Former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros today slammed Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Vice-President Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma for branding advocates of the Reproductive Health Bill as terrorists.
In a statement, Hontiveros described Palma’s statement as “foolish and ridiculous.”
“Terrorism is the method of taking hostage a community or a population to demand the unattainable, and exacting it through the use of violence. So how could the simple desire of providing women and Filipino families with another chance at life is called terrorism? It flies in the face of logic,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros said Palma’s statement is lamentable as the Catholic Church hierarchy is only further isolating itself from its constituents.
“What is happening to the church? Why is it detaching itself from the very people it is supposed to shepherd? Recently, they called the President unchristian for his fervent support for the bill. Subsequently, they asked pro-RH Catholics not to go to church anymore. What’s next; call us infidels or worse, followers of Lucifer? Hontiveros asked.
Hontiveros also expressed disapproval of the Catholic Church hierarchy’s proclivity at name-calling.
“Name-calling is a tactic used by those who can’t argue rationally. It also a scheme used by those who ran out of rational arguments to use to justify their position on a particular issue. With the Catholic Church hierarchy engaged in such a crude and deplorable scheme, it virtually admitted that it has lost the battle on the RH discourse,” Hontiveros stressed.
The staunch RH advocate asked pro-RH advocates not to be provoked by Palma’s statement.
“They want us to substitute rational, fact-based discourse with lies, verbal abuse and misconceptions. We will not give them that pleasure,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros also called on all reasonable “men of cloth” and “women religious” to save the image of the Catholic Church.
“I am a Catholic. And it hurts me when my church acts in a way that is contrary to our interest as a Catholic community. As such, I urge all those inside the Catholic Church institution to speak out and tell the public that not all are like Palma. Tell them the Catholic Church is still the church of the people. Heed the people’s voice supporting the RH bill,” Hontiveros concluded.
Tweeters were just as appalled at the bishop’s name calling, @sagadasun finds it ” reprehensible to use the terrorist label reserved for the Abu Sayyaf and the NPA.”