Short of implying that people who support the RH Bill are evil, the Parish Pastoral Council of Santuario de San Jose in Mandaluyong City encouraged those who favoured the passing of the RH Bill to cleanse their soul through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
"In this connection, we would like to advise parishioners who promote or support the RH Bill NOT (repeat NOT) to receive Holy Communion until they go to Sacramental Confession and renounce the RH Bill," read the statement, which is now circulating in social networking sites.
Going by the strict code of Catholic catechism, people who are in a "state of sin" are barred from the receiving the Holy Sacrament (the ritual of eating a piece of wafer that represents the "body and blood of Christ" usually handed out by a priest during a Catholic religious service).
"The Church forbids receiving Holy Communion if we are not in a state of grace, meaning we have not committed a mortal sin. Because the RH Bill is inherently immoral and evil, recommending, supporting, defending, promoting and practicing its provisions and tenets constitute a mortal sin against many of the 10 commandments," it said.
Well, let me tell you about what it means to be in this "state of grace" required for us to receive this much-vaunted "Holy Communion" that the Church is using as the proverbial gun held up to us sinners' heads.
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What is "mortal sin"?
According to Vatican doctrine, a person commits Mortal Sin when three "conditions" are met: when the offense is "grave", and committed with "full knowledge" and "deliberate consent".
Still scratching your head?
Join millions of others including the most formidable minds in human history. The concept of "sin" much less its variants and subsets defies definition. By the very ironic admission of the very men-in-robes who make these idiotic pronouncements and write these brain-dead "pastoral letters", it is only God in his "infinite wisdom" that can truly judge who has and who has not sinned. The Catholic Encyclopaedia contains volumes of verbal diarrhoea on the subject and a search for examples of "mortal sin" yields unsatisfying results at best and bullshit on the average. Indeed, there is no such concept of "mortal" or "venial" sin in the Holy Bible, which means that all this is no more than a crock cooked up by the bejewelled princes of Rome.
Why does "mortal sin" defy definition?
Simple. Because unlike ideas produced by real philosophy and real science, theological concepts are backward-engineered from dogma.
The exercise of philosophical and scientific inquiry is a discipline where ideas are progressively revealed while seeking to validate hypotheses that are regarded to be unsound until proven otherwise. In contrast, theology seeks to cough up some semblance of logical and structural rigour to prop up ideas that are held to be valid by edict.
The result is a convoluted system of thinking the vacuousness of which becomes evident when one seeks answers. This is where the Catholic Church and its army of clerics derive their power. With this deliberate confusion created in the minds of the "faithful", Church clerics will always have a job, as people who lack the faculties to seek and evaluate information will always be inclined to seek their "services".
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This useless anxiety built around the nebulous concept of "sin" created by the Church is therefore a powerful tool that we now see being wielded in this "crusade" against the RH Bill. Who, for that matter, can be considered to be truly in this nebulous "state of grace"? If I were to make a guesstimate of the proportion of Filipinos who see themselves as being as full of grace as the Mary they hail, I'd say 97 percent of Filipinos consider themselves pure enough of spirit to receive the Holy Sacrament. Step into a typical Filipino Catholic Sunday mass, and you will see most of the congregation queueing up to receive the little white round "bread" handed out by the priest towards the end of the "service".
That is considering that even harbouring an "impure thought" constitutes a fall from this "grace", if we are to believe Catholic rulings. If this ruling is taken seriously by Filipinos, then we would need to outsource "Confession" services to India and China to keep up with demand for "services" to re-establish "grace" in Filipinos' souls!
If Filipinos are independent-minded enough to deem themselves de facto worthy to queue up to receive the "Body and Blood of our Lord", then perhaps they can take the same logical leap and apply the same independent mind when it comes to considering Reproductive Health in their country.