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RH Bill

CBCP warns Catholic schools against pro-RH teaching

August 19, 2012 1:16pm
Catholic schools that do not toe the line on the reproductive health (RH) bill may be stripped of their affiliation with the Church, the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines warned over the weekend.

CBCP president and Cebu archbishop Jose Palma said such a sanction awaits Catholic schools and institutions that violate the Church's ethical and religious directives.

“If we are a Catholic school, we should not teach anything contrary to the official teaching of the church,” Palma said in an article posted Saturday night on the CBCP news site.

His warning came after some 160 professors of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) expressed their support for the passage of the RH bill.

The Catholic Church is vocal against the RH bill for its provisions allowing artificial contraception. The Church advocates natural family planning.

"We have no comment," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on government-run dzRB radio Sunday regarding the matter.

President Benigno Aquino III had risked crossing paths with the Catholic Church after his policy on responsible parenthood allows the use of artificial contraceptives.

The CBCP quoted Palma as saying there is a clash of beliefs between the Church and some teachers in some Catholic schools.

Only last month, the CBCP noted the Vatican withdrew the Catholic identity of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, because some of its policies are “not compatible with the discipline and morals of the church.”

The Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium has also come into question in recent years as the Vatican probed the embryonic stem-cell research conducted at Leuven and its sister institution, Louvain.

'Confusing the students'

Palma said they are trying to resolve the issue through dialogue.

“In some places, we first talk to them because some teachers may have some misunderstanding of what they think of freedom of conscience or academic freedom,” he said.

“In some of the universities, we say that if you want to teach that idea, do not do it in a Catholic school because we are confusing the students… do it in other universities,” he added.

On the other hand, Palma pointed out parents send their children to Catholic schools for reasons of faith formation.

“It will be a contradiction if we will bombard them with ideas which are against the official teachings of the Catholic faith,” he said.

The ADMU professors who voiced support for the passage of the RH bill first released their statement in 2008.

But they also said they are not speaking for the entire Ateneo institution and only expressing their personal position.

The CBCP also noted that the ADMU had clarified it still stands with the CBCP and the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. - BM, GMA News
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