CHURCH and State just got less separated. Starting Sunday, the presidents of the Republic of the Philippines and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines both hailed from Davao.
A family friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles took over as CBCP president from Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. That raised hopes for better relations between the Catholic Church and the Duterte administration.
Now, with the leaders of State and Church talking amicably again, and with conflict escalating against terrorist groups and threatening in Korea, we call on President Duterte and our bishops to consecrate the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the protection of our nation.
Catholics commemorating the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin tomorrow should pray for consecration. Even Muslims may welcome it, since they too honor Mary, the second most frequently mentioned personage in the Koran after Jesus.
In the face of immense peril, from extremist violence and communist insurgency, to possible nuclear war in Asia, we seek the protection Mary has granted time and again to our country and our world.
Yes, praying to Mary and consecrating the world, the Church, and nations to her have wrought miraculous events, bringing down a dictator, reviving a nation’s faith, and even stopping global nuclear war, as this article recounts.
Plus: it brought down the Aquino regime and miraculously propelled Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency, against far better known opponents with mammoth funds and the nationwide machinery that he lacked.
From consecration to election
Duterte’s march to Malacañang may be said to have begun in June 2013, when the CBCP consecrated the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Then-President Benigno Aquino 3rd was still hugely popular, but under his rule, three deadly threats were fast emerging.
Smuggling tripled from $7.9 billion in 2009 to nearly $25 billion in 2013, based on International Monetary Fund data. In that flood of contraband, narcotics and guns gushed in. In Mindanao, meanwhile, foreign-inspired terrorist groups grew, with fears of more extremism under Aquino’s peace accord with Muslim rebels.
Meanwhile, regional tensions escalated amid Aquino’s tough stance toward China, and his Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement to expand American military deployment with access to our bases. If the EDCA were implemented, China and North Korea would target our country today for hosting US forces.
But the CBCP’s consecration stopped all that. After June 2013, things went south for Aquino. The following month, the pork barrel scandal erupted, and in August, his illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was exposed.
Then three disasters unmasked Aquino’s ineptitude: the Zamboanga siege in September, the Bohol earthquake in October, and Supertyphoon Yolanda in November. In December, the Supreme Court unanimously declared pork barrel unconstitutional, and in July 2014, DAP was voided.
Aquino considered reelection, but surveys showed two-thirds of Filipinos opposed. Then, in January 2015, a week after he falsely told visiting Pope Francis that Philippine bishops failed to castigate his predecessor, 44 police commandos died in Mamasapano, central Mindanao—his worst crisis.
With those debacles since June 2013, Aquino could not muster enough votes for his chosen successor. Instead, Davao’s dark horse eventually triumphed despite limited machinery, money and media clout. President Duterte then proceeded to defuse the threats of drugs, terrorism, and regional conflict that Aquino had spawned.
How Mary stopped war
Non-believers cry coincidence. Well, here are some more “coincidences.”
Back in 1984, the CBCP dedicated the next liturgical year to Mary — the only national congregation to heed the Marian call of then-Pope St. John Paul II.
Soon after the liturgical year ended in December 1985, strongman Ferdinand Marcos called elections. Two months later, his two-decade regime collapsed.
Turning to world history, a century ago, Our Lady of Fatima asked the Pope and all bishops to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Otherwise, a conflict far worse than World War 1 would erupt.
Pius XI didn’t obey, and World War 2 began in his papacy. But other popes performed consecrations, with peace-making results.
On October 31, 1942, after three years of Allied losses to Nazi forces, Pope Pius XII consecrated the Church and the world to Mary’s heart. Three days later, the British won the first major Allied triumph, defeating Germany’s top general Erwin Rommel in a tank battle in El Alamein, Egypt. So began Allied victories leading to the Nazi defeat.
A decade later in 1952, Soviet leader Josef Stalin mobilized forces for invasion, convinced that America would not risk nuclear war to defend Europe. On July 7, Pius XII consecrated Russia in an apostolic letter. In March 1953, invasion plans ended after Stalin died of a brain hemorrhage.
At the end of the Second Vatican Council on November 21, 1964, Paul VI consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That same day, an article in the Chinese Communist Party’s Red Flag paper condemned Soviet leaders for continuing rapprochement with the West. That cemented the Beijing-Moscow split weakening global communism.
Finally, two decades later, in 1981, 1982 and March 1984, St. John Paul II entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On May 13,1984, the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, a massive explosion in the Soviet naval base in Severomorsk destroyed two-thirds of all missiles of the country’s main fleet.
That ended another Moscow plan to invade Europe amid fears of looming US nuclear superiority due to its “Star Wars” space-based missile defense plan.
Next year Soviet leader Konstantion Chernenko died, and Mikhail Gorbachev became president. His glasnost and perestroika reforms ended Soviet communism.
Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin has restored to the Russian Orthodox Church the properties seized under communism. He ordered state companies to fund the building of churches. And in Moscow’s Red Square, he erected a 56-foot monument to Prince Vladimir holding a cross, to which Russia’s founding father converted in 988.
Presidents Duterte and Valles, consecrate the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary — as Mayor Sara Duterte did for Davao — and protect our nation from the demonic threats we face. Amen.