Pope Francis Tells Catholics don

He said parents have a moral responsibility to limit the number of their children.

INDONESIA

Jumat, 23 Jan 2015 18:53 WIB

Author

Madonna Virola

Pope Francis Tells Catholics don

Philippines, Pope Francis, birth control, Catholic church, Madonna T. Virola

A few years ago, 12 year old Glyzelle Palomar was begging for food on the streets of Manila.
 
Today she is in front of thousands of people asking a question to Catholic leader, Pope Francis.
 
"There are many children neglected by their own parents.  There are also many who are victims and many terrible things happen to them like drugs or prostitution.  Why is God allowing such things to happen, even if it is not the fault of the children?” she asked.

Pope Francis hugged Glyzelle and another boy who used to lived on the streets.

“She is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer and she wasn't even able to express it in words but in tears," he said.

The Pope Francis came with the message of Mercy and Compassion for poor people.

But days before the pope arrived, there were media reports that at least 100 homeless families were taken off the streets of Manila.
 
The government admitted to TIME magazine that they were taken about an hour and a half’s drive away to stay at a resort.
 
The trip was organized by the Department of Social Welfare who claim it was done so that the families would not be taken advantaged of by gangster style syndicates during the Pope’s visit.
 
But for non government organization Bahay Tuluyan Foundation, this reason sounds strange.
 
“We are very disappointed that people on the street were not able to participate in the celebration.  This leads to further marginalization and stigmatization of people on the streets.  We have also been disheartened by the fact that the government is attempting to deny that this kind of activity happened, ” said Catherine Scerri the deputy director of Bahay Tuluyan Foundation.

But the controversy didn’t stop record numbers of people coming out to see Pope Francis. He travelled in a pope mobile modeled on the local minibus the jeepney and was met with cheering crowds.
 
People travelled days to see him and many camped overnight to ensure a space in the crowd.
 
Lolita Estoque travelled from Mindoro province with a group of disabled people from her church.
 
“We slept in the boat but we shared fun stories. I was not feeling well but I was energized when I saw the Pope.  He embraced a boy without hands and feet.  He really has a big heart for the poor,” she said.
 
Filipinos were unusually disciplined in the crowds, except for leaving huge amounts of garbage.
 
Father Wilfredo Villas explains why he is such a popular Pope.
 
“Our people have been looking for a person who could bring them true message of hope.  Our people have been so long disappointed with our leaders in both government and church,” he explained.
 
On his trip home Pope Francis was asked about birth control. He said parents have a moral responsibility to limit the number of their children
 
“God gives you methods to be responsible. Some think that, excuse me if I use that word, that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No, responsible parenthood.”

Using contraception in the Philippines is a highly contentious issue.
 
The government only recently approved a law that gives people easy access to contraception.  The law was forcefully opposed by Catholic bishops.
 
Rights lawyer Clara Rita Padilla argues that the church’s position on birth control is pushing more families into poverty : “Here in the Philippines, half of all pregnancies are actually unintended.  People do not have access to proper fertility methods. You have 11 Filipino women dying everyday because of childbirth and childbirth complications. You’d have issues of children age 15 to 19 who have started childbearing early.” 
 
While calling for parents to be ‘responsible’, the pope also reaffirmed the church's ban on artificial means of birth control. He said there are plenty of church-approved natural ways to stop women getting pregnant.
 
Lawyer Clara Rita Padilla would like him to take a step further.
 
“The right to privacy and equality means that every individual should have the freedom to use contraceptives,” argued Padilla.

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