MANILA, Philippines?Government must listen to the Catholic Church on the issue of reproductive health, said the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines Wednesday, as it expressed willingness to discuss the policy with President Benigno Aquino III.
CBCP public affairs committee head Bishop Deogracias Ińiguez of Caloocan City made the statement a day after Aquino expressed willingness to hold a dialogue with the Catholic Church on the issue. Earlier, the President said he was giving couples the freedom to choose the kind of contraception to use.
When asked in an interview over Radyo Inquirer if the CBCP was willing to confer with the President, Ińiguez said: ?Dapat lamang po ito. Sa mga nangyari sa atin sa RH bill, I think dapat maging sensitive na ang gobyerno sa stand ng simbahan [This should only be so. In what happened to us in the reproductive health bill, I think the government must be sensitive to the stand of the Church].?
?And proper consultation should have been done not only with the Catholic Church but with all the other sectors that have their stake in this issue,? he added.
The bill is currently being contested by the Catholic Church, arguing that it promotes the use of artificial contraceptives which the religion views as a form of abortion.
?Ang issue po talaga ay yung turo, yung moral teaching of the Church on procreation, on population issues po [The real issue is the teachings, the moral teachings of the Church on procreation, on population]. At ito ay yung [And this is] responsible parenthood and also the use of means morally allowed by the Church,? Ińiguez said.
The religious leader further reiterated CBCP position against Aquino?s stand supporting the RH bill allowing for artificial contraception.
The Church said that it supported family planning but stressed that couples should use only natural contraception methods.