We hope it is not true that congress plans to appropriate one billion pesos for the purchase of condoms, birth control pills and other “reproductive health” products to control population growth. It if is true, we categorically object to it and instead strongly recommend that the one billion pesos be directly appropriated and/or added for hunger and poverty alleviation projects, as well as for free education of extremely poor children.
The use of abortifacients, contraceptive pills and devises, sterilization, directly willed abortion are wrong in themselves. They are against nature and God’s law. They are wrong not because the Catholic Church forbids them; rather the Church forbids them because they destroy the fruitfulness of human reproductive capacities given by the Creator and hence are morally wrong. (CBCP said this already in 1990 and at other times!). It is not just a matter of being conservative, but also of being morally upright.
The church advocates Natural Family Planning as the only morally acceptable way of practicing responsible parenthood. The Church does not forbid the advocacy of the increase or decrease of population provided the freedom of the couple to exercise sexual and family morality according to their religious conviction are respected. Since the Church objects to the use of artificial contraception, the church likewise objects to their dissemination, creating thereby a contraceptive mentality towards a culture of death.
It is not true that the Philippines growth rate is 2.36%. The Unite Nations using the same census data has arrived at a very much lower rate. The National Statistics Office has already projected a Philippine population growth rate of 1.99%. These notwithstanding, we do not subscribe to the allegations that population must be controlled because it is the main cause of poverty; there are other grave factors. We will not join countries with collapsing population growth rate.
We exhort our clergy to proactively preach the doctrine of the Church on principled population control. We strongly encourage and support our legislators in Congress and the Senate who promote the moral teachings on life, family and population.
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO
Archbishop of Jaro
October 6, 2007