MANILA, Philippines - Former Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz warned on Tuesday that passing the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill into law could lead to the introduction of other controversial measures that allow divorce and same-sex marriages.
Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Cruz said the RH Bill is part of a "tripod" of social maladies including abortion, divorce and
"There is lobby money behind this…Do I believe that the RH bill is the tipping point for the divorce bill? Of course. I may be many things but I am not paranoid," he told Headstart host Karen Davila.
Cruz said the RH debate is being framed differently in that it is being packaged as "pro-poor" legislation meant to help poor families control the size of their families. He said multinational pharmaceuticals are tapping lobbyists to push for the bill's passage.
He said the bill promotes a "Kissinger" policy that seeks to limit the sizes of households in Third World countries to 2 children per family so that resources used by rich nations will not run out.
Cruz said the Catholic Church is morally opposed to the RH Bill because some contraceptives are considered abortifacients by medical professionals.
He said the bill, which allows the state to push for modern family planning methods including contraceptives, actually promotes amorality and selfishness.
"Una, tinuturuan ang tao na kunin ang sarap, hiwalay ang hirap. That's irresponsible. You take the right and you junk the obligation. Second, the RH bill has absolutely nothing on the human person but it has a tripod - sex, methods, numbers," he said.
"When we are talking about condoms, we are not talking of just husband and wife. Condoms are not just for married. The more you spread this, the more amorality you create," he said.
He also noted that he is against birth control measures such as vasectomies.
“Vasectomy is self-mutilation, for heaven's sake. To enjoy the rights without the obligations. Circumcision is for health reasons. The intentions behind the 2 are different,” he said.
No excommunication for PNoy
Cruz denied that the Church threatened to excommunicate President Benigno Aquino III for his stand to support a Responsible Parenthood Bill. He noted that automatic excommunication is imposed only on those who commit abortions.
He also said the Responsible Parenthood and RH Bills are “the same dog with a different collar.”
He clarified that the Pope's stand that people with AIDS use condoms to stop the further spread of the disease is the lesser of two evils applied only for that specific situation.
Cruz said he finds many things wrong with the RH Bill, including mandatory sex education in the classrooms. He said sex education should be taught at home by the parents instead of schools.
He also objected to the inclusion of reproductive health products including contraceptives as part of the national drug formulary because it reduces infant mortality.
“All of a sudden, copulation is a sickness. Now they're calling contraceptives an essential medicine. All of a sudden, sex has become dangerous. That's why they have to have safe sex. I though sex was sacred but now, boy, you have to protect yourself from it,” he said.
Cruz said he would readily support the bill if it meant finally solving poverty in the Philippines. "Hinde eh. This bill in fact propagates amorality. Not immorality but amorality. Amorality means what you like is what is good, what you don’t like is bad. There is no objective criterion. It is all personalism. It promotes freedom of choice, etc. How can you be free to do something that is wrong?”
He also said the Church has never advocated irresponsible parenthood but has always taught followers to build families according to their capacity to take care of them.
“What is the Church doing? The Church is trying to maintain the values system of the Filipino people. With the values system gone, look at what is happening to us? Let us be responsible and not do the shortcut because it does not bring good results,” he said.