Palace: Church, gov’t don’t agree on everything

Natashya Gutierrez
Palace: Church, gov’t don’t agree on everything
Malacañang makes the statement following Pope Francis' latest pronouncement against the use of contraceptives, which the government-backed RH law promotes

MANILA, Philippines – Popemania is still tangible in the country a day after Pope Francis’ departure from the Philippines, but Malacañang was frank in saying it does not agree with everything Pope Francis said.

Asked about the contradiction between the government’s support for the Reproductive Health (RH) law and the Pope’s position against contraceptives, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the administration recognizes differences in opinions between the government and the church.

Ang hinahanap po natin dito ay ‘yung convergence or harmony para magkaroon tayo ng batayan for common ground and for common action. Hindi po magkahalintulad sa lahat ng aspeto ‘yung posisyon ng pamahalaan at ng simbahan at kinikilala din natin ‘yung pagkakaiba,” he said on Tuesday, January 20.

(What we look for is a convergence or harmony so that we can have a basis for common ground and common action. This does not mean in all cases, the position of the government and church are the same, and we recognize the differences).

He added that while there are disagreements, cooperation could be fostered based on similarities.

Kaya ‘yan ang pokus ng ating pamahalaan, ‘yung pagkasunduan, pagtulungan ‘yung mga aspeto na puwedeng maging batayan para matulungan natin ang nakararami sa ating mga kababayan para magtatag tayo ng mga mas matitibay na pamilya at sa ganoong paraan ay lalong bumuti ang ating lipunan,” he said.

(That is the focus of the government – agreeing on, helping each other on the aspects that can befome the basis to help  the greater number of our people so that we can build stronger families and in that way, further improve society.)

During his visit, specifically in his Malacañang speech, the Pope emphasized “respect for the inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the unborn and extending to that of the elderly and infirm” – viewed as clear opposition to the government’s strong push for the RH law, a bill that languished for over a decade in Congress before it was finally approved last year.

The Pope also made pronouncements against corruption and serving the poor – which the government said are incorporated into their programs through the good governance agenda of President Benigno Aquino III and the Conditional Cash Transfer program, the government’s flagship poverty reduction program.

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