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  • Reforming the Reformers: Sexists, Spinners and other “Sinners”

Deconstructing the “Jesuit Talking Points” on the RH Bill

15 December 2010 Wednesday 12nn to 1:30pm Soliven Room, 1/F Malcolm Hall'


Legal Perspectives Lecture Series 2010 Eighth Lecture


Reforming the Reformers: Sexists, Spinners and other “Sinners”

Deconstructing the “Jesuit Talking Points” on the RH Bill

Carolina S. Ruiz Austria

Senior Lecturer, College of Law, University of the Philippines

SJD Candidate and Women's Rights Fellow,

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

carolina.ruizaustria@utoronto.ca


15 December 2010 Wednesday 12nn to 1:30pm Soliven Room, 1/F Malcolm Hall'


When individual faculty members of the Ateneo supported the Reproductive Health Bill in 2008, they also drew attention to the fissures within Catholic thought on Sexual Ethics. Drawing strongly from Catholic social teaching, these dissenters brought much-needed focus on women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the public discussion. The much recent “Jesuit Talking Points on the RH Bill” purports an openness to dialogue and while it may be tempting to assume that the dissenting individual professors and these Jesuit theologians are cut from the same (Ignatian) cloth, it is worth noting substantive differences between these positions.


Who is invited to this dialogue? What are the Jesuits willing to exchange ideas on? And what is it exactly that Jesuits (and the Catholic Church) are willing to compromise on? This essay analyzes the “Jesuit Talking Points” in the historical context of Catholic Reformation, official Catholic teaching on sex as well as the more recent phenomenon of Catholic dissent in the Philippines.


By refusing to recognize women as individuals with rights and insisting on the authority of religious hierarchies to speak for their members – while using the terminology of freedom and liberty – the Jesuit call for dialogue courts not only criticism of sexism but the equally deadly “sin” of spinning.



About the Legal Perspectives Lecture Series

Now on its second year, this is a series of 12 weekly lectures for the S.Y. 2010-2011. The first seven were conducted during the first semester, and the remaining lectures are scheduled to be held during the second semester. It is intended to introduce to the students the fundamental problems of legal interpretation/ hermeneutics/ semiotics by using contemporary events as heuristics. It is also hoped that this will spark more intellectual debate within the legal academia and suggest areas of further inquiry for its audience.

Each lecture will feature a faculty member who will be making an oral presentation for at most thirty minutes. The rest of the time will be devoted to a moderated open discussion.

Snacks would be served after.



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