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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.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

CBCP: Cabal of Banal Catholic Prelates

I am a Catholic. I have always believed in the teachings of the Catholic Church. No matter how anathema they are to communists, liberals, secular humanists, Freemasons, modernists and women’s libbers, I am willing to die a martyr’s death. Even when the recent born-again phenomenon threatened to unravel the stranglehold of the Catholic Church among the indifferent, the lukewarm and the devoted, I have stuck my neck out for my church.

But today, this Church is not worth sticking one’s neck out especially the local one found in the Philippines. More so, the unenlightened hierarchy which we call the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines or the CBCP. Its appellation is actually a misnomer. Its beliefs are more syncretistic than Catholic, its bishops more pawns than leaders, and it is less a conference and more a dictatorship. The CBCP is an institution bordering on irrelevance.

It has not always been so. Jaime Cardinal Sin fashioned the CBCP in a manner that government could not dismiss as mere piffle. It was an organization that one trifles with at the risk of pastoral letters being read in Sunday masses demanding civil disobedience. It was a body that government feared offending lest the hand of God stretches itself out and smite the ungodly. It was a powerhouse all unto itself.

But now, thanks to the immediate past president, Bishop Fernando Capalla, the CBCP is a ghost of itself. Were it once was the voice crying out in the wilderness, the CBCP is now a howling wilderness. Were it once was the harbinger of decisive action, it is now the voice of indecision. Were it once kowtowed to no one, it is now a servile serf.

Bishop Capalla and his confreres forgot that the role of the CBCP is to agitate the faithful to a calling greater than themselves, to lay down one’s life for a friend or country. Instead, he called on the bishops to brood, brood and brood on the cheating, lying and stealing and called on all of us laity to move on, to be unmindful to the ever present darkness that continues to haunt this country.

Bishop Capalla and the bishops have brought no peace to this country by their call, no closure by siding with the powers that be, no end to our woes by their cowardice. In him and the bishops must we cast the blame for the continued reign of avarice, greed, corruption and bribery in this country because none of them saw fit to call this government a most foul creature. None of them are fit to wear the shoes of the fisherman, much less that of Jaime Cardinal Sin.

But all is not lost. It is hoped that Bishop Lagdameo, the new CBCP President, will use the authority of his position to confront evil where it may be found, whether in the tapes or in the ballot boxes, in the marketplace or in the pews.

Actually, Bishop Lagdameo has no choice. In him rests the fate of CBCP. He can either remain lukewarm to the cries of his people, consign CBCP to the dustbin of history or he can stand up, raise the banner of Christ and confront Satan and all his works, in all his forms and in any gender where he may reside.

That should be a no-brainer. But then again, with Bishop Capalla, I thought that was too.

6 Comments:

Blogger Gray said...

maybe capalla never dreamed of being the shepherd at such a critical point in our national history. but sadly, the challenge proved to be much more than he can take. must be tough taking over the reigns on the heels of the death of a towering giant. but he should have stood on its shoulders rather than in its shadow. then, his eyes could have seen much farther, much better.

8:02 PM  
Blogger R. O. said...

hi! i am stunned by your reaction. could it be that the CBCP is just being obedient to the pope's admonition about the separation of the church and the state? i believe that's where the hesitation is coming from. I hope the atheists and all the anti-catholics are happy now, now that the roman catholic church has ceased meddling in this country's political affairs? what can you say?

btw, i am a member of a community affiliated with yours. :)

4:56 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...

x-p,

Nice to know that you are a fellow pilgrim in this strange land.

The wall of separation is for the state, not for the church. The church must speak out as strongly as it could, expounding on the moral principles that it has exhorted for the past 2000 years.

Take the simple case of lying, cheating and stealing. Do the bishops need to say that we have to authenticate the tapes before passing judgment? They are moralists and shepherds, not laywers. And even the, it is not all too difficult the voices of Garci and GMA. To say otherwise is to put blinders and remain insensitive.

That is the problem with Capalla. If we condemned Cardinal Sin for playing too much politics, at least, he arguably did so for the good of the people. On the other hand, when Capalla played politics, he did so at the expense of the people and to the benefit of GMA.

Meanwhile, our country is languishing in a moral dilemma which could have been easily solved had Capalla et al. put their foot down.

I take no pleasure hitting the bishops but they have been largely remiss in their duties and acted in a grossly negligent manner.

If wise and holy men act foolishly, who will then call them to task and fraternally correct them except who follow them with their hearts, minds, and souls?

6:08 PM  
Blogger goddess_of_the_chase said...

Hello there.

I don't think the CBCP should be meddling in politics and adding more fuel to the already deep divisiveness caused by these political controversies. The Church should minister to the spiritual and corporal needs of its flock, promoting peace and unity, in compliance with the admonition of the pope.

4:53 PM  
Blogger goddess_of_the_chase said...

No, the wall of separation is not merely for the state, but also for the church. As there should be no official state religion, so likewise the church should not meddle in partisan politics. In regard to your comment about the priests being moralists and shepherds, not lawyers--considering that the tapes have not been authenticated, the CBCP has used sound judgment in remaining neutral and not being carried away by the hoopla. That to me is compliance with their duty as shepherds, to retain calm and be guided by reason, and not make hasty judgments that could only worsen the political situation.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...

Goddess,

I am not sure that the wall was meant for the church. The Founding Fathers specifically made the wall for the protection of the state.

Being neutral has never moved mountains nor will the mountain come to Mohammed. The bishops are called to make a stand because there is a moral dilemma involved. Instead, by remaining neutral, they made a political stance because they focused on the personalities and not on the issues themselves. And that is where their flawed judgment stems from.

5:48 PM  

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