MANILA, July 19, 2011?Various lay organizations and students of Catholic schools will commemorate the 43rd anniversary of one of the most progressive documents of the Catholic Church through different activities beginning today until July 25.
Two separate fora for students and the laity are set to take place on Tuesday at two Catholic universities in Manila?the University of Sto. Tomas and Adamson University? to discuss the relevance of the encyclical Humanae Vitae in todayâ€™s modern society.
The Humanae Vitae, a landmark encyclical that explains the Church teachings on the dignity of human life was published by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1978, the feast of St. James the Apostle.
“We expect at least 850 participants to the forum at the UST Chapel though there will be professors and parishioners in attendance,” Aguedo Florence A. Jalin, Jr. of USTâ€™s Institute of Religion told CBCPNews.
â€œStudents would like to listen to issues about the Reproductive Health bill which will be discussed by Zambales Congresswoman Ma. Milagros H. Magsaysay,â€ Jalin added.
Students will come from both Catholic and non-sectarian schools through CEAP, MAPSA and the Campus Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippinesâ€™ Secretariat under Msgr. Juanito Figura, CBCP Secretary-General, has provided support to the week-long celebration.
The events will include the presentation of the CBCPforlife portal of the CBCP Media Office and the 60-second anti-Reproductive Health bill television advertisement produced by TV Maria.
Meanwhile, Adamson Universityâ€™s Student Affairs Director Atty. Julius A. Babista said ParaÃ±aque Congressman Roilo Golez and Sangguniang Layko ng Pilipinas executive secretary Ed Tirona will discuss important issues involving the current campaign against the passage of the Reproductive Health bill at a forum in Adamson University which will be attended by various lay organizations.
The two separate activities will both end with candle-lighting ceremonies to be attended by over two thousand participants, composed of students at UST with delegations from various Catholic colleges, universities and high schools and hundreds of lay workers and leaders within Metro Manila and college students from Adamson University.
The students from UST and other schools will proceed to EspaÃ±a Blvd. for the candle-lighting ceremony while the laity and students from Adamson University will have their candle-lighting rites at both sides of San Marcelino St. Both candle-lighting ceremonies will begin promptly at 6 pm in time for the Angelus.
Jalin added the student forum at UST â€œis a very strong statement that the lay, consisting of students, teachers and parishioners are at the forefront for the advocacyâ€ of strengthening the significance of life and the inseparability of the fruits of marriage, which is both unitive and pro-creative.
He added that society is becoming more perverse in regard to the sanctity of life and family â€œthus we need the lay people to stand strong against the pro-death bill and draw inspiration from Humanae Vitae.â€
Humanae Vitae has made people become aware of the Church’s mission and authority to teach on the transmission of human life from the perspective of the sanctity of the God-given and God-sustained life and the family. It also awakened the people to the secularistic humanistic way of thinking that was already influencing societies.
It is this secular humanism that slowly inches out religious values from time-treasured institutions, which include family, government, legislation, etc.
On July 25, various pro-life groups will deliver what they call the â€œState of the Soul of the Nation Addressâ€ at Club Filipino in San Juan before President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III delivers his second â€œState of the Nation Addressâ€ at the House of Representatives. (Melo M. Acuna)