MANILA, March 13, 2015—An official of the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines has expressed fear that the “Anti-Discrimination Bill” being deliberated in Congress could eventually lead to the recognition of same-sex unions in the future.
Between man and woman only
In an interview with CBCP News, Fr. Jerome R. Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), explained that while the Church supports measures that mandate equal treatment for all, she is concerned about such measures having far-reaching implications which may later prove contrary to Church doctrines and other Biblical teachings.
“We have to accept that marriage as ordained by God in the Bible is between a man and a woman. There is no way that the Church can change this. As an institution founded by Christ, her primordial role is to reinforce and protect what Christ himself taught,” he said.
According to Secillano, the Church cannot go against God by “merely succumbing to social pressures” or by “adhering to some philosophies based on worldly humanism which detaches people from their dependence on Him.”
Commenting on the pastoral moral guidance CBCP chief Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas issued recently, he pointed out the Church has always been against any form of discrimination given that she has always stood for human rights and dignity.
The priest, who also heads Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in Sampaloc, stressed the Church is morally obliged to extend charity to people who are discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and pastors are duty-bound to show compassion and “a great deal of understanding” in upholding the welfare of those who experience this.
Secillano said what the Church rejects are not gay people themselves, but homosexual acts, just as she decries sexual relations between a man and woman not married to each other.
In the Meeting with the Families held in the Philippines during his visit in January, Pope Francis warned the Filipino faithful against what he described as an “ideological colonization” which tries to destroy the family, in obvious reference to efforts by sectors pushing for same-sex union and contraception.
“It’s not born of the dream that we have with God from prayer and from the mission that God gives us. It comes outside. And that’s why I say it’s colonization. Let us not lose the freedom to take that mission forward that God has given us,” he said.
The Holy Father called on families to be “very wise and very strong with fortitude to these initiatives of ideological colonization that could destroy the families.”
Threats to family
He said the world needs good and strong families to overcome these threats, and the Philippines needs holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan, and to be a support and example for other families.
“Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family (cf.Familiaris Consortio, 85). The future passes through the family! So protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments,” he added.
To read the CBCP president’s “Pastoral Moral Guidance on the Anti-Discrimination Bill,” visit http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=52152. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)