MANILA, August 22, 2012— The Catholic bishops’ hierarchy is willing to conduct dialogue with professors of the Jesuit-run Ateneo De Manila University over the contentious “reproductive health” bill.
Archbishop Jose Palma, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, gave the assurance over Church-run Radio Veritas Wednesday.
His assurance is coming on the heels of a statement released by ADMU president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin reiterating their support for the Church’s position against the artificial contraception measure.
The CBCP head said the bishops are open to dialogue with the pro-RH bill Ateneo professors “because we are all part of the Church and we are responsible for our actions.”
“We are willing to meet other people with dialogue,” said Palma, a soft-spoken and current archbishop of Cebu.
He, however, maintained that as a Catholic university, the ADMU must uphold the official teachings of the Church.
“For me, there’s really a need for a sincere dialogue because the professors, I think must be motivated by their desire to discover what is good,” according to Palma.
“They are part of the Catholic university and they should obey the mission and vision and not contradict the teachings,” he said.
In his statement, Villarin acknowledged the varied views on the RH bill, which he described as an “ethical and public policy issue.”
But he asked “those who are engaged in the Christian formation of our students to ensure that the Catholic position on this matter continuous to be taught in our classes, as we have always done.”
Villarin also said the university will continue to support the Church in its future actions should the bill is passed by Congress.
“Should the bill with whatever amendments be passed, we should neither hesitate to bring to the judiciary whatever legal questions we may have nor cease to be vigilant in ensuring that no coercion takes place in implementation,” he said. [RL/CBCPNews]