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Panganiban, Roman Cyril A.

February 4, 2015

2008 03955

English 10

Forgive the Church


Through the scorching heat of the sun, or even through the gustiness of the wind and
heavy downpour of the rain, millions of Filipinos waited for hours to have even just one glance of
the Pope. They believe that just by seeing him, their lives would somehow be blessed and be
changed. This shows the tremendous faith Filipinos have for the Catholic Church but, does the
Church deserve such praise considering that because of their ideals, particularly in population,
our development as individuals and as a country is somehow being hindered.
Catholicism is the leading religion in the Philippines. Based on the Philippine Statistics
Authority- National Statistical Coordination Boards (NSCB) data released on January 13, 2011,
Catholics compose 82.9% of the Filipino population and the remaining 17.1% belongs to
Protestants, Muslims, Independent Church and the Iglesia. Having this kind of situation, the
Catholic Church possesses great influence over majority of the Filipinos and this includes affairs
and decisions made by the government. A prime example of this would be the issue of our
countrys population control.
Population plays a large part in the development of a country. The Philippine Center for
Population and Development (PCPD) believes that development can only be sustainable if a
proper balance is maintained between the country's population and resources. Let us take the
basic unit of society for an example, the family. Common sense would tell us that one should
only make a family as big as one can only support. I personally know a guy that has 12 children
but has no regular work. This situation means that the family has more mouths to feed and with
the current state of our economy, it also means less money to spend. Consequently, this leads
to poverty.

According to World Banks World Development Indicators last updated on April 23, 2013,
the Philippines shows a 1.7% population growth which is comparably higher than those of more
developed countries like Canada that shows a 1 % growth rate and the United States that
shows a 0.7% growth rate. In order to curb this rate down, lawmakers have proposed the
Reproductive Health Bill.
The bill, which proposes methods such as contraceptives and family planning, is widely
criticized and opposed by the Church. The Church believes that the bill is anti- life and that the
problem is corruption, not population. They are in contradiction of teaching the younger
generation about sex and artificial contraception because this is against their ideals, that this is
not what God wanted for this is not the natural way.
The Churchs argument shows that they are being close- minded especially on issues
wherein their beliefs are being challenged. Through observation, one can say that over
population is really a problem. I know that the Church also sees this because even the Pope
addressed the issue on population growth through his breeding like rabbits statement but, the
problem is that the Church does not want to acknowledge this fact because it will be going
against their teachings. I am not saying that the Church should change its foundations but only
to have an open mind with issues like this where a clash between Church and State happens.
They should consider the pros and cons of the issue first and decide based on facts not on pure
ideology. They should not enforce what they want to their followers but, let them have the
freedom to decide on their own. I believe that the Church should be adaptive and dynamic in
their teachings and ideals. They should change with time and adapt to the modern way of
thinking.

References:
NSCB: http://www.nscb.gov.ph/view/people.asp
Philippine Center for Population and Development: http://www.pcpd.ph/
World Bank, World Development Indicators:
http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SP.POP.GROW/compare?country=ph#country=ca:ph:us