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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Where is the next Cardinal Sin?

One will not find the next Cardinal Sin in the Catholic Church. The present crop of bishops are so daunted by Jaime Sin’s larger than life presence that they will not even begin to take the first step to follow in his footsteps.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is so fractured that while they invoked the general principles of morality, truth and justice, they offer no uniform proposal in confronting this present darkness.

One would think that the solution is so evident in Scriptures that applying it would be a simple matter of confronting evil with good. But instead of the voice calling out in the desert, they rationalized and politicized, they hemmed and they hawed until their appeal for truth and caution meant nothing but capitulation and collaboration. Too much jueteng and blood money on their hands.

One will not find the next Cardinal Sin in the born again community. While they may have a presence, their theology is medievally conservative. Their reliance on Romans 13:1 - “The powers that be are ordained of God” give them pause to question civil authority. They are more at home being allies than foes of government. Truth to tell and in the words of Agent Smith, Bro. Eddie is an anomaly. He is becoming Catholic in his political approach and outlook.

One will not find the next Cardinal Sin in the politicians. They are too invested they will hesitate to walk away from power. Even Juan Ponce Enrile who is in his 80’s still clings to it. Younger ones will not speak lest they prejudice their presidential ambitions. The only one who walked away from it all and the closest to approximate Cincinnatus was Rene Saguisag.

So, where will the next Cardinal Sin come from?

He will come from a tradition that believes in civilian supremacy at all times. He believes that the constituted civilian authority’s purpose for existence is to serve the public good and not for any one man’s gain. He believes in an Honor Code that he has learned from his student days and one that shapes his profession on a daily basis.

But he is also one who has seen the abusive exercise of civilian supremacy. He is also one who has witnessed and heard not so infrequently the excesses of corruption and the subversion of the public good to private aggrandizement. He is also one who has been exposed to abject poverty in his line of work while the center of power remains callous to their plight. He is one who has killed for the State because his duty commands him to do so.

Above all, he is a man of God bothered by his conscience, seeing all of the above and grieves that his brethrens-in-arms are sacrificed and persecuted before the altar of political expediency. He has grown weary from it all. He will reach his tipping point when he can no longer reconcile Romans 13 with Yahweh’s command to Pharoah: “Let my people go.

Cardinal Sin appropriated the cry of Moses as his own. So, will the next one. Where there is grave injustice, Cardinal Sin or his shadow will not be far behind.


Blogger mama_aly said...

Woe to those who can look at our situation and not be bothered. There are too many of them who think it is all God's will. What about men making wrong choices? Do the signs show now that God is making a way?

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Arbet said...

Yes. Apathy shall bring us to damnation. They'd rather look the other way, throwing the baby with the bathwater.

9:03 PM  
Blogger NJbabe said...

Religion and Politics are two touchy subjects. And a combination of these is even deadlier....It is easier to be in the middle of things but the process is slower, or even worse "walang mangyayari". Like the old saying...."Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa" and in this life we just have to take a stand on something we believe in. And hopefully we choose the right path because I believe God always shows us the way but we just interpret it in different ways....

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Jorge said...

I don't even think the CBCP wants another Cardinal Sin, nor the Catholic Church as an organization. Sin, and the late Pope John Paul II, were birds of a feather: both were very hands on and involved, both got to their posts relatively young. But because of their strong political opinions, both have suffered from criticism as being meddlers, an opinion that the Church - by choosing Pope Benedict XVI and a more conservative CBCP - hopes to disprove.

But is having a Church that's basically hands-off such a bad thing? What made Cardinal Sin a truly great man was not because he was a Cardinal, but because he was a good man. Not just a man of God, but a man of the people, and a man from the people.

Personally, I don't think someone like him will come from any religious group, but the seeds of what he left us with - call it love for freedom and for fellow man - is in a great many of us. That we even bother to blog about it is proof.

11:06 PM  

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