. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:
"Why should Catholics support the Pope’s (and, consequently, the Church’s) stand? Because our faith tells us that the Pope is Christ’s vicar here on earth, our direct link to God, and that whatever he binds here on earth is bound in heaven as well (Mt 16:17-19). We believe it because the Church (through the present Pope and as far back as Pope Pius XI in his Casti Connubii, and even further to Sts. Jerome and Augustine of Hippo) had already spoken — infallibly — on contraception as a grave evil. Should we believe the Church’s teachings? Yes, because every Sunday, during Mass, we proclaim to everybody that we believe 'in the holy Catholic Church.' As you say, do.
Can’t it be said that we Catholics should be able to exercise our free will on the matter? Yes, but by analogy, as any first year law student will tell you, the freedoms embodied in our Constitution indicates the freedom to do right and never wrong. Does this mean we can’t refer to our own individual conscience and our own personal interpretation of the Bible? Yes, but note that the truth (for which our consciences are hopefully anchored on) and doctrine on this matter has already been taught to us by the Church. Furthermore, as Catholics, our faith does not lie in the Bible alone, which — incidentally — is to be interpreted properly and intelligently. Our faith rests in the Bible, holy tradition, and the Church (Catechism No. 95), and all have told us the conviction to choose life and reject contraception. Does this mean that we don’t have a say as to what we do with our own bodies? As St. Paul says, our bodies are not our own, for we’ve been purchased at a great price that is Christ’s death on the cross (I Cor. 6:19-20)."