Catholics' group hits El Shaddai's 'unity vote'

MANILA, Philippines - A day before the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai is set to endorse senatorial bets in the 2013 polls, a group of Catholics decried this act as "insulting" to the intelligence of members of the Church.

"Imbes na (Instead of) providing for criteria and responsible critical voting, they are actually imposing their position," said Bicbic Chua, executive director of Catholics for Reproductive Health (CRH).

"If they sincerly believe that people have the capacity, given the right information to make the right decision, they should know that demonizing candidates who are pro-RH is a big disrespect and very unbecoming as church leaders," she added.

The Catholics' group said they would not follow suit in using one issue as a criterion in picking candidates, unlike the members of the clergy supporting El Shaddai's "unity vote."

Track record

CRH said that they are not even endorsing candidates who supported the passing of the Reproductive Health Law. 

"Tinitingnan din namin ang track record ng kandidato (We also look at the track records of candidates). Tinitingnan din namin ang posisyon nila sa usapin ng equality (We also look at their position on issues of equality)," Chua said.

CRH chairperson Alberto Romualdez said the Catholic Church is also a kind of bureaucracy where the dynamics are not different from "office politics."

"Kahit ganito ang dynamics, dapat nangingibabaw pa rin ang kapakanan ng mamamayan. (Even with this dynamics, the welfare of people should still come first)," he said.

CRH believes that they can bring Catholics in full harmony with their faith and their reproductive right. "Imposing the leaders' will and demanding blind obedience are the most convenient ways to make people follow their wishes," the group said in a statement. - Rappler.com