The Youth and the Birth Control Quarrel
Message to My Beloved Youth
My dear youth of Pangasinan,
I know how much it saddens you to see your parents fight in front of you—at the dinner table, in the car or anywhere in the house. I know how much such quarrels between your parents confuse you, disillusion you and discourage you deeply yet quietly.
As it is at home so it is in community, in society, in the country. As your Church parents and parents in government “quarrel” again in public over issues of contraception, abortion and birth control, I am worried that you might be left on the fringes as usual to be voiceless spectators. You might start to say “Here they go again!” and walk away angry, confused and misled. You might start to get rebellious against authority and grow cynical about society because we your adults cannot agree.
If our rallies and exchange of harsh words hurt you, please forgive us your elders. It is surely not our intention to cause you distress or to lead you to get discouraged. Believe me my dear sons and daughters, we your Church elders stand against contraception and abortion because we love you, we love God and we love His commandments. Maybe our fault is that we have not clarified it earlier that we are not fighting to win over the other. This quarrel is not for us. It is for you. I am standing to defend you. We are fighting error because you might be misled. We are battling against contraception because we know it can harm your soul. Believe me. Contraception harms your soul. Contraception is corruption.
You heard then candidate now President Noynoy Aquino during his campaign “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap!” He was elected in a landslide victory because he spoke what we carried in our hearts. Corruption is the cancer of the Philippines that prevents us from growing. When he called us his “Boss”, we cheered. When he banned “wang wang” in the streets and the moral “wang wang” in the bureaucracy, we followed his vision.
My dear youth, contraception is corruption. The use of government money, taxpayers’ money, to give out contractive pills is corruption. Contraceptive pills teach us this “It is alright to have sex with someone provided you are safe from babies. Babies are a nuisance.” A culture of contraception looks at babies as reasons for our poverty. Birth control, they say, means more food, more classrooms, more houses and better health for mothers. If more babies are the cause of poverty, are we now saying “Kung walang anak, walang mahirap?” It does not rhyme because it is not correct. We can have more classrooms, more food, more jobs and more hospitals if we would be less corrupt. Send out the corrupt officials not the babies! My dear youth, your birth was not a mistake. Your birth was God’s gift to us your elders. You are not the problem. You are our blessing. The problem is the corruption of your elders, we your elders. We your elders must change so your future can be brighter. Pardon those who say children are a nuisance. No! No! No! You are a blessing and I embrace you all and I love you all!
Contraception always fails like all human inventions. When contraception fails, a birth control generation will give birth to an abortion generation. A contraceptive pill is to be considered an essential medicine. If it is a medicine, what sickness is it curing? Is pregnancy a sickness? If it is a medicine that is supposed to cure, why do healthy women get sick with cancer after taking the contraceptive pills? My dear youth, contraception makes healthy people sick. It makes pure people corrupt. It makes us look at babies as nuisance not gifts. My dear youth, anyone who treats you as nuisance, I will fight. I am against contraception because I am pro-child. I am against contraception because I am pro mother. I love you my dear children. Thank God for mothers who give birth to jewels like you!
I know that many of you my dear youth do not believe in the Church anymore. You think the Church does not understand. The Church is autistic—“may sariling mundo! The bishops are not listening. The bishops preach from their ivory towers. The bishops are not aware of what the majority of the people undergo. They are distant and unreachable.”
You are somehow correct but not fully.
Matanda na kami! Totoong matanda pero ang matanda ay tagapag paalala sa mga bata. Kung puro bata na lang tayong lahat, wala ng magtuturo at magpapaalala sa mga gintong aral ng kahapon. There is a wisdom that only age and experience can give. We are old but God made us old so we can be reminders for you not to forget our Filipino values, the commandments of God and the rules of good character. You have jokingly told me to dye my hair so I can look young and handsome. Jokingly yet truthfully I told you, I will not. It took me fifty one years to have this. I am proud to be gray haired and old. Being old makes me different from you but it also gives me a chance to be a reminder of the silver lessons of the past and the golden promises of the life to come. Ang matanda ay tanda! Ang matanda ay living reminder.
When we teach you that contraception is corruption, we are not being insensitive to the challenge of modernity or deaf to surveys of social behaviour. Rather, we are just being protective of you because we know it can destroy you sooner that you think. Europe is on the downtrend. It is losing its soul because it now relies on the influx of migrants to keep it afloat. They are facing a severe wintertime in their child births. It is losing its identity because it does not have children and youth to carry the torch. They started with contraception, they embraced abortion and now they are killing their weak and sick grandparents. Paul VI prophesied that artificial contraception could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. And it is happening in Europe. We your elders plead with you do not follow that path to moral corruption. Dare to be different. Dare to be better!
We want to be a tiger economy in Asia like our neighbour countries. What is a tiger without teeth? What is progress without giggling children? For whom do we envision progress—just for ourselves? What is victory at the expense of our immortal souls? Matanda na kami. Kaya kami tumanda para mayroon kayong tanda sa buhay.
Mga apo, mga anak, mga pamangkin at mahal sa buhay. There is no Tagalog or Pangasinan word for contraception because it is not only ungodly, it is also unFilipino.
Contraception is corruption. Contraception is the mother of abortion. Contraception makes sex pleasure cheap without responsibility. Contraception says babies and children are annoying. Contraception is contra youth. Contraception is contra children. Contraception is against us.
Fight contraception or we perish as a godly nation. Youth of Pangasinan, youth of the Philippines, I love you. Because I love you, I will fight contraception. This battle is for you and I fight for love of you.
From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, August 4, 2012
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
Apostolic Administrator of San Fernando de La Union
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)