From Pinoy

Response to “Reproductive Health Bill: the Bible’s Viewpoint vs. the Catholic Church’s”

Well, I’ve spent the last fifteen minutes trying to post another reply at this blog post over at Definitely Filipino — and my comment just won’t go through, so I’m doing it here.

The latest missive from “Kizmet”: Reproductive Health Bill: the Bible’s Viewpoint vs. the Catholic Church’s

LOL indeed Stef.

Those Bible texts were under the Mosaic Law. I meant Christian laws please. We are not under the Mosaic law today, are we?

Please try harder. ~_^

Kizmet:

Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. He Himself said it in Matthew 5:17-19:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

He didn’t say, “Now that I’m here, forget all that Mosaic law rubbish. We’re starting over.”

You’re the one not doing your homework, my dear. Nice try. Here’s your assignment:

1. Show us where it says in the Bible that we should contracept or abort.
2. Show us where it says in the Bible that Jesus Christ proclaims Mosaic law as passé and should now be ignored or dismissed as such.

When you’ve done that, we can talk again. And seriously, I *am* listening, and I am keeping an open mind. Hope you are too. 🙂


And since I’m here, might as well respond to these:

At times, the Catholic Church fails to understand a simple statement as that. Despite being written in elementary English, the Bishops and the Pope after many years of burning their brows about theology are a disappointment to humanity. They erroneously lay claims to righteousness.

And we should take this person’s word as more credible and authoritative than the Pope’s and Bishops’ because……???? Are we expected to slap our foreheads and say, “Oh my gosh! That *IS* the truth! Now why in the world did we never hear of that or think of that before? Such wisdom in the youth!” As Chesterton says, “First it must be remembered that the Church is always in advance of the world. That is why it is said to be behind the times. It discussed everything so long ago that people have forgotten the discussion. St. Thomas was an internationalist before all our internationalists; St. Joan was a nationalist almost before there were nations; Blessed Robert Bellarmine said all there is to be said for democracy before any ordinary worldling dared to be a democrat; and (what is to the purpose here) the Christian social reform was in full activity… before any of these quarrels of fascists and Bolshevists appeared.”

Your “insights” have long been trumpeted by atheists, agnostics, and Catholic Church haters. Nothing new there.

As the American Standard Version Bible puts it: “Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand.”-Romans 14:4

And this means….? The Church proclaiming the truth is judging? Hmmm…. another “new idea”. Not.

As an institution of faith, it does not belong to the Catholic Church’s leaders who are themselves imperfect human beings the right to render judgment against their followers merely because the latter chooses to heed what the Bible really teaches.

But the author hasn’t adequately explained yet “what the Bible really teaches”. We wait with bated breath, Kizmet. Please show us where the Bible says we should contracept or abort.

Mankind does not exist to propagate only. If couples choose not to include pregnancy in constituting a family by employing any of the contraception methods, that is their decision to make, and no one reserves the right to judge them.

Strawman. You came upon this statement where? See if you can find it in the Catechism or any encyclical where it says, “Mankind exists to propagate only.” And again, “speaking the Truth” not = judging. I’ll grant you this: it may feel like judging to those who are not ready to see the Truth from the Bible’s or from the Church’s perspective. That’s okay. We can’t really help that sometimes. But I can tell you this: we hate being judged just as much as you do, so when we speak what we believe as Catholics, at least for my part, I am *not* judging you at all. I am a little frustrated that you can’t see things from my/the Church’s perspective, but that doesn’t mean I see myself as better than you in any way.

For Denise: Lechon Turkey / Pabochon

Lechon Turkey/Pabochon

1 10-12 lb. turkey, rinsed thoroughly, giblets, etc. removed
1 cup fish sauce (patis) (or 2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt) (available in Asian stores, a good Filipino brand is Rufina)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons or 10 calamansi (aka calamondin, a tiny, green, round citrus fruit found in Asian stores)
10 large cloves garlic, crushed but unpeeled

In a large stockpot or other container that will accommodate turkey, combine fish sauce with 2 gallons cold water. Add turkey, and additional water if needed to just cover turkey. Refrigerate for 12 hours. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, oil and black pepper. Rinse lemons or calamansi and pierce with a fork all over. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Stuff cavity with lemons and garlic. Truss turkey if desired (I prefer mine untrussed). Pour 1 cup water into a shallow roasting pan large enough to accommodate a roasting rack for the turkey. Set turkey breast side down over a roasting rack and brush all over with the soy sauce mixture. Roast for 45 minutes. Using paper towels, carefully turn turkey onto one side (wing/thigh up) and baste with soy sauce mixture. Replenish water if it’s drying up. Roast 15 minutes. Repeat with the other side. After 15 minutes, turn turkey breast side up. Lower heat to 325 degrees F. Start basting turkey every 15 minutes with juices from pan. Continue to roast until thickest part of thigh registers 180 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Juices should run clear, not pink or reddish. The last 30 minutes of roasting, baste turkey all over with soy sauce mixture. If turkey is browning too quickly, cover with a loose tent of foil. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with lechon sauce.

Cook’s Notes:

– If using turkey that has already been brined, you may omit the brining process. (I like to brine my own turkey though so I try to buy unbrined turkey.)
– If you’re going to bake the stuffing in the turkey, omit lemons and garlic. Stuff turkey just before roasting. Do not fill turkey up completely, as the stuffing will expand as it cooks. The remaining stuffing can be baked in a separate dish. Trussing is not optional if you stuffed the turkey. A stuffed turkey will take longer to roast than an unstuffed one.
– A handy cooking time calculator can be found at Butterball.com

Easy Lechon Sauce:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup liver pate or liver spread, or liverwurst or finely ground chicken livers
1 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until garlic is golden and onion is limp. Add liver pate, water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Lower heat and add breadcrumbs. Let simmer 5 more minutes. Serve with turkey lechon.

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I thought all my Thanksgiving recipes that appeared in Asian Journal 3 years ago (?) were already here — but I guess I put it in the old “Beyond Adobo” blog. I’ll work on putting them here sometime. Sorry about that!

Responses to Statements Around the ‘Net

This post may be qualified as venting, because I do need to get these off my chest. While I am a very opinionated person 😀 I don’t believe in confronting people who don’t know me well enough to know that I’m speaking from my heart. What makes this difficult is that I’ve been seeing so many statements lately that just make me go, “Huh?” and I have to respond in SOME way, even if only to record for my kids to find later, or for those wandering readers that may happen to stumble here and just might find something that would help them. If I left these comments on a combox somewhere people are sure to pounce on them right away and I really don’t have the time or inclination to defend my views.

Statement #1: “I am a practicing Catholic but I’ve long ignored Catholic teaching about contraception, and my (married) life has been so much happier since.”

“Practicing” and “ignoring” in the same sentence don’t make sense. Practicing means you know what the Church teaches, you believe the teachings, and you follow them. “Ignoring” can mean several things:

  1. You might know what the Church teaches but you’re purposefully choosing to neither believe nor follow.
  2. You don’t know what the Church teaches and you’re not taking the time to find out
  3. You don’t want to really understand what the Church teaches because you don’t want to accept the Church’s authority over you or any of the life decisions you make, you don’t want to be told you’re wrong, and you don’t want to be told that you have to change.

Whatever “ignoring” means for you, I think we need to agree that “ignoring” and “practicing” just don’t go together. When you say that, it confuses people about the Church, and it confuses people about you. You’re confused enough, so please don’t burden others with your confusion as well.

Also, “happy” doesn’t mean “right”. I’m sure there are criminals around the world that are perfectly happy about the crimes they’ve committed. (Maybe they won’t be happy down the road, but there are sure to be some who don’t have that remorse thing down yet.) There are many things that make us happy. There are many things that make us right. Not all things that make us happy make us right. And not all things that are right make us happy, at least maybe not in the short term. There are long term rewards, however, for doing what’s right. If you’re not into the long-term thing however, you know, that delayed gratification thing — this may be a hard concept for you to accept.

And one more concept that may be foreign to you: there are those of us who DO follow Church teaching about contraception, that are actually HAPPY. Again, just because something may make YOU happy, doesn’t mean it will make EVERYONE happy.

Statement #2: “The Church should trust people to just use and follow their conscience.” (as regards contraception)

I think it’s correct to assume that our consciences are all formed differently. That is, something that may bother my conscience may not bother yours; the opposite is true also. This is why we have Church teaching, and this is why serious Catholics try to follow them. If all we relied on were our own consciences, how do we determine whether your conscience is right and mine is wrong, or vice versa? Ideally, we Catholics would have well-formed consciences by the time we are adults and have to make difficult decisions like who to vote for, or whether we should wash the dishes before hubby gets home or not. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way — maybe we were taught wrong. Maybe we were taught right but we weren’t listening. (Funny but yeah, old habits die hard.) The sad part is that a well-formed conscience doesn’t grow overnight, so when we get to adulthood and realize we’re being wishy-washy, we can’t just flip a switch.

At some point in our lives, it becomes the conscience-owner’s responsibility to continue to inform that conscience, hopefully by putting forth some effort into understanding exactly why the Church teaches what She teaches. There are those of us who can follow Church teaching quite well without asking questions. Blessed are they. There are those of us who need to work on our understanding before we can proceed to application. But just because one attended Catholic school doesn’t make one’s conscience “well-formed”. Ask me how I know; I spent 12 years there and I’m still working on developing mine. That’s why we have converts, reverts, and all kinds of people in between: all of us are on different stages in the journey.

But if Church teaching were to become dependent on OUR consciences, as opposed to what She has always known and taught, how many Catechisms do you think we would have today? And which one would we pick to understand and follow? Hey, we can follow or not follow Church teaching all we want, but don’t you think it’s foolish and ridiculous to expect the Church to FOLLOW US? That’s rather like putting the caboose before the engine.

In a way, I agree with what you’re saying. The Church SHOULD trust us to use our consciences. And actually, She does! Last I checked, there aren’t priests or nuns holding a gun to our heads at the voting booth or even at the sink where my dirty dishes are. I think the real question here though is, “SHOULD we — COULD we — trust our own consciences?” Now that’s the tough one.

Statement #3: “The Pope is an old celibate guy — how can we possibly take his advice on marriage, contraception and abortion? He has no idea what he’s talking about!”

Let’s see, the Pope was born in 1927, a year before my father was born. That would make him 81 years old. Just looking at possibilities here, could he maybe have met and talked to one couple, maybe ten couples, a hundred couples, AT LEAST, before he became Pope? I’m half his age but I can tell you I’ve met at least fifty married couples in my lifetime. Goodness, I’ve got 9 married couples just on my mom’s side of the family — and that’s not even counting their kids, my cousins, who are also married now! That’s not counting my own parents! I can tell you that having met and talked to all these couples through the years, I’ve formed some opinions on what works in a marriage and what doesn’t. My hubby has had a totally different kind of experience growing up, with less married people in the family, etc. But between the two of us we’ve seen enough to have a good idea of what a “happy marriage” looks like. We also have a good idea of what an “unhappy marriage” looks like. I don’t need to tell you we shoot for the former everyday — it does take hard work and conscious effort. But I didn’t need to get married to know what I wanted in a good marriage. I saw good and bad examples everywhere. If I hadn’t gotten married, I would still be seeing examples of both everyday. My job (before I got married and had kids) did not include counseling couples, married or engaged or in trouble. But that didn’t stop my married friends at the time from coming to me sometimes to vent and ask for advice. You think maybe I’ve formed some insights on what goes right and what goes wrong in a marriage based on the stuff they tell me?

Popes and bishops and priests may be celibate, but they are certainly NOT innocent or ignorant of any of these things. They have had PLENTY, I’d be willing to say, MORE THAN ENOUGH experience dealing with all kinds of people from all walks of life, to form some very good opinions about human sexuality and marriage and all that comes with that. Not to mention the Church’s common sense teachings from the very beginning — our priests and bishops and Popes have seen these teachings applied, ignored, discussed and dissected, etc., etc. Just because they’ve chosen the celibate life doesn’t mean they have no understanding of human sexuality. In reality, and you may be surprised — they had to have a thorough understanding of it. It’s quite ridiculous to assume that these men have come to the decision to embrace celibacy lightly. They’re also getting a huge reward for this sacrifice, that most if not all of them believe it’s more than worth it, or that it’s not even really a sacrifice the way WE often think of “sacrifice”. But since we’re looking at this from the outside, I won’t presume to discuss how that all works. If you’re curious enough you might want to invite your parish priest to dinner sometime and see what he has to say about it.

Finally, Someone in the Philippine Media Gets It Right

And a lawyer to boot. You won’t usually see “Filipino”, “lawyer”, “writer”, and “understands Catholic teaching” all in the same sentence. Add to that he’s got an understanding of how contraceptives REALLY work. But hey, there’s always got to be a first time for everything, right?

Contraception and Abortion

A small excerpt, but you do have to see the whole thing to appreciate its impact (and its truths):

The more important moral issue which may even have legal implication is the connection between contraception and abortion. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the following contraceptives have already been medically proven to directly cause abortion: Depoprovera, RU 486, Intra-Uterine Device, Norplant and the Morning-After-Pill (Please see Project Abortifacients, Human Life International, June 1991). This is a claim that has never been denied or disproven by the proponents of the bill and their supporters. Yet the proposed bill will make them available to women. So it is quite clear that even if the bill still considers abortion as illegal and a punishable criminal act, it is nevertheless promoting abortion. In effect, the bill is promoting or abetting an act which it considers illegal. There is no free will or freedom of choice involved here. Such freedom definitely does extend to opting for something illegal.

Thank you very much, Atty. Jose Sison! Now, prayers needed that people actually read and heed…

Hat Tip to Erwin Daculan at Pinoy Defensor Fidei.