Virtuous Living: Religious Perspectives on Population Management

MP-KNN teamUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Bishop Rodrigo Tano, IPPRP

By Patricia Vega

Regardless of which deity one prays to, all practitioners of the world’s major religions place importance on human life and dignity: arguably the same causes espoused by advocates of population and development. However, not all religions share the view that population can and should be managed via artificial means.

Bishop Rodrigo Tano, IPPRP

Bishop Rodrigo Tano of the IPPRP at the media forum

Bishop Rodrigo Tano of the Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood gave an overview of religious perspectives on population management at the recent Mulat Pinoy media forum held at Annabel’s Restaurant.

Among the major religions practiced in the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Church has the most conservative view on population and development. The Church believes that there is no correlation between population growth rates and the economic condition. Furthermore, the Church believes that population development is “anti-life” or “abortionist,” and that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil. Roman Catholic doctrine states that marriage serves to unite a man and woman for the purposes of procreation: these are inseparable. Tano notes, however, that members of the Philippine clergy have opposing views on popped issues, with some factions stating that the Humanae Vitae is not infallible.

Protestant denominations have a more open-minded view, and are of the opinion that population growth and economic development are interrelated. Family planning–both natural and artificial–is perfectly acceptable, provided that the methods used are legal, safe, and moral. This marked difference in thinking is hinged on Protestant beliefs that 1) man is a free, thinking, and volitional being, and 2) that the procreative and unifying aspects of marriage can be separate.

The Iglesia ni Cristo, in turn, place importance on faithful stewardship, which they believe may be achieved through a balance between population and development. The Iglesia espouses responsible parenthood to ensure quality of life, and believes that a sound family planning program promotes justice and well-being. The INC favor free and informed reproductive health choice, and its practitioners may employ both natural and artificial contraception.

Family planning is also encouraged by Islam; in fact. the Koran teaches birth spacing in two-year intervals. This is because Islam believes that the family–as a basic social unit–requires responsible parenthood and health. Like the Protestant denomination and INC, Islam approves of family planning methods that are safe and legal, and RH programs that are non-coercive, responsible, and informed.

Tano is quick to point out that despite differences in religious beliefs on population and development, there have been moves towards interfaith cooperation, the most recent and relevant being the proposed Consensus Bill on Population.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *