Saturday, January 24, 2015

Philippines: Pope Francis's Call Not To Breed Like Rabbits

Saturday I went to the two big churches in Cebu: the Cathedral and the Basilica Santo Nino; and perhaps because there are still many tourists (for the Sinulog Festival), there were many beggars. Among them were women in their thirties with three - four children, all of them looking malnourished. There were also many children beggars. (These beggars do not molest tourists; they sit on the sidewalks passively with their hands outstretched, unlike some other beggars I have encountered in other parts of the world.)

The sight of the mothers disturbed me because they already had a string of children close in age, and these women were young enough to have more children, meaning more children would be born to such dire poverty.

What I'm getting at is the fact that the Philippines is overpopulated at over 100 million people. The area of the Philippines is 300,000 square kilometers. Just for perspective, the United States has 316 million people with total land size of 9,857,305 square kilomenters. Take a look at the figures: the Philippines has very many people in a limited space with limited resources.

Pope Francis, who had just visited the Philippines, stirred the pot when he said Catholics don't have to breed like rabbits. He apparently met a woman with seven children, all by C-section, and the woman was pregnant again.

Although he has toned down his initial statement, the Pope said Catholics should practice responsible parenthood, and that there are many church-approved ways to regulate births. The Pope pointed out what Filipino religious should have noted and ministered to: the country is busting at the seams with people.

Indeed, Filipinos need to practice responsible parenthood. Having six, eight, even ten children whom you can't feed and care for, is simply not responsible. It is said that there are over a million street children in the Philippines. There are children in jail; children are exploited. I am sad to say that the Philippines is a favorite tourist stop for pedophiles.

The Philippine government has been aware of the country's overpopulation (and poverty) and has for 15 years been trying to pass a birth control law, but it had been vigorously opposed by the Catholic Church. Finally after a long battle, and with President Nonoy Aquino's muscle, the birth control law was passed in 2014.

I quote from The National World:

"The Philippines highest court approved Tuesday (April 2014) a birth control law that supporters said would transform the lives of millions of poor Filipinos, in a stunning defeat for the powerful Catholic Church.
. . .
"This monumental decision upholds the separation of church and state and affirms the supremacy of government in secular concerns like health and socio-economic development," legislator Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the law, said immediately after the verdict."

It's taken a long time for the Philippines to catch up with other Catholic countries such as Italy, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and others that have had birth control laws in place, but well, here we finally are.

Read also
Don't Breed like Rabbit
Pope Francis in the Philippines
Pope Francis and his Childhood Girlfriend
Cebu: The Sensational Elopement of Milagros and Manuel Cuenco

Pictures are courtesy of Wikipedia.

Tags: birth control, overpopulation, Pope Francis, Philippines, Catholic, #PopeFrancis
This is all for now,

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