‘Couples should be guided by their conscience’
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Former Polish President Lech Walesa expressed belief yesterday that couples should be guided by their conscience, decide for themselves and not be dictated on whether they should use contraceptives.

The 69-year-old Walesa, a devout Catholic and Nobel Peace Prize awardee, said that the issue of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the country should be done through proper consciousness and proper education.

“It has to be done by responsible motherhood or parenthood,” said Walesa.

He added, “the Polish Church is always conscious of such and it is appealing that it is the responsibility and proper education that would lead to proper birth control... It has to come from the conscience and not from imposing condoms or any other items.”

Walesa was at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila yesterday and delivered a lecture.

UST vice rector for religious affairs Fr. Filemon de la Cruz Jr., O.P., said that people would often invoke the separation of Church and State, but during the 1986 EDSA Revolution this division was never raised.

De la Cruz asked the former Polish leader on the role of the Catholic Church in building a democratic society and public debate.

Walesa admitted that nowadays, it is difficult to implement democracy and its effectivity could cast some doubts. But  “eventually, they cannot match the intellect of the Church. That is why this democracy is afraid of the Church and they do not know how to behave properly.”

He appealed to the young people to teach the older ones and help in the promotion of democracy. 

He admitted that working toward democracy, there were always some nitty-gritty problems that needed to be resolved but he believed that today’s youth could find the solution.

“There is no collusion here. The church based on thousands of years of preparation and rules of wisdom is preparing us for the future. We are not members of the Church, the laity, but we work on the same principles so we are doing something for the future. I am only hopeful that during my life that the role of faith would be clearly defined and nobody can destroy. Who could find a way on how to put it in order would have the next Nobel Prize,” Walesa added.

He also believed that Catholics should cherish and live up to the values that are being espoused by the Catholic Church because these are more powerful than the destructive forces brought about by tanks, rockets and soldiers.

“I can say in front of the whole world and say you did not know what to do with it. You forgot about the values. If you want to build a new world, try to make conclusions for sure it will be a better world.”

With the coming 2013 elections in the Philippines, Walesa said voters should choose candidates who are willing to be accountable to the people 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This could be done through modern technology. He hinted that a tracking device would allow a constituent to be aware of every movement of their politician.

CATHOLIC AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE CATHOLIC CHURCH CHURCH CHURCH AND STATE CRUZ JR. FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT LECH WALESA NOBEL PRIZE POLISH CHURCH REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS WALESA
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