Lawmakers told: Give spirituality space in RH talks

By Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2012 03:51 PM | Updated as of Dec 13 2012 06:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle on Wednesday urged lawmakers to practice decency, respect and charity as they discuss the controversial Reproductive Health Bill in Congress.

In his homily during a concelebrated mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tagle urged lawmakers to listen to their hearts to come up with a right decision on the measure.

The prelate, who is one of 6 new cardinals installed last month, said he is perplexed that some lawmakers would question why Catholic bishops would oppose the bill that allows larger funding for contraceptives and the teaching of safe sex in schools.

“Di kami nagsasalita bilang politiko at di ako tatakbo sa Senado. Wala akong alam na may tatakbong bishop sa Senado o Kongreso. Di kami nagpapanggap na ekonomista, politiko, sociologist. Ang alam namin kami ay pastol ng mga nanampalataya,” he said.

Tagle said Catholic bishops are supposed to teach people about spirituality and morality. He said spiritual leaders are there to give a different take on the common good.

"Kami ay nagsasalita para sa common good. Kami ang nag-aambag o nagco-contribute ng spiritual at moral aspect sa usapin. Kung ang politiko ay may political view, kung ang sociologist ay may sociological view, di naman masama kung ang mga mamamayan ay magbigay ng spiritual and moral view. Para mabuo ang common good at para di masira ang moralidad, ipasok natin ang spiritual at moral. Mas naabot natin ang common good kung pakikinggan ang spiritual at moralidad,” he said.

Tagle made a personal appeal to lawmakers to give space to spirituality and morality when discussing the controversial bill.

“Nakikiusap at appeal sa mga mambabatas - bigyan ng puwang sana ang spiritwalidad at moralidad. Nakikiusap ako sa lahat sa Kongreso at Senado at administrasyon at sa taong simbahan - ang isyung ito ay mainit na usapin, tagos sa puso at damdamin. Patuloy tayong maninindigan sa ating paniniwala. Huwag sanang mawala ang paggalang at pag-ibig. Let love rule our hearts," he said.

There were no lawmakers during the mass.

Meanwhile, a Palace spokesperson said the Aquino administration continues to respect the opinions of the Church regarding the RH measure.

"Bawat sektor po ay may karapatang ilahad ang kanilang opinyon at ipaglaban ang kanilang paniniwala. Nirerespeto po namin ito at inaasahan naming irerespeto din ng simbahan ang ibang opinyon at paninindigan," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.