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Methodists back Catholics on abortion
UMC bishop says birth control debate should be about poverty and developmentA prayer service for members of the United Methodist Church
- Bernardino Balabo, Malolos City
- May 24, 2011
Methodists accept contraception whereas the Catholic Church does not, but Bishop Daniel Arichea, the interim bishop of the Manila Episcopal Area of the UMC, said his Churchâ€™s stand on the abortion was not in conflict with that of Catholicism.
â€śThatâ€™s a taboo with us and the Catholics,â€ť he said in an interview after leading the consecration, commissioning and ordination of Methodist deacons, elders and pastors at the Cottingham Memorial United Methodist Church on Sunday.
â€śThe Methodist Church have a very positive view of science, we believe that science helps us identify products that will prevent conception, without endangering the health of the father or the mother,â€ť he said.
When it comes to family planning, Arichea said Methodists stands for â€śresponsible family planning and parenthood.â€ť
He said parents should take responsibility of their home and family and that means every child should be planned to avoid unwanted pregnancies and children.
He also cited the relationship between overpopulation and development, noting that Indonesia â€“ where he worked as a Bible translator â€“ used to have an average of eight children per family.
But Indonesia was able to control its population at an average of three children per family, he said.
â€śIndonesians were able to do it without abortion, they are now progressing because they were able to control their population,â€ť Arichea said.
He added, however, that the debate on theÂ reproductive health bill should not become a religious issue.
He said the debate on the bill must focus on population and related concerns, like poverty, economic development, environmental conservation and peopleâ€™s welfare.
He said the UMC wants to help the public reach an informed decision on reproductive health through pastors and other leaders.
Arichea said everything boils down to Godâ€™s command to man to be good stewards of His creation. He said stewardship of creation is not only about environment, but human beings as well.
â€śWe have to always remember, humans were given the task by God to control and manage creation,â€ť he said.