The Ethics of Public Policy
Whatever the outcome of the RH Bill controversy, one thing is sure: there has to be a continuing dialogue between the Government and the Catholic Bishops about public policy that has manifestly moral or doctrinal dimensions. Whatever the extreme secularists may say, they cannot ignore the fact that the dominant religion of the country is Roman Catholicism, a major belief of which is that morality cannot be limited to private consciences of individuals but must also apply to the "things of Caesar" that are covered by the social doctrine of the Church and public morals. Examples of public policy issues that have clearly moral dimensions are those related to the family and marriage, the regulation of private property such as agrarian reform, the setting of a just family wage, the protection of the physical environment, human trafficking, gambling, drug abuse, etc. Not only the Bishops and priests but also the lay faithful have all the right to bring up moral principles in judging the legitimacy of public policy in such matters.