Pinoys react to a more progressive Catholic Church

By Henni Espinosa and Raul Legaspi, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

November 5, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – In a move that shows the Catholic Church is becoming more progressive, the Vatican recently asked bishops and parish priests around the world about their thoughts and views on three controversial issues: divorce, birth control and gay marriage.

This is to prepare for the meeting of bishops next year.

The survey said the Church is aware of concerns pertaining to the modern family, such as the widespread practice of cohabitation and same-sex unions between people and their ability to adopt and raise children.

A sign that the new pope is committed to changing the church’s approach to once-marginalized groups, Pope Francis had this to say about homosexuality: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

In Chandler, Arizona, this drew some mixed reactions from the Filipino community. Some welcomed the Church’s more progressive stance. Others want Catholics to stay conservative.

“I think that after the Pope said this, there will be more tolerance in the world. He is an amazing man. He is very forward thinking view and it has gotten me excited about being a Catholic again,” Atty. Lemuel Carlos said.

“For a long time, I knew that the Church will never accept homosexuality in the community, in the family. They will not tolerate that,” argued Charmel de la Cruz.

Recent data show that Catholicism continues to play an influential role among Filipinos. Despite reports of a decline in membership worldwide, the number of Filipino Catholics actually increased in the Philippines.

From 70 million in 2011, there are now 76 million Filipino Catholics there.

Even those who end up living abroad said they remain devoted to the faith, especially now that Pope Francis is more in tuned to modern-day issues like gay marriage.

“It will help bring back people to the Catholic Church,” Ricardo Adamos pointed out.

Even with the Pope’s prodding for parishioners to accept all kinds of people, there are kababayans who still said that when it comes to a serious issue like marriage, same-sex couples do not have the same rights before the eyes of God.

“It’s a very sensitive issue. However I do respect gays. But when it comes to marriages, I still believe that it’s only reserved for a man and a woman,” Rhoda Durnin stated.

John Michael Talbot concluded, “The Pope isn’t telling us to be immoral. This Pope is saying let’s focus on our relationship with God and then our morality will flow out of that and the morality will be strong, because it’s not just about the law… It’s about love.”

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4 Comments on this post.

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  • Daisy Gay N. Fetter
    5 November 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Morally, marriage is for man and woman and be called husband and wife. If same sex marry, who will be the wife? or the husband? Perhaps by the law of the land, same sex marriage is acceptable but not by the law of God.

  • Gigi D. Nakila
    5 November 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Who will be the wife or the husband in the same sex marriage? The world became more technologically advanced and the moral value of the people is differing and against the law of God.

  • JD
    6 November 2013 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    People that is gay, is sick they don’t know what is wrong or right ? They all belong in Hell. If you believe in God you wouldn’t do crazy things like begin a Gay ? Maybe it’s about time we all tell them they don’t belong with the real people on earth !

    • Gigi D. Nakila
      7 November 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      We all belong on earth. It’s just that, not all the people who exist on earth are good ones. It always depends on how we chose to do the right or the other way around. Who are we to judge? I am not against Gay people, it’s what they do that against the moral value that I disagree more on the marriage issue.