April 06 – The pastoral text of Fr Reuter is this: A mother may suffer from her nine months of pregnancy, but when her baby is put in her arms, she feels, ‘It was worth it!’
Father, I just read two news items – and I have a personal experience – that relates to your text message.
Today, one news item is that our Department of Education (DepEd) is aggressively pushing for a sex education plan for high schoolers (William Sparrow, April 05, atimes.com). The DepEd plan now only needs the approval of the Presidential Council on Values Formation (PCVF), we are told. The PCVF is now reviewing the ‘adolescent reproduction health manuals’ for secondary schools, according to Education Secretary Jesli A Lapus.
The other news items has Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, warning that ‘the government should not blame the booming population to the impending rice crisis’ (gmanews.tv). I salute the CBCP.
It’s plain to me that the sex education plan of the DepEd has something to do with population control, aka ‘family planning’ aka ‘reproductive health.’ And now they are using the country’s ‘booming population’ as the reason for the rice crisis, when it is a crisis of greed (some traders or their cohorts are hoarding the stocks), and a crisis of selfishness (some families or groups and their minions are buying beyond what they need), causing artificial shortage.
And now I must tell you, Father, that I am the father of children that number twelve, 12, a dozen – 8 lovely girls and 4 handsome boys who all take after their mother (they have only one) – and if there is overpopulation in these Pearls of the Orient Seas, I don’t have to look beyond the apartment we are renting.
Long ago and far away, when we had only about 6 children and our finances were down for (almost) too many years, among other things, my wife wanted a hysterectomy on her; a gynecologist would surgically remove her uterus – the womb is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant – and that would be that. But I would not allow her; she needed her husband’s consent and signature to have the operation. I explained to her that, on one hand, a hysterectomy was a man-made invasion that the woman’s body was not prepared for; on the other hand, a pregnancy is a natural thing, and that the woman’s body prepares for that one final moment for 9 months. Wasn’t that beautiful? No Father, I was speaking neither as a doctor nor a nurse, but as a husband and father. I was speaking as someone who did not believe in the wisdom of the theory of population eternally overtaking food supply by Thomas Robert Malthus, even if he was a Reverend (Church of England). I reverently disagree! (And no, Father, I did not show this to my wife – she will kill me for it.)