CBCP has spoken
With the death of Cardinal Jaime Sin who had, on at least two occasions, called for the Filipino people to gather in EDSA to express their anger over the leaders of the government that led to the toppling of strongman, Ferdinand Marcos and President Estrada, the country had been eagerly awaiting what the Catholic church, a dominant religion in the country, has to say. Well, the Roman Catholic Bishops have spoken. In a statement read by outgoing CBCP president Fernando Capalla entitled "Restoring trust: A plea for moral values in Philippine politics" the Bishops have announced their stand on the issues confronting the President and the whole political system in the country today.
They said that the President should not dismiss the allegations against her suggesting that she: "discern deeply to what extent she might have contributed to the erosion of effective governance and whether the erosion is so severe as to be irreversible." By saying this, the Bishops are appealing to the President to use her conscience, what I perceive to be the real "jusrisdiction" of the church.
In the same document, the Bishops expressly said that they are not for resignation. The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted the Bishops thus: "We do not demand her resignation," One cannot be much clearer than that. However, in spite of this position taken by the leaders of the Catholic church, Bishop Bacani and the running priest, Father Reyes, have outspokenly stated their dismay over the statements made by the CBCP. Bishop Bacani even went farther by suggesting that some Bishops might have been spoken to by those in Malacañang.
Now this turn of events again puzzles me. I have been raised in a Catholic school from Elementary to a year of high school and is now teaching in one. I have always believed that the Catholic religion espouses obedience. I am sure that this is true within the hierarchy of the Church. The priests, after all, have agreed to a vow of obedience among others. iwonder what the implication of this open criticism of Bishop Bacani and Father Reyes, will have on the very institution they are supposed to belong. Surely, Bishop Bacani is a member of the CBCP and as such have expressed his opinion on the matter, even argued strongly for his beliefs. Clearly, with the statement read by Bishop Capalla, he was outvoted. In a scenario such as this, one should follow the decision of the majority for after all, "vox populi, vox Dei". What right has Bishop Bacani to express a dissenting opinion after his colleagues have taken a stand? What right does an ordinary priest in the hierarchy have to arrogate to himself the power to talk about something that is different from what his leaders are saying?
Lastly, I ahve always been taught that the Christian faith is about love and forgiveness. We are supposedly the only Christian dominated country in Asia, and as such, are the true representatives of what Christianity is all about. Where do we stand after the president's apology for having done something that may have been improper but is not really legal?
Read about the Bishops statement:
Philippine Daily Inquirer