Rorate Caeli

A call to prayer for the Philippines (updated)

Update: As of December 13, 2:00 A.M. in Manila, the Philippine House of Representatives has voted in favor of the "Reproductive Health Bill". 

Rorate requests your Masses, prayers and mortifications for the intentions of our Filipino Catholic brethren.  The Philippines, with some 75 million Catholics, is the country with the third largest Catholic population in the whole world.

The following note comes from our Filipino Catholic friends: 

Today, December 12, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Unborn, the Philippine House of Representatives is poised to vote on the "Reproductive Health Bill". Despite the opposition of the Catholic hierarchy, the proposed law has the overwhelming support of the mainstream Philippine media and of the government, and not least of the United Nations. Academics and activists from universities run by the Jesuits and the De La Salle Brothers have also been at the forefront of pushing for this bill. Despite the typhoon that hit the southern Philippines last week, killing hundreds if not thousands of people, the Philippine media and Congress have continued to focus on the "importance" of passing this bill. 

The "Reproductive Health Bill" is like an omnibus law for the propagation of immorality and the destruction of the family. Aside from allocating a significant portion of this country's budget to the purchase of contraceptives (to which adolescents will be expressly entitled) and introducing Western-style sex education into the curriculum for students between the ages of 11 and 16 (specifically including the teaching of 'family planning methods'), this bill also introduces language that will greatly weaken the anti-abortion laws of the Philippines, while enshrining the very principle of "reproductive health" in its legislation. Curiously, the bill declares that "reproductive health rights" includes the right not just of married couples but of individuals to have and to raise children. In a country already awash in pornography, where condoms and, at times, even abortifacient contraceptives can be bought over the counter, the effect that the RH bill will have on the further moral degeneration of the Filipino youth can scarcely be calculated.

The bill requires that medical personnel who themselves do not wish to perform "reproductive health procedures" to nevertheless refer those who want to undergo these procedures to others who are willing to perform them. There is no conscience clause to protect those who might find the task of making such referrals to be repugnant to their religious beliefs. 

The votes last week of the Philippine Senate (which is scheduled to vote on the bill as a whole by next week) to quash amendments aimed at reaffirming the principle that life begins at fertilization, and at removing controversial clauses affirming the right of citizens to "safe and satisfying sex" and "pleasurable sex", point to the whole secularist, hedonist and anti-Christian world view behind this bill. The House of Representatives, in its turn, has shot down proposed amendments aimed at specifically safeguarding religious freedom.  

In the Philippines, there are active lobbies and overwhelming media support for the legalization of divorce, the adoption of "gay marriage", and the liberalization of abortion, which has found greater social acceptance in the past decade. Once the RH bill is passed, the push to also pass bills legalizing these perversions will undoubtedly receive greater force. 

We pray that this bill will be stopped on this feast day.