Present at the RH Bicameral Conference Committe were Senators Pia Cayetano, TG Guingona, Tito Sotto, Allan Cayetano, Bongbong Marcos, Kiko Pangilinan, Koko Pimentel, Ping Lacson and Ralph Recto for the part of the Senate. For the House of Representatives the Bicam contingents were Reps. Edcel Lagman, Antonio Tinio, Janeth Garin, Dina Abad, Teddy Baguilat, Kaka Bag-ao, Mel and Cesar Sarmiento, and Danny Suarez.
After being certified as urgent bill by President Aquino last Thursday and its victory on the House of Representatives also last Thursday, the Senate has finally voted on the controversial Reproductive Health Bill today.
At the vote of 13-8, the Senate finally passed the RH Bill on 2nd reading. Right after Senate Majority Leader and prime oppositor of the RH measure Se. Vicente Sotto III had finished his amendments proposal, the Senators then immediately voted for its passing.
After decades of debates in the congress, the controversial RH Bill has finally passed the 1st stage. What supposed to be tomorrows voting was held today in the House of Representatives. In voting via Viva Voce, the members of the House of Representatives finally voted to end the debates on the RH Bill and move to the 2nd stage which is the stage of amendments.
After President Aquino’s public endorsement of the Responsible Parenthood/Reproductive Health Bill through his 3rd State of the Nation Address, the Hierarchy of the Catholic church with other Anti-RH Bill groups started again their offensives against it. It also came after congress announced that on Tueday August 7, 2012 the controversial bill will be voted on.
Yesterday several Catholic groups and Anti-RH Bill groups gathered in EDSA Shrine to (as they say) call on God to influence the mind of every Senators and Representatives not to vote for the bill. They also denied insinuations that the protest rally was done to pressure members of the congress to vote against the passage of the bill. And based on their statements and arguments it seemed that they are using the art of deception, lies and mis-information for people to back out support for this important bill in congress.
But ever since the church we used to go, turned into an anti-RH stage, I opted not to join my family in attending mass there.
Instead I just remain home and join a virtual mass on the television. This concept of Sunday service is not new to me, having been introduced to it by my lola eversince I’m elementary when there is still no form of transportation to our town where the church resides. With that, whenever I cannot (or I don’t feel leaving the house to) go to church, I just sit infront of the TV and join the whole community in celebrating the Eucharist.
Of all the TV Mass Ministries, the one that I really loved joining is Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite’s Rivers of the Living Water Ministry shown on Studio 23 from the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall.
I like how this priest handles his homilies, very light yet insipiring, simple yet entertaining. He doesn’t involve politics in discussing the liturgy and in giving sermon. He uses stories and examples that people can easily identify to, and words that are not very hard to comprehend. He makes it so simple and entertaining so the people won’t get bored. While it is usual for many people (including me sometimes) to fall asleep during the homily, Fr. Mario can keep the congregation awake and alive with his witty stories and commentaries about the subject. I think if he pursued entertainment career over priesthood, he can do good in comedy.
He is one example of what church authority should be. Instead of defying his flock because of difference in opinion, he welcomed everyone with wide arms. He is not an imposing pastor but and inspiring shepherd to his flock. And this is what other bishops and priest should emulate. A priest who draws Catholics closer and not pushing them further.
I love what he said on last Sunday’s homily, that the Church belongs to God and not to the priests, bishops or pope. That should remind those anti-RH priests and bishops to be the pastor they ought to be and mentor its flock not not just leaders who imposes their people on everything they want.
“As priests uphold their people in prayer, so their people are to uphold them with prayer and love, for he cannot work without his people.” – Arthur Middleton
For quite sometime now, the issue on the RH Bill is still a hot topic everyone are talking about. Sa TV, sa Radio, sa newspapers and also in many online forums, itong issue na to ang umaani ng napakaraming hits. Pati nga sa loob mismo ng simbahan na supposed to be is a place of worship and prayer, RH Bill still is resounding. Catholic Bishops have branded the president as unchristian and the supporters as terrorists. One priest in Baguio City even slammed former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros for her stand for the Bill and threatened pro-RH Bill parishioners not to attend mass because they might be forced to moved out of the churches.