Fr. Richard Varela of the Society of Don Bosco is the regular officiating priest of the 9:45 a.m. Holy Mass every Sunday at the Don Bosco Parish church. Last Sunday, I looked forward to listening to his homily but did not hear one from him.
Instead, he read out to churchgoers what was meant to be a reminder from the diocese of San Pablo for parishioners to vote wisely.
What Father Richard delivered for the diocese was not for us, Catholic voters, to choose from among the candidates in the May 9 elections but a political advisory against a particular candidate for president.
In his brief introduction, Father Richard informed the congregation that something was added to what should have been a “pastoral letter.” The addition made the church’s message more political than pastoral.
The addition, according to Father Richard, was “Huwag kang papatay,” [Thou shall not kill], the fifth of the 10 Commandments of God. The churchgoers were made to understand that the letter used to contain only “Thou shall not steal,” the seventh commandment.
“Thou shall not kill” was a late, but probably an urgent, insertion, which, in effect, showed the Church’s bias by insinuating that someone among those running for president was not fit for the job. Despite an assurance that the admonition was not political, it was very obvious who was being referred to in the letter.
Thank you, Father, for “wala na ‘kong idadagdag,” which, when translated, meant, “I have nothing else to add.” To tell you the truth, Father, I would have preferred to hear your regular homily. Instead I was forced to patiently bear the agony of listening to a political sermon that was not yours. You only read it for the diocese. I hope I am alone in my interpretation.
Father Richard did right in not interpreting the church’s message to us. Otherwise, he would have exposed his political inclination for any of the candidates for President. I am happy for his forthrightness in disclosing that “Huwag kang papatay” was not in the original version of the diocese’s letter.
It is difficult to observe the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. To a member of the religious life, among the three, obedience is perceived to be the most difficult to follow. As a religious, Father Richard could not have refused to read the church’s political message to us because he is bound to obey his superiors.
I did not mean to deviate from Duediligencer’s analysis of the stock market’s disclosures. The deviation here is intended to prevent the recurrence of the use of the Church’s pulpits as a venue for politically motivated homily in the form of a pastoral letter.
Next time I sense a pastoral letter becoming too political for my conscience, I would step out of the church, take a walk and come back for the rest of the Holy Mass after the priest shall have finished reading the diocese’s misplaced political advisory.
* * *
Consumers beware. Here is a personal disclosure about my experience with a mobile phone outlet. I happened to buy a defective unit many months ago from Sky Waves Telecom-Branch 1 at Sta. Rosa City. I returned it for repair as I have been assured of a one-year warranty. True enough, the store accepted the unit on March 7, 2016, which was the date reflected on the receipt. To this day, the store has yet to return my cellphone.
What could be taking the shop owners too long to repair a cellphone? Then I learned that Sky Waves accepts defective units but does not do anything to repair them.
Who can possibly help cellphone buyers against this particular shop, which has two outlets in Sta. Rosa City, one of them is at Newstar and the other at nearby Target Mall?