A misplaced political advisory for Catholics



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?



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  1. Pope Francis ascension is just in time intervention by the Holy Spirit. The Church, globally, has been infected with the materialism that capitalism has wrought upon the world. I can only hold judgement on the Church as it is led by men, mere mortals. But our spiritual lives from where we seek solace and refuge from the stresses of daily life, is now made more complicated by the Religious who claim God is with them when in fact they preach the opposite.

  2. Frank A. Tucker on

    In the first place the fifth commandment of the Decalogue does NOT state, “Thou shalt not KILL,” it DOES state, “Thou shalt NOT commit MURDER !” Otherwise we would NOT be able to defend ourselves with deadly force OR eat meat !

    Perhaps the Philippines should do what Mexico did some 100 years ago and amend the Constitution to make it illegal for priests and/or pastors to malign or otherwise interfier with the Federal State.

  3. it is not clear how the pastoral letter had been framed, and it is good to have a priest interpret it in a manner that reminds the parishioners of only what has been written down in the ten commandments, and not to dwell on something as politically motivated as the current political situation is occuring most recently in our country, for the crime of killing had long been there, and it had occured in previous administrations – so what makes it so different today?

    The good priest is laudable in his reminder and not to have himself carried away with any political diatribes that might have made the meaning of the words (“Huwag kang papatay,”) lost its translation and intended message.

  4. Amnata Pundit on

    If the Church were sincerely for the people, they would be issuing pastoral letters everyday against Smartmatic. Apparently they have more faith in Smartmatic than in Duterte. Bakit kaya?

    • Forgive the CBCP. They’re equipped to peer into the morality of a candidate but are not technologically savvy to pore into the infra-secret-ure of Smartmatic. Let the IT org activists debate with Comelec. Comelec won’t win the debate but they would always have their way.

    • thre church and ppcrv kept their peace by not exposing that there were thousands of votes that the hocus pcos machines did not transmit. if you recall, enrile exposed this on the senate floor after he came back from jail. he wanted andoy bote to answer this but unfortunately he got dengue thus andoy bote passed the commission on appointments thru drillon’s machinations. can you imagine some sitting senators wa not really elected by the people???

    • Kasi si duterte mamamatay tao, and he is exhorting people to join him in his depravity simple lang, d na kailangan imemorize yan. Mas maraming tao dadalhin ni duterte sa impyerno! My goodness!

  5. Is CBCP means Corrupt Bishops and Corrupt Priest? Of course, not all are corrupt. Only some who are deeply indebted to yellow oligarchy. Peace!

  6. killing is not just the physical state!
    It should also mean Killing of the Spirit ! Right now the current administration by BSAquino has been killing the Spirit of the people ….we have lost Hope from many of them ……Just like thieves in the night as well.

    Corruption is not just about money , It has many faces …morally corrupt , spiritually corrupt , ambitiously corrupt etc….

    If we focus on the good side of the Candidate, their accomplishment and achievements and readiness to serve on day 1, this can help us better decipher who amongst the 5 Presidential candidate should be elected.

    I still see BINAY to be the most deserving for this position.
    Enough with TV broadcasters and surveys and sermons of endorsements , but instead give people a clearer picture of the achievements of this candidates that will serve better the poorest of this nation.

  7. Basilio Jamisola on

    The homily was intended to remind the faithful of the fundamental commandments. It became political when the listener add names and faces in their mind when they receive the message.

  8. Oh I see what you mean: this is purely a political advisory since it included the message “though shalt not kill (huwag kang papatay)”. If the message stopped at saying “thou shalt not steal (huwag kang magnakaw)”, it would have been a genuine pastoral message and would have suited your conscience. The Christian message is indeed hard for many; even Christ himself saw his disciples leave when confronted with the hard truth.