We honor Prof. Rafael Dy-Liacco for his brave decision to leave an academe consisting of faculty that expressed strong support for the RH Bill. May you inspire more teachers to make a stand for the truth and to be one with the Church in the defense of family and life.
An Ateneo de Manila theology professor has resigned, realizing that he could “no longer share the path” taken by the Jesuit-led university community that went all-out for the passage of the reproductive health (RH) law despite opposition from the Catholic Church. Prof. Rafael Dy-Liacco, in a resignation letter, decried the “failure” of Ateneans to reject what he said was an alliance with a “spirit of disdain for the Church” that had worked for the RH bill’s passage.
“That spirit repudiates the Church’s holiness and, at the same time, attempts to assume it for itself (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4). It has manifested at an unusually high level of ferocity, even hatred. It has manifested in the wholesale denigration of the Church – of her teachings, of her bishops, of her catechists, and of her common lay faithful,” said the letter, addressed to the chair of the Ateneo’s theology department and the dean of humanities.
“Whatever material good Ateneans believe they have accomplished by supporting the passage of the Bill, their failure to reject alliance with that spirit, to truly seek counsel with the Church, and to make amends for and to repair whatever harm that their alliance with that spirit is doing and will do to the faith of believers in the Philippines, has not been right,” Dy-Liacco added.
The letter was written on Dec. 28, Feast of the Holy Innocents, the day on which the Church commemorates the massacre of children under King Herod and which resonates today amid the grim reality of abortion. It was on Dec. 28 that news first spread of the clandestine signing of the RH bill last Dec. 21 by President Benigno S. Aquino III, an Ateneo alumnus.
The theology professor, who has a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School, said the teachings of the Church indeed “clash with the ideologies that rule this age, while her ministers and her teachers are all too human.”
“Often times it seems easier to give up believing that the Church is the Holy Spirit’s work. But the gospels tells us that believing in the Son of God when He became incarnate was not easy either (cf. John 1:11).”
Dy-Liacco maintained that there could be no compromise with the spirit of animosity against the Church, “much less collusion with it (cf. Revelation 18:4).”