The very same day that Fr. Jett Villarin came out with an official letter to quell the fire of dissent started by the 190 or so professors who publicly and surreptitiously used the Ateneo’s name to push their ideology in support of institutionalized contraception espoused in the RH Bill, hordes of Ateneo students, graduates and faculty, started beating on the drums in support of their president and in support of these dissenting faculty members and their cause. I was amused (and baffled) at the “drum beating” because Fr. Villarin explicitly said that the Ateneo rejects the bill and supports the position of the Catholic Church on the matter of rejecting the bill and the teaching on contraception, which means (not sure if they got this) that the Ateneo is dissociating themselves from these faculty members. Did the drum beaters’ clouded minds miss this fact totally or was there a cryptic message that the ADMU president sent to them that the rest of us, including the Bishops, didn’t know about?
While many welcomed the letter, including me (tiny woohoo, what could I do, sigh 😦 ), in reality, Fr. Vilarin merely repeated the perfunctory, mild dissociative statement issued by Fr. Ben Nebres three years ago when 14 faculty members made their first stand. Would those 14 abscess into 190 if that letter was stronger in tone and if reprimands were given and enforced, I wonder, hmmm. Looking at the statement in detail, one cannot miss the double-speaking style that pseudo-orthodox dissenters are so fond of employing. The letter, in my opinion, serves one purpose and one purpose alone and it is to satisfy (and douse) the Bishop’s warning that Catholic schools who do not tow the Catholic line may be stripped of their “Catholic” status.
The Jesuits, it appears, are so very fond of doing the finger wagging with the left and patting the back of dissenters with the right hand. It is the “Ateneo magisterium’s” interpretation of Christ’s words, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Without going into details, the letter appears to be an adaptation of Fr. Joaquin Bernas’ idea that we can accept the bill if we remove the “problematic” provisions in them. He penned this in his blog with the title “Do not burn the house down to roast a pig.” Strange for a priest to essentially say, yes we can accept contraception for society but as Catholics we should obey Church teaching and shouldn’t…huh?? You mean artificial contraception has no negative societal effects and is only applicable to Catholics, really?
Oh my dear Bishops I am afraid you no longer have to do any canonical sanctions to the Ateneo because they themselves are jumping out the window committing spiritual suicide. They had already started to cut themselves off from the vine a long time ago and fortunately for them it is a rather thick vine from which they are still hanging on by a mere strand! They hardly realize they are at the edge of a cliff and see their worldly prestige, honor and accolades, their social justice activism and their championing the causes of the poor as their new “life line.” They no longer understand the meaning of the passage “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul for it.” A long time ago the Jesuits of the Ateneo had started this by inventing for themselves, an imaginary, separate Catholic “magisterium” devoid of any real accountability to Rome (brings me back memories of Fr. Tanseco and his famous alternate magisterium hypothesis). They say one thing and do another, that’s the trick, the official stand and the de facto stand which no one hears about except if you are an insider within the halls of the institution.
This is diabolical because of its insidiousness. It seems that Ateneo students really think that what they are being taught, this alternative, dissenting “magisterial” teaching, is what the Catholic Church teaches and that the CBCP and everyone else is, well, just too stiff, orthodox and not cool (they should get all the coolness they can for where they’re headed!). Could this be the “Catholic position”, that “…continues to be taught in our classes, as we have always done” that Fr. Villarin refers to in his letter? I only ask because based on my exchanges with Ateneans in that Facebook page, there is not a single iota of evidence I have seen that is reflective of this “Catholic position”, that corroborates the claim of Fr. Villarin, that the Ateneo teaches what the Church authentically teaches. Instead, you see students with an utter hatred for the Bishops and their requirement for the Ateneo to adhere to the Church’s line against the RH Bill. It appears that the dissent is alive and healthy within the House of Ignatius and it will be for many more years to come!
As an uplifter I admonish you to read, Fr. Charles Belmonte’s article: