanunot nen Santo Papa Benedicto XVI ed sikatayo. Diad unaan a sulat nen Pedro, mangiiter na simbawa ed sikatayo si Pedro ya ag balot komon itayo naandian na kasimpitan tan pamagalang.


Manpipikasi kami ed saray agagi min Katoliko ya walad nanduroman dapag nipaakar ed say Reproductive Health Bill ya ompawil ed say bosis na konsiensia, ipalapag day posisyon da tan ebatan da ray walad duman dapag a katekep toy panangaro. Say kumadwan babasaen natan so manatawag na kalinewan na konsiensia ya anggapoy pakabalawan. Say konsiensia ya moral so ayaman na too ya pakarengelan na bosis na Dios. Sayan bosis so mangibabagan lakapen tayo no anto so kamaungan tan ipolisay tayo so kaugsan. Balet, say konsiensia so aliwan sampot ya okoman na moralidad. Nepeg a say konsiensia so naliwawaan na katwaan. Say konsiensia so nepeg ya naliwawaan na Ispirito na Dios tan abuloyan ya say bosis na aliwawaan ya konsiensia so tumboken. Manpipikasi kami ya say konsiensia so ag komon natenyeg na statistiko odino say posisyon na partisan politics. Say saksakey ya bosis ya dengelen labat na konsiensia et say bosis na Dios. Say saksakey ya pansalita na konsiensia et nepeg unong ed say panagsalita na panangaro nen Kristo.


Manpipikasi  kami ed saray agagi min Katoliko ya ag da lilingwanan ya say pankakasakey na Simbaan et aliwa labat nipaakar ed say pangawat na saray doktrina. Say Katolikon pananisia et walay kabiangan ton ganggan nipaakar ed say moralidad. Agto sarag ya amta tayon dasalen labat so “Manisia ak”; nepeg ya ipapanengneng tayon sikatayo et Katoliko diad panamegley na pangibibilay tayo ed saray Katolikan moralidad. Sikatayo so Katoliko unong ed say pananisia, panangidayew tan moralidad. Katoliko tayo ed saray pananisia tayo. Katoliko tayo ed panagdasal tayo. Katoliko tayo ed say saksakey a panagbilay tayo na  moralidad.

Diad nipaakar ed pananisa, pankakasakey; diad nipaakar ed opinyon, kawayangan; diad nipaakar ed amin ya bengatla, panangaro!

Say isyu nipaakar ed contraception et walad sayakop na pananisia aliwan opinyon. Inulit-olit ya inbangat nen Beato Juan Pablo Segundo nipaakar ed say anggapoy katonongan na contraception. Ag nepeg ya pagmaliwen tayon matunong so aliwa unong ed say pakayari na saray surveys odino diad panggaway ley na mas dakel odino unong ed say pakainawaan labat na arum. Saray totoon walad pakayari ya mamapalikdo ed arum nipaakar ed say contraception so aawiten day dili ran onsusumlang ed say ley na Dios tan tatanguyoren daray arum ed kasalanan.


Asingger ed puso na Simbaan so pirawat na amin ya ombangon ed kairapan tan nagamuran so kagnapan na bilay. Twan intoro na Santo Papa Pablo VI ya “saray rason no akin walay underdevelopment et aliwan manunaan lapud say materyal ya kipapasen.” Diad arum ya pangibaga, say mas nin rason na underdevelopment et corruption na kamarerwa tan corruption na sociedad. Makaaro-arum ni so contraception ed say corruption na moralidad na sociedad tayo tan say pamilya.

Labay tayon amin ya say bansa tayo tan say pamilya na mundo so onaliguas. Agtayo maka-aliguas no anggapoy kawayangan. Inatey si Jesus ed krus tan inmolid bilay pian inter toy kawayangan tayo. Saya so bangat na EDSA nen 1986. Balet nepeg ya say lamot na kawayangan et naalmo ed katwaan. Aliwan nagnap so kawayangan. Nepeg ya panlinkuran na kawayangan so katwaan. Say kawayangan ya anggpo ed katwaan et aliling toy liknaan labat. Saya so manbunga na mapaolyan ed moralidad diad sociedad tayo.

Say twa, say ethical relativism so manbunga na totalitarianism. Deralen na ethical relativism so kawayangan. Lapud ethical relativism, say kawayangan so magmaliw a karumsisan. Say karumsisan tan mapaolyan ed moralidad o laxity so nanderal na dakel tan datin mabiskeg iran civilizations. Saray ag mangasikaso na lingo na akauna nen sikara so kapalaran dan mauges ya man-ulit ed saraya.


Manpipikasi kami ed saray opisyales na gobierno tan saray kakaaro tayod media ya mi-kabiangan ed say Simbaan diad misyon na paka-aliguas na bilay o development. Say Simbaan Katolika diad dwan libon taon to la diad mundo tan masulok ya liman lasus diad Pilipinas et nipanengneng to la ya say Sikato et mabiskeg ya instrumento na matwan aliguas na too tan sikato so aliwan makasebel ed aliguas na bilay. Diad sayan isyu ya mangiiter na baleg a dibision, say Simbaan ni so sakey ya ina ya mangilalaban ed saray anak to ed saray mas baleg ya kaatapan tan patit a moral ya anggad natan saray pinablin anak to et agdani naneneng-neng.

Nakaukolan tayo so Dios no labay tayo so onaliguas. Si Jesus labat so Dalan, say saksakey ya Katwaan, say bokor a Bilay tayo. Anggapo la so mipara ed Sikato. Nabalang tayo no anggapo’y Jesus ed sikatayo. Diad dilin pakarisgo so onsabid sikatayo no gamuren tayo so aliguas ya  paolyanan tan ipireg tayo si Jesus.

Diad Katedral nen San Juan Evangelista, Mayo 24, 2011, Fiesta nen Maria, Mananulong na saray Kristiano.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Arsobispo na Lingayen-Dagupan