Telenovelas have their own way of inculcating principles, mentalities and ideologies without our being conscious of it. If we are not critical in watching our favorite TV drama special, we might end up agreeing to every argument, every belief, and every moral principle it presents to us. And before we know it, we already imbibe the immoral principle that the telenovela just took for granted to be right.
Exactly, this is what happens with your favorite Ina, Kapatid, Anak. The writer – perhaps without really meditating about it – just took it as a generally accepted fact the reality of surrogate motherhood. The plot presents this issue as if nothing were wrong with it. Was Julio (Ariel Rivera) and Beatrice’s (Janice de Belen) move to have a baby through a surrogate mother (Cherry Ann Picache) morally acceptable?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ ‘right to become a father and a mother only through each other’ (Donum vitae II, 1)” (CCC, 2376).
The CCC also notes that though some techniques that involve only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) – which seems to be the case of Ina, Kapatid, Anak – are perhaps less reprehensible, they “remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that ‘entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children’ (Donum vitae II, 5)” (CCC, 2377).
Parents, teachers and those who hold serious responsibilities of forming the consciences of young people have the duty to explain this truth and this moral principle to them, especially to those who cannot take their eyes off this telenovela. Rated PG is how the MTRCB rated the show. But do parents really guide their young children by explaining to them the moral evil that surrogate motherhood entails?
Again, beware of whatever the boob tube feeds us. It could be poisonous to our consciences – a real threat to the formation of the moral fiber of our society!