Priests 'must prepare before they talk'
Clergy urged to listen and study RH bill before speaking out against it
ucanews.com reporter, Cebu City
May 25, 2011
"We priests have to seriously read and study the bill, pray over the issue, before discussing it," said Father Ramon Echica, a seminary formator in Cebu archdiocese
He said the clergy should speak about the controversial bill but they should be prepared.
"The people who listen to us deserve nothing less. We cannot just mouth platitudes," Father Echica said.
He, however, believes that many among the clergy are reading the proposed measure.
"Reproductive health is a moral issue and therefore we priests can discuss it in our homilies," he said.
Father Echica also pointed to an apparent void between what people think and feel about birth control and what priests are saying in the pulpit.
"We also need to listen to people. But there is the temptation for us to simply shout louder," he said.
The Catholic Church has been very vocal about its opposition to the proposed responsible parenthood, reproductive health and population and development act.
Bishops say the proposed measure includes provisions on the use of contraceptives and implementing sex education for teens.
Father Echica warned that people involved in the debate are "sincere and committed Catholics" so "it does not serve the purpose of evangelization if we demonize those who disagree with us."
Annual Sant'Egidio community event helps homeless Muslims in Jakarta
Christian prisoners are singled out for more abuse than others, say activists
Report is politically motivated as the government faces criticism for failing to protect religious minorities, say activists
Reporters should avoid writing news that will worsen conflicts, bishops' conference official says
Philippine Catholic Church leaders respond to pope's comments on seeking forgiveness for the way gay people are treated