Do we know what Catholics want?
The above title of Rina Jimenez-David's latest opinion piece in the Philippine Inquirer begs the question in a manner of speaking that what the majority 'Catholics' want, must surely be accorded superiority in the public sphere by weight of argument. If many of them want something, they must be right? Of course it goes without saying that it is a source of mystery as to what she means by the word 'Catholics'.
Just by her opening salvo, it is not difficult to predict where the rest of the column is leading to, going by her previous diatribes against the Catholic Church here, here, and here.
Again, she laments the involvement of the Church in the RH bill, going as far with an allegation that "there’s word that the Catholic hierarchy has talked to Arroyo and wrangled an agreement that in exchange for their continuing support, the President would prevent passage of the bill by talking to her congressional allies..". Never mind if it is plain hearsay because just after a few more sentences, Ms. David quickly reveals her foregone conclusion:
In sum, Ms. David's idea of the Church's role is to flex political muscle and moralistic bullying at the expense of the 'greater good of citizens'. So, to Rina David, the Church is just a terrorist organization, being hostage-takers? But then again, it is another source of mystery as to what she understands by the word 'greater good of citizens', let alone the word 'moralistic'.
Ms. David now draws parallels with the health care debate in the United States. She devotes much of the rest of her column into extolling the advocacy of the US-based group "Catholics For Choice". This group, which calls themselves Catholics, advances the hotly-debated health care reform by the Obama administration. This group is also unabashedly pro-abortion, and that is why they label themselves as pro-choice Catholics: "for choice". That is, for choice of abortions. It's website states that: "Catholic support for legal abortion is grounded in core principles of Catholic theology, which respect the moral agency of all women". Apparently, this group has also invented its own catechism.
On a related note, Rhode Island Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has released an open letter to Congressman Patrick Kennedy, in response to the public statement of Congressman Kennedy that: “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues (read: abortion) does not make me any less of a Catholic” .
Here is an excerpt from Bishop Tobin's letter:
The same question may be directed to our own sari-sari-store 'Catholics'.
Back to Rina David's column. She concludes her piece by saying:
Well Rina, first of all: Do you know what being a Catholic means?.