Does he understand?
If one still has any doubts that the current sitting President, Benigno Aquino III Jr, has firmly decided to alienate himself from his Catholic identity, then his recent pronouncement should leave no more doubts. His defiant attitude towards the Church by his unabashed support of the RH bill is now firmly reinforced by his recent pronouncement in apparent support of same-sex marriage.
President Noynoy Aquino, who prides himself in being Jesuit-educated, says in response to a query on same-sex marriage:
"Gay marriage—I don’t think I’m ready to tackle that fight right now. But the perspective... it is their choice. Normally I would say, you’re adults, you should be able to do whatever you want so long as it doesn’t harm anybody else...."
One wonders whether PNoy's "principled" stand is simply contingent on whether or not he is ready to "tackle that fight". One further wonders whether his principle is simply dependent on his targeted mass popularity by kowtowing to the liberal public. His perspective on placing individual "choice" over and above an essential principle in Catholic doctrine clearly puts himself in direct contradiction to a "non-negotiable" in the public sphere which is clearly spelled out by the Catholic Church of which he claims to be a follower.
Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes that the Church is consciously drawing particular attention to three principles which are non-negotiable, wherein the second non-negotiable goes as follows:
[The] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family - as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage - and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;
Yet perhaps the president is a devout advocate of the principle of "Separation of Church and State", which is pretty much interpreted these days as equivalent to saying that just about anything the Church says should be altogether disregarded and repudiated in these modern times. Pope Benedict XVI in his recent address to the German Bundestag shreds such a positivist approach to nature and reason as being opposed to true human freedom, but then again it may be too much to expect PNoy to train his ears towards the Holy Father's words. Perhaps his ears may have been too much attuned to the proclamations of the self-proclaimed "messiah": President Obama of the United States.
Be as it may, with regards to Church-State separation and its misguided interpretations, we may yet look into what the State - specifically the Philippine State - has to say on the matter. It is no secret that the Philippine Constitution enshrines the principle in Article II Section 12:
"The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution"
Unless the Philippine president has purposely ignored this fundamental constitutional provision with the same nonchalance he has shown to fundamental Catholic teachings, it would be at least charitable to say that his phalanx of presidential advisers have taken a vacation - since day one of his presidency. Perhaps even with the same strange stance on PNoy's part, it is worth remembering that his own mother (God bless her), the late President Corazon Aquino was the very person who in 1987 promulgated the Family Code of the Philippines, which in Article II states to wit:
"No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present: (1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female"
Note: must be male and female. In supporting same-sex marriages, PNoy has chosen to contradict the Church, the State, and his own mother in his dalliance with his own shadow. Let it be said that today's Gospel is about obedience, even if one does not understand fully. Apparently, PNoy's dillema is more about not being able to understand more than having the virtue of obedience. But maybe, perhaps both.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Does he understand?