So the 'Philippine Condom Summit' has begun minus the acrimonious language from the embattled Catholic Church leaders who threatened to excommunicate the President and defy the legal program to give Filipinos freedom of choice in planning their family size.
The agreement forged at the condom summit's low profile start was for Church and State to keep communication lines open.
Their positions are not necessarily poles apart but with Philippine population ballooning, and Filipinos unwilling or unable to use the Church mandate for natural family planning (limiting sexual contact based on the female spouse's fertility cycle) the use of condoms by men and IUDs or birth control pils by women simply cannot be banned by the Church.
The Catholic Bishops Conference Of the Philippines that it cannot afford to be friar-like and intractable lest it become further alienated from the people.
The long sought Reproductive Health Bill is almost sure to be enacted in the 15th Congress and it will do good for the CBCP to actively participate in harmonizing the bill's five versions.
Many believe that even the passage of a divorce law will come sooner rather than later... and further into the future - legal abortion.
These weightier issues will surely be hard-fought and socially divisive.
For now, the Philuppine Catholic Church must regain the trust and confidence of its flock by actively helping fight poverty, and corruption.
This includes dipping into untaxed coffers to fund shelters for street children, broaden access to its exclusive schools and owning up to the immorality and other abuses of some of its own priests.
The stigma left by Padre Damaso must be erased for the Catholic Church to be embraced anew by its flock.
I've been a journalist all my life and am so passionately in love with the Philippines, warts and all. Our country will really prosper only if we stand up to be counted and not leave it to self-serving politicians and the corrupt to sell out the Philippines. Andres Bonifacio, Jose Rizal, and Ninoy Aquino did their bit. So should we.
Am also at midfield.wordpress.com and www.youtube/dingg458