Aquino lashes at ‘critical’ clergy

KIDS LOVE HIM Children hug Pope Francis while he was talking to President Benigno Aquino 3rd at the garden area in Malacañang. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Children hug Pope Francis while he was talking to President Benigno Aquino 3rd at the garden area in Malacañang. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

THE rift between President Benigno Aquino 3rd and some members of the Catholic Church became even more evident during Pope Francis’ visit to Malacañang on Friday when the Philippine leader lashed out at prelates who have been critical of his administration.

In his speech during a general audience with Vatican and senior government officials, the President noted the “silence” of the Church when the administration of then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was committing “abuses.”

“Hence, there was a true test of faith when many members of the Church, once advocates for the poor, the marginalized and the helpless, suddenly became silent in the face of the previous administration’s abuses, which we are still trying to rectify to this very day,” Aquino said.

“In these attempts at correcting the wrongs of the past, one would think that the Church would be our natural ally. In contrast to their previous silence, some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticize, even to the extent that one prelate admonished me to do something about my hair, as if it were a mortal sin,” he added.

The President’s first brush with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was at the height of debates on the controversial Reproductive Health measure in Congress.

Some CBCP officials grew even more critical when they openly called for the resignation of the President last year, stressing that he had lost the moral ascendancy to lead the country.

A multisectoral National Transformation Council (NTC) has launched nationwide caravans to muster popular support against the Aquino government.

The group has called for the establishment of an alternative or transitional government in lieu of the one at present.

But Malacanang ignored such call and belittled the efforts of the NTC.

Lipa City (Batangas) Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, who hosted the Lipa assembly in August, said Aquino must quit immediately.

Last October 1 in Cebu, the call became much sharper and Arguelles’ message, much stronger.

In his speech on Friday, the President said he finds it hard to understand the transformation of the Church from being the champion of the rights of all.

“Perhaps we had grown so accustomed to having this Church, always at the forefront of championing the rights of all, especially those of the marginalized, that we found it hard to understand its transformation. We were taught that the Catholic Church is the true church, and that there is constancy, for it upholds the truth at all times,” he added.

“Is it any wonder then that they see the glass not as half-full, or half-empty, but almost totally empty? Judgment is rendered without an appreciation of the facts,” the President said.

Nevertheless, Aquino underscored the importance of “settling differences” for the benefit of the people.

“I understand I am only human, and thus, I am imperfect. I ran for the presidency despite my discomfort with the trappings of power, because if I passed up on this opportunity to effect real change, I would not have been able to live with myself, especially if the situation worsened,” he pointed out.

“But in this effort, the participation of all is necessary. Everything I have said has not been to criticize, but to speak the truth, for the truth shall set us all free. If we are able to settle our differences, can we not benefit our people quicker?” the President asked.


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  1. I fully agree 200% with all your comments about PNoy’s stupid and brainless criticisms about some members of the clergy. It seems PNoy doesn’t want to be critiqued for his inefficient way of running the country. He seems to be grossly ignorant of the usual protocol that he should have refrained from critiquing members of the clergy who, he considered them his political enemies, in front of his visitor no less than his Holiness Pope Francis. My goodness, his speech writer is equally grossly ignorant about simple expedience of protocol. It’s a shame that he alleged that a clergy had commented about his “hair.” Is it really a big deal for PNOy to mention it in his Presidential speech in front of Pope Francis together with his Vatican entourage. Nakakahiya!

  2. PNoy forgets that without the clergy, his mother would not have become president. EDSA would not have happened. The Aquino family owes a lot to the very clergy whom he now castigates.

  3. It is a pity that the people the Pope champions for .. The underprivileged ,the poor , the ones who are unemployed, the general masses are the ones who were most affected by his visit… Truly he strengthened their faith but the way the visit was done hurt them because these are daily wage workers who were deprived of work, tourists and locals whose flights were cancelled the hundreds of millions of pesos spent to impress sanctioned by local church leaders.. These millions could have gone to benefit the very poor he champions …. We are truly a leadership of form , even the good cardinals here , rather than of substance .. May the good Lord bless us with understanding that He and His messenger Pope Francis have come to help the downtrodden and forgotten rather than for the applause and pomp,

  4. We have the dark side in Malacanang … One who believes he can do wrong , his eyes see clearly and his interpretation and action is without question the best for us all … Reminds me of Dart Vader …………….. Sooner or later the great equLizer who the good pope represents will balance the equation

  5. Aquino was ‘critical’ with some clergy or only to those who oppose his malignant ways. He praised those clergy, who are equally in praise of his dark and iniquitous side. The manner by which he selectively named the prelates who sided with his family, are all but an indication that he favors them for their biased obligation – to shepherd a flock of religious believers, to not to oppose those who are the church’s benefactors.

    Realize the fact that Aquino thinks only of himself and his immediately family, and would not have any qualms of rubbing unto Filipinos faces the still unanswered mysterious circumstances behind the death of his father – kept shrouded in mystery for a reason, which only their clan can benefit from.

    The sad fact is that religion got in the way, and is now used by unscrupulous individuals, as a tool to make believers fall prey of their evil and conniving agenda.

  6. I can not totally blame pnoy for his critical diatribe against the clergy after all he is just reading a prepared speech which he is unable to fully comprehend and appreciate given his innate incompetence I blame his speech writers who are motivated by their unmitigate sychopancy who think that by getting pnoy to grin at their stupid suggestions to speak about they are doing t heir duty to this moron. Imagine getting pnoy to say on a podium before all the dignitaries around that a cleric told him to do something about his hair “like it was a mortal sin” how utterly rediculous can this be and he expects the Pope to be alarmed at such a moronic statement. As I often say its bad enough that he is an idiot but worse he often sounds idiotic.

  7. The Catholic church the so called “champion of the poor and the downtrodden ” has lost its grip on reality because of the presence of its”bad eggs” and obviously infiltrated by the left leaning members of society.People don’t buy this glib talk by the church and the Filipinos will not succumbed to their fiery speeches that are all empty and only benefits the few vested interests that they do have.Whatever and whoever they maybe.

  8. God is all knowing and all seeing. Good is ubiquitous. All wrong doers will pay on judgement day!

  9. I disagree with the lamentations he made denigrating some leaders of the clergy in the presence of the Pontiff. It appears that he is vain to impugn them of their freedom of expression. It would be more practical and welcome it if he had hearken and beseech his advisers to profer ways and means to cross the bridge in order to pursue vigorously his plan of action and other conceived ideas for the betterment of the country. Sensitiveness is bad.

  10. We can always bet on what the Abnoy will say everytime he will open his mouth. He will always find time and space to fulminate and curse the previous administration and those who oppose him, including the clergy.

    But of course, he has nothing to say after all. Nothing good to trumpet about in his administration. The Holy Father is aware of that. As the Holy Father is always given reports on what is happening here. This is the reason why he has to see for himself how bad the situation here is. No other world leader is as feckless and stupid like the Abnoy. No other country is as hopeless as the Phils for as long as the Abnoy doesn’t step down.

  11. Benjamin Reyes Cruz on

    PNOY just showed his immaturity. Parang batang nagsusumbong sa Mahal na Papa. It’s a shame. Very, very childish. Just quit/resign if you can not accept criticisms.