MANILA, March 26, 2011â€”Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales called on the Filipino faithful to oppose the controversial Reproductive Health Bill, while stressing that life is Godâ€™s most precious gift to man.
Speaking before a congregation of an estimated 200,000 at the Rizal Parkâ€™s Quirino Grandstand, site of Pope John Paul IIâ€™s historic Mass in 1995, Cardinal Rosales urged the faithful to respect life, saying that no matter how much difficulties a person encounters in daily life, one can see Godâ€™s goodness because there is life.
The mammoth rally for life coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation, also designated as Day of the Unborn Children.
In his homily Rosales exhorted the people to reflect on the dayâ€™s Gospel, saying the Blessed Virgin Maryâ€™s life changed when she agreed to be an important part of Godâ€™s plan.
Rosales also explained the Churchâ€™s timely and relevant teachings about life as he called on everyone not to go against or prevent life through artificial methods. He said anything against life is against Philippine culture.
Respect for life has always been an important part of Philippine culture, he said. Recalling an instance in Philippine history, Rosales said Filipinos can draw inspiration from the sacrifices of three Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora who were meted the death penalty for their conviction.
â€œIto ang pinahahalagahan namin at hindi si Damaso na isang banyaga,â€ he quipped amidst laughter from the crowd.
He stressed on the sacredness of married life because of the coupleâ€™s role in pro-creation.
Natural Family Planning
Rosales said a couple would know when they are likely to have children as he underscored the need for them to study their respective roles in the family and plan for their children. He, however, added discipline is required of the couple to make natural family planning a success.
He said the proposed RH bill goes against life and freedom, adding that the Church cannot and will never be against life â€“ from conception to its natural end.
â€œNaniniwala kami sa kalayaan ayon sa paninindigan ayon sa konsensya at ang pagkakaroon ng mga nakapataw na parusa na napapaloob sa RH bill ay dahilan na sa aming pagtutol dito,â€ he said.
He said there are only two alternatives for the legislators, either to change it or throw it all away.
â€œPinaaalalahanan po namin kayong mga mambabatas na kasama kayo sa aming panalangin at ang sinumang tao ay tagapangasiwa lamang ng kanyang katawan, Archbishop Rosales said.
He added character can only be formed if one is aware of his conscience because God talks to man through oneâ€™s conscience.
â€œKapag hindi pinakinggan ang tinig na iyan ng Diyos sa konsiyensya, yayanigin ng konsensya ang sinumang tao, the prelate said. (Melo M. Acuna)