Pardon my insistence of this issue. But there’s an erroneous thought that goes around today insisting on the compatibility of the RH law with Catholic doctrines. While I admit that the RH law issue is already irritating to tackle about, what is more irritating is the fact that RH law advocates, who could not make Catholics pro-RH, are now trying to make the RH law catholic.
In clarifying this question, I am simply doing my ministry as a priest, that is, to “proclaim the message, in season and out of season” (Cfr. 2 Tim 4:2). It is because, today, as in the time of St. Paul, some “people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths” (2 Tim 4: 3-4).
I don’t think the RH law only provides for “choice according to religious conviction”, as one intellectual claims, for two reasons: first, I don’t think laws only provide options or choices. The helmet law which took effect in Davao City recently does not only provide for a choice on whether or not a motorist would use standard helmets. The law prescribes it under penalty. Do you think the RH law only provides for a choice on whether an adult married Filipino couple would use condom or rhythm method? Tell it to the marines! If the law only provides for a choice, why the need to make it a law? Don’t couples already have a choice before the RH law?
Secondly, I don’t think the RH law guarantees religious conviction when all it prescribes and promotes is the contraceptive mentality which is contrary to the religious conviction of the majority of Filipinos. By promoting the use of contraceptives, the law is insensitive to the religious conviction of the Catholic majority. Besides, it endangers the conscience of all Catholics who are striving to be good Catholics through obedience to the Magisterium. Is that the way the law guarantees the free exercise of religious freedom and conviction?
Moreover, the argument of those who hold that the RH law is compatible with the Catholic doctrines simply because the law “provides for choice according to religious conviction” is seriously flawed and is completely missing the point. The point at issue here is not whether Catholics have or don’t have choices. The central point is that the RH law promotes contraception, something that Catholic teaching cannot tolerate.
While it is important to emphasize that people should have choices, it is equally important to analyze what kind of choices people should have. Freedom does not consist merely in having choices. True freedom is choosing the good. Evil choice is not freedom; it is slavery. If married couples are given the choice to use contraception, this is an evil choice. Hence, it does not make them free: it enslaves them.
Therefore, something in the RH law is intrinsically evil: the promotion of contraception. That alone makes it incompatible with the Catholic doctrine. Even non-Catholics with good will and who are lovers of life will surely reject the RH law. How much more a Catholic priest like me?