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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Defending Our Faith

Advocacy for RH and Catholicism are not mutually exclusive.
Read on...

For this priest, sex ‘a good thing,’ Church made it ‘bad’
By Vincent Cabreza

Inquirer, Last updated 07:04am (Mla time) 10/25/2006

Published on page A4 of the October 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAGUIO CITY -- There are a handful of Catholic priests in the Philippines who will tell you sex is a "good thing." A few will even admit it's the Church's fault for making sex "a bad thing."

Teachers and pastors here met one of these outspoken priests last week during a training retreat sponsored by the Institute of Women's Studies that was devoted to gender sensitivity. Some of the participants appeared surprised to hear a priest reveal how the Church had propagated sexism in Philippine society.

Fr. Percy Juan Bacani, a moral theologist and superintendent of high schools operated by the Diocese of Baguio, said the Catholic doctrine on "guilt" had very much eroded Filipinos' appreciation for, and even enjoyment of, sex. The Church, he said, is a male-dominated power center where the female plays a far diminutive role. It is this ideological foundation which explains why Filipino women today are less valued than women of an ancient Filipino culture where they were revered. Women who shine in Catholic societies only achieve their ambition by imbibing the male culture, or by sustaining the myth "that the only good women are virgins," Bacani said.

President ‘man-like’

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he said, is more “man-like” in her shrewdness at politics. More were surprised when the priest suggested that the devoted turn back to the spiritual nature of indigenous Filipino worship in order to unlearn the Christian dogma that has made some religious Filipinos abhor sex. Bacani cautioned his audience that his lessons about religion and sex were based on “my struggles to be a man in the right way.”

It is an ongoing struggle, he later told the Inquirer.

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