• The Church is now haunted by its many failings

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    DONE mocking his opponents in the presidential race, The Digong is now using almost every forum to vent his ire on the Church. He has accused the Church of basically two things, hypocrisy and irrelevance, and, the Church, shocked by the audacity of The Digong, has come out with nothing but guarded, timid responses. Never in the history of the Church, dating back to the early years of the Spanish reign, has the institution found itself bombarded and helpless.

    The minor reason is this. For the first time in the country’s modern history, the elected President is not someone the Church and its hierarchy knows. The populist choice in 1998 was Erap Estrada. But despite Erap’s acting background and tough guy image, he was trained by the Jesuits, and the men he named to the Cabinet and important government posts were insiders webbed to the centers of political and economic power. And webbed to the power centers of the Church.

    The Digong is a real tough guy whose rise to power was based on narratives he was unapologetic about—killing criminals, the summary execution of drug dealers and his zero tolerance (whatever means of containing them was OK) toward people involved in the business of crime. All Old Testament narratives of rage, death and fury. His favorite verb is “ kill.” His favorite expression is “galit ako.” The men he named to important posts, who will soon assume frontline and Cabinet-rank positions, have very tangential if not zero links to the Church.

    His campaign manager and longtime aide was a former priest-turned-rebel, who, disgusted by the irrelevance of the official Church in addressing the plight of those identified in The Sermon on the Mount, dropped his homilies, went underground and carried a gun.

    There is nothing, virtually nothing, in the institutional memory of The Digong in which he collaborated with the official Church to tame the excesses of Davao City and govern it according to his dictum. His colorful personal life and his openness with his many affairs were, in a sense, an open challenge on the basic teachings of the Church.

    But, as I said, that is just the minor reason. There is a bigger one.

    The Church and its intellectuals and theoreticians cannot counter the message of The Digong. Which is to basically serve the constituencies specified in The Sermon on the Mount: the weak, the humble, the afraid and the persecuted, though through methods decried in the Ten Commandments. The people (like my neighbors and I) who have nowhere to go and turn to during times of trouble, persecution and scarcity. The Church cannot even invoke that there is another way forward, a Christian way, a civil one and a Godly one. Because there is none.

    When, really, was the last time the Church stood for the downtrodden?

    Reviewing the Church’s high-profile involvement in the public affairs, the most prominent image that comes to mind is this—Cardinal Tagle tearing up after reading the sordid affairs of the Napoles scam. The accompanying article said that Cardinal Tagle was shocked to see a scandal of that magnitude, at least P10 billion in a SARO-for-cash exchange.

    The pork scam was pure and unalloyed evil. It was also unprecedented in the history of a historically compromised Congress. From the part of the cardinal, condemning the pork scam was a moral imperative. After that, many hoped that Cardinal Tagle would use his great and awesome moral authority to indict and condemn the greatest evil of our time—the control of 40 or so families of the nation’s wealth and our vastly unequal society.

    Even Pope Francis has said that inequality “is the defining issue of our time.” In the Philippine context, it skews everything to favor the economic elite. It sucks up GDP gains to further fatten the already immense wealth of these 40 or so families. It is at the root of all things that cripple the mobility of the sectors below.

    By refusing to take on the greatest evil of our time, Cardinal Tagle just collaborated with the efforts of the Aquino administration to paint “corruption” as the only and true evil, the root of the national malaise. With the Church and the so-called “civil society” behind Mr. Aquino, his administration used “corruption” as a wag-the-dog narrative to divert national attention from what Mr. Aquino was really doing—serving the top 1 percent and leaving the 99 percent to fend for themselves.

    Mr. Aquino raised GDP growth, got credit upgrades and created a class of dollar billionaires that are now classified as “those-who-can-buy-a-small-country-rich.” The understated poverty level of 20-plus percent never moved. In some dying areas of Mindanao, the poverty level was 84 percent, and the ARMM had worse literacy and poverty rates than Idi Amin-wrecked Uganda.

    Through all these and the unapologetic service of Mr. Aquino to his true masters—the top 1 percent—the Church was a mute spectator, and, in a sense, an abettor.

    So now, as The Digong mocks and taunts the Church for its hypocrisy and irrelevance, he finds no public rebuke and sanction. The Church failed to follow a timeless Church dictum—you reap what you sow—and its failings are now haunting the institution.

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    30 Comments

    1. josefina tapucar leyson on

      I am of the opinion that what catapulted Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency was total disgust with the 6 years ‘Daang Matuwid’ administration of P’Noy. Now, P’Noy, in the dying days of his administration, he is signing left and right Executive Orders, etc., for what? Not to alleviate the plight of those he had reduced to poverty but in order to paint himself as the ‘best’ president ever that the Philippines has had.

      Digong was a very reluctant candidate. I don’t like his ‘cussing’ but I support what he wants to do for the country. We have too many laws already, implementation is what we lack, it is what President Digong promised, the actual implementation of those laws.

    2. We like the Church………..This time the Priest and the Bishop enter into politics …..No wonder the church became like the piggy Bishop and queer priest that make woman pregnant and many of f them practising homosexuality……….I know some of them………..

    3. Some bishops, priests & nuns in the Philippine catholic church have become hypocrites dragging the entire institution with them. They dangerously meddle in political affairs and demand people to help the poor. Ironically, they conveniently forgot how many hundreds of billions(or trillions) they have in different bank accounts and a lot more invested in stocks etc.; they even made themselves tax-exempt.

      Its time they look inwards and rediscover themselves or they will lose more of their flock to other religions for being so arrogant.

    4. What’s with this turn around? When did you become Digong’s mouthpiece? After the snub on Leni’s “executive post”? Or after the inclusion of journalists in the free-for-all?

      “The people (like my neighbors and I)…” have Digong for a refuge. Pardon a relevant correction: “…(like my neighbors and me)…” Does anyone actually expect the CBCP to engage in a tit for tat? CBCP instead of “Church” would spare my neighbors and me from being included.

      The Church’s relevance is always in relation to its mission — spiritual welfare–since the beginning up to the spanish times and beyond. That the native clergy have now taken over from the Spaniards does not change the Church’s mission. As to hypocrisy, that is a judgment. The deepest recesses of the heart is reserved for the penitent in the sacrament of reconciliation.

    5. Humanda ka abnoy on

      It was when Pres.Marcos got terminally sick..after consulting with his family,. he disclose to sickness with the cardinal with the understanding and trust that Cardinal Sin would not divulge secret of a dying man…but he did…he betryed Marcos, and called ninoy ,that hurriedly and recklessly came back, that got him killed…..Cardinal Sin did not stop there, he went and rallied everuyone to EDSA thus people power happend…and the outcome of that people power ? THE AQUINO’s—

      Cardinal Sin was the JUDAS of our time…

    6. I wish the Filipino people will read the history of the Roman Catholic Church, more especially during the time of the reformation. When people start reading the Bible and see the light, they will realize that all these rituals and pageantry means nothing. The Bible is the only source of truth and nothing more. As Martin Luther who was a monk, who spent time in fasting and prayer and yet find no peace, found out that priests were selling indulgences to the people so that their loved ones who passed away will be out of the purgatory.

      1 Peter 1:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

      18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

      • And how does Christ enable believers to partake of his precious blood? Wasn’t the so-called “reformation” a movement to repeat the mass abandonment of Christ? Why “repeat”? Read John’s gospel chapter 6. Everybody abandoned Christ for promising that He would give His Flesh to eat and His blood to drink. Only Peter and the other apostles stood by Jesus. All this blah blah about reading the bible is highly suspect. Highly selective according to what the “reformers” want you to think. Please read John 6.

      • The topics that must be avoided in any discussion is politics and religion. I notice both of you will never end your discussion and nobody will win. You guys are dealing with things that are beyond any comprehension.

    7. Irrelevance and hypocrisy succinctly describe the “many church’s failings.” Even to use performance metrics in a corporate setting as an analogy to view society in all its different classes, both private and public sectors: With the church as moral guardians and ‘trainers’, we see all kinds of un-Biblical manifestations — from undisciplined behavior in all forms to petty crimes to big-time corruption. And these are not just one-time events or occurrences, unfortunately. Irrelevance and hypocrisy of the church indeed.

    8. President Digong MUST carry his election promises without fear from the Church because ultimately he is the one and only, as elected president of the Republic of the Philippines, responsible to the Filipino people, not the church. What this country needs is an iron fists to instill discipline to all, be its own citizens or alien. DISCIPLINE, DISCIPLINE AND DISCIPLINE what this country needs very badly. It seems that the Church is not really doing their part in uplifting the MORAL fibers of its believers. This is very evident from what we saw daily on the streets because simple traffic rules and regulations are not being observed and followed by the drivers and pedestrians, alike. The church, instead of attacking the programs of the incoming President Duterte, MUST support to attain the needed changesthat this country needs.

      • Look up “GOMBURZA” on Wikipedia. You will discover that the civil authorities, not the religious authorities, kill or execute people.

      • It is not the church that pull the trigger but they are the group that influence the civil authorities to assassinate Rizal Read your history please. The 2 books of Rizal enraged the priest to influence the authorities. If you are reading your history books, what law did Rizal violated to get the death penalty ? If Rizal is a criminal , he cannot be our national hero.

    9. Amnata Pundit on

      Let me paraphrase an ex-bolshevik whose name I cannot remember: “The root cause of the problem is our capture (by the Catholic Church), because all social and political phenomena emanating from the bourgeoisie are the consequence of that capture.” If that is an accurate rendition of our problem, what is the solution for thinking Catholics? What else if not a change of his religion? By the way,the widow Mrs. Robredo ( I cannot bring myself to call her VP) is solidly backed by the Church. To anybody whose BS detector is still working, doesn’t this make her a one per center too, just like that BS, Boy Sayad?

      • You are forgetting that “moral” authority which is all that the Church has respects the individual conscience. Capture reeks of INK modus operandi. Could it be that you are projecting yourself here? (Psychological projection: look it up.)

      • If the church has the moral authority, why did the Cathilic Church list down all priest that have wives and children those pedophile priests. Why are these priest reassigned to far flung areas to avoid prosecution ? If you are going to defend the church, be transparent and not hide from these anomalies by the church.

    10. The bishops and priests campaigned strongly against Duterte, that is basically a big NO. They know what to expect, knowing Digong has no ambition to become a saint.

    11. Well Articulated. The Catholic church are a bunch of hoodlums, who produce/contribute nothing to the society. I call them educated “BEGGARS”or better yet, religious MAFIA. Having said that, i believe that it’s the unprecedented stupidity of the people, who believes the sales speech of the so called PRIEST, that enables this useless institutions to prosper. There will come a time when people will overcome their spiritual ignorance, and that would be the end of this GARBAGE organization. Amen.

      Edd- Texas USA

      dmchaccounting@delorean.com

      • Not all of them. Unfortunately , our nation is a Catholic country. first of ll , I do not agree that priest must not have a wife. How can they release their sexuality ? Many priest are good people but there are rotten priest too.

    12. Although some bishops and priests really asked for the SUVs to drive around for personal as well as missionary (?) activities, the costs of these vehicles are less than the lucrative positions that the cult INC asked for in some government offices like the Bureau of Customs (where they are leading the most corrupt activities). Well there might be some bishops and priests who might have gone wayward (vow of poverty is/was not practiced fully e.g. many Filipino catholic priests tend to go to the U.S. to ask for money which is not for the poor but for their material quest for luxury) but majority of the bishops and priests are still within the principles of Catholicism.

      • Separation of church and states simply means the church should not meddle with the political affairs of the states, and the government should not meddle with the religious policies of the Catholic Church, INC, El Shaddai, etc.

        But the moral obligations of the Church covers all its minions – the beggars on the streets and the billionaires in government offices. The Church could denounce sins of the corrupt and the perpetrators of inequalities, while the government could haul pedophiles and rapist-ministers who say “God is my Savior” to jail.

        The first group, the vultures, is not the state. The second group, the sinners, is not the Church.

    13. Sir, you are wrong in saying that the by the silence of the Church means it’s timid or weaken. I would even agree on your statement that there are so many wrong doings of the Church, but there is one thing remains true, that the teaching of the Church is still true yesterday, today,and tomorrow. Judas has been lurching for centuries inside the Church, so you should not be surprised.
      In France, when Napoleon ruled with an iron hand told one of the Bishop “I will destroy your church” and the Bishop replied by saying to Napoleon “You will destroy the Church? We’ve been trying to destroy it from within for more than 1800 years and it’s still standing” This quote was to imply that there are so many men in the history want to destroy the Church (ex. Martin Luther, the Jensen, the gnostics etc.) none triumph, so Digong will try, but the Church will still stand as the beacon of of hope to the hopeless, and the source of forgiveness to themselves and to the rest of the world. Peace!

      • The Catholic Church slowly but surely is losing their control on the Pilipino people to Christian churches. My Christian church never meddle with politics. My pastor never endorse any politician. They stick to what the Bible teaches. Once the church starts touching sensitive political endorsement , that is the time is goes downhill. To say this politician is better than the other one is not the business of any church. Let us be very very clear on separation of church and state. The church must not endorse. They must stick to the Word of God.