During a recent speech, Duterte pointed out that the government cannot fully implement family planning because the Church and some religious groups are against it. “That is why one of my reasons why I do not like itong [this] creeping influence of faith that sometimes run counter to what government believes to be good for the people, at least in this temporal life,” he said.
That’s not the only matter that the Church has opposed on. They’ve spoken against same-sex marriage, especially after Duterte expressed support for it before saying he’s mostly supporting civil partnerships, and called on Filipinos not to legalize it. This is understandable since the Catholic Church believes in the sacrament of matrimony, but we’re also hoping that they don’t meddle with the decision of same-sex couples to at least get married in court for now.
Don’t get us wrong, the Catholic Church is allowed to make a stance on matters like these. But it doesn’t seem right when they control the government on what should and shouldn’t be done. BBC reported that most of our laws “are often framed around Catholic values.” Even the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) featured a study that the Church “gives undeniable influence to PH politics.”
Also, not every law is an attack on religion. Yes, the Philippines is a dominantly Catholic country. But we have to understand that the laws mentioned above will help the citizens, especially the marginalized. We’re sure God (or any higher being that people believe in) wouldn’t approve of making people’s lives difficult and oppressing them because of selfish decisions.