Church Power, Chief Justice Puno, and Dead Pinays

Political mode muna mga kapatid!

I have mentioned in one of my posts that the most-read entry in this blog is the “Grain of Desert Sand” and I’m happy that it is for a cluster of reasons. First, it is a Spirit-guided creative, personal reflection. Second, it is Scriptural. Third, it is both religious and political. Lastly, it caps what this blog is all about, again, to convey the irrelevance at times, the humble admission of the shortness of human efforts or institutions before God who always summons us to “go deep and lower our nets.” Last night, while watching the evening news, I was all the more elated how this post resounded with the Chief Justice Puno’s call for a moral force in this country. Then this morning, The Daily Tribune had this headline of a prelate’s admission on how the Church has failed in her moral mission. The admission came from the most politically involved prelate of the Hierarchy – Bishop Deogracias Iniguez. To quote him:

It seems our evangelization of the faithful is not that deep enough, especially in terms of their role to the country and the society,’’

Meanwhile, UNICEF continues to report that 11 Filipino women die of childbirth each day. I believe a “deeper look” at the current policies and their “shortness” will help us appreciate and mainstream interventions known to be effective and applied successfully in other countries.

Fare forward, yutang batoon (rocky land) matud pa sa mga Boholano!

6 thoughts on “Church Power, Chief Justice Puno, and Dead Pinays

  1. i remember an imagery given to filipinos regarding their faith. Para daw tayong mga bato na nababad sa river of Catholicism for 400 years pero kapag biniyak mo raw, tuyung-tuyo ang loob. It is saddening that all these efforts for evangelization seemed dwarfed by the influence of lay media. Mas handa pa nating paniwalaan ang mga telenovelas kesa sa Salita ng Diyos. Our faith is as superficial and as temporary as the paint we don ourselves for streetdances during the so-called religious feasts like Sinulog and Dinagyang. Nakakahinayang…

    Swak na swak Brother Utoy, pwera na lang sa mga iilan na namunga ang Salita ng Diyos sa kanilang mga buhay. Sinusubukan ko pang manatili at nawa’y mamunga…

  2. Sometimes watching the news or reading newspapers are just stressful activities for me. The scandals, bickerings and finger-pointings are just tiresome.

    That’s why social issues and politics are the last topics I would want to discuss. And so far, I have been successful in fighting the temptation by sticking to my blog theme even though I can’t update as often as I want.

    What I can’t resist though is to comment on other blogs… hehehe…

    “It seems our evangelization of the faithful is not that deep enough, especially in terms of their role to the country and the society.”

    The comment of Bishop Iñiguez rings true. It may have been applied to national politics but it also reminds me of the events during the Mass celebrated by Cardinal Rosales during this year’s Feast of the Black Nazarene.

    I know that there are tons and tons of theological reasons to justify the Church’s voice on political issues. It is ironic that while the Church clamors for national change, it cannot seem to correct a skewed religious practice verging on violence and fanaticism right within Her own backyard. The voice of Cardinal Rosales speaking of the opportunity to correct this “devotion” is amazingly very weak compared to the voices of other bishops joining the finger-pointing in their holier-than-thou stances.

    How can you change a nation when you can’t even change a skewed religious practice well within your turf to correct?

    Opinyon lang po…🙂

    I can understand the sentiment, Mark. So many Filipinos shun politics or talks about politics these days because hope is waning. Related to postmodernism i mentioned above (and fundamentalism in Islam), you bet how and what’s the Church response? I need not jot it down here. i still love my Church…

  3. With this admission, I hope we can expect a renewed and refreshed Filipino believers.

    I agree with Brother Utoy sa sinabi tungkol sa impluwensya ng lay media. In Samar, in places where there is no electricity yet at hindi pa rin nararating ng kung anu-anong walang kabuluhang mga reading materials, intact pa ang values ng mga tao. They work as a community. They happily participate in all the activities in the church. Ang sarap-sarap magsimba sa mga ganung areas. You will not notice a single soul leaving the church na hindi pa tapos ang misa. Hanggang sa huling nota ng huling awit, pinakikinggan ng mga churchgoers.

    Gagayahin ko si Mark: Opinion lang po😀

    Maganda ang panukalang moral reform sa bansa kaya lang may isang problema. Kababasa ko lang kahapon ang article ni Randy David “Morality in Fragments”. Totoo, mga tatlo o dalawang dekada ang nakaraan, simple lang ang buhay, ang media walang gaanong impluwensya sa pag-iisip ng tao, ang mga liturhiya ay simple dinadaos, at ang batayan ng moralidad ay napakapayak para mamuhay ng matuwid. On the one hand, i agree with that postmodern Filipino living is more diverse and more and more Filipinos are now exposed or even imbibed diverse moral opinions and standards according to “one’s taste”. This is precisely the burden of postmodernism – the lose of a moral center while offering no solid alternative. But personally, there is an alternative for every Christian, and this is my header!

  4. Related to postmodernism i mentioned above (and fundamentalism in Islam), you bet how and what’s the Church response? I need not jot it down here. i still love my Church…

    I also love the Church…🙂 There was a point in my life when I needed to affirm to my self the Catholic faith that was “shoved” into my belief system. It was a time when the veneer of security in the Catholic practices and beliefs that I imbibed collapsed. And so, I did my best to find the “reasons for the things that give [me] hope”. And with God’s grace, I remained and I have rediscovered once again the joy of vivifying my Catholic faith…

    I cannot help but observe the shallow (or the lack thereof) understanding that most faithful have on our Catholic practices. One example: one time I was asked to settle a dispute between 2 friends. They were debating on who’s more miraculous: Our Lady of Fatima or Our Lady of Lourdes…🙂 Connecting to my previously used example: the Black Nazarene… Let the sociologists explain why most Filipinos are so devoted to this image of Jesus… Shouldn’t Filipinos be led to be equally devoted to Jesus Himself in other images and not to this particular image alone? After all, there is only one Jesus.

    As part of the Church’s peculiarities, it is both human and divine; it is also ethical; it is also both “mother” and “teacher”… Not that I’m placing myself above the teaching capacity of our bishops but I think the bishops should let their flock really KNOW more about God… The voice of proclaiming who God is should be as loud as the voice clamoring for moral reform… After all, knowing God [in the limits of how much is revealed to us] should precede loving and serving Him. (Baltimore Cathechism: Question 6. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.) For how can you truly love and serve someone you do not really know?

    I appreciate this candid comment, Mark!. I have been “churched” for say 30 years now but still, I have this feeling I can’t seem to whisk off when it comes to “church talk”. I guess it’s simply the risk that’s involved because while ordinary Catholics like you and me have been clothed by its sacramental aura, the moment we step back a bit to talk about it, see it momentarily through an “outsider’s eyes,” the act stirs some feeling of being accusatory that could easily slip into some tiny whisper of being renegade. Now we can dissect like a surgeon the many reasons for being so. But on top of my mind is how we have been conditioned that it is “The Church” often in a manner that eclipses the very foundation o being one: in being Church as being in continuous living and learning from, with and through Jesus, otherwise known as discipleship.
    If religious practices, passed on as non-rectifiable part of traditions obscure, overshadow or confuse believers about true discipleship in the present tense, then, I guess you are right in claiming it is a kind of faith that is shallow. If they are non-rectifiable because they are the “state-of-people’s faith, then, it’s time to wonder if the claim doesn’t grind against Paul claim in Philippians that the ‘goal of maturity” has not been achieved yet, and therefore, we need to study more, to meditate more, to act more. Most devotions still rest on the spectacular and sensational now more enhanced by the media. What’s often dust over is the Biblical lesson since the time of Abraham that faith is a humble, day-to-day walk with the Lord and listening in order to obey God’s will, and not because there are some payoffs that wait.
    So as regards your point, I agree that KNOWLEDGE in the sense of really hungering to know God who reveals Himself foremost in the Bible – yes, there’s a lot of work in this area. Even the CBCP’s Commission on Biblical Apostolate, through the dynamic leadership of the gifted Archbishop Arturo Bastes, SVD admonishes Catholics to read their Bible more often as there has been minimal attention and devotion in this area. But then again, just as you experience being disillusioned along your faith journey, and so did I, unlearning can happen even to the point of leaving the Church. Never in my life have I appreciated the beauty of my Christian Catholic faith than now.

  5. … the moment we step back a bit to talk about it, see it momentarily through an “outsider’s eyes,” the act stirs some feeling of being accusatory that could easily slip into some tiny whisper of being renegade…

    I really agree… recalling my Philo101, doing this we dwell more into “primary reflections”…. Sometimes, it is also needed to somehow remain objective…

    But then again, just as you experience being disillusioned along your faith journey, and so did I, unlearning can happen even to the point of leaving the Church. Never in my life have I appreciated the beauty of my Christian Catholic faith than now.

    The “disillusionment” actually bore good fruit. I have appreciated my Catholic faith even more and thankfully, I remained being Catholic…

    It is indeed true, our vision in light becomes clearer after having been in the dark for so long…

    I am really overjoyed by the exchange of ideas here…🙂

    I appreciate that you appreciate this exchange. Ngayon, malakas ang hinala ko, dahil mahilig ka sa EX-change, EX-sem ka rin siguro, ano?

  6. Ngayon, malakas ang hinala ko, dahil mahilig ka sa EX-change, EX-sem ka rin siguro, ano?

    Really, I enjoyed this discussion. This is a much needed diversion from my usual technical topics like electrons jumping from one energy level to another, breakage of a bond in the Si crystal lattice, punch-through of depletion regions, capacitive effects of gate oxide thickness, outliers to gaussian distributions, bootstrap statistical estimates, statistical parametrics screens at kung ano-ano pa… Palagay ko kailangan ko na minsang maging bampira sa gabi kasi nauubos dugo ko sa nosebleed araw-araw….

    Seriously, aside from the tiresome nature of current issues, kaya ayoko palaging manood ng news kasi stressed na ako sa daytime activities ko, and this would explain why I treasure my short travels very much…🙂

    Hindi ako EX-sem… EX-po-sem ako… EX potential seminarian…🙂

    Yaman din lamang na hindi pa tayo mga ulyanin Mark, i-type na ang sagot kaagad at i-send sa 2366. Malinaw na malinaw sa mga terms mo Mark – major in History ka. Seriously, you quite have an integrated brain – the left and the right as you hold them up right through your blog comments. That’s rare! Si erpat, chemist pero mukhang hindi ko namana ang galing nya sa mathematical science ng chemical engineering. Hanggang metaphors and similes na lang yata ako. Pero paminsan-minsan lumalabas yung scientific curiosity kahit papano. I still have a short reflection on Light, gathering data from theoretical physics, cannonball it as a spiritual stuff, and then sabay banat sa issue ng mga milyon na uninsured ng Amerika. More than ever, theoretical physics and spirituality are now closely partnering to bridge the warring gap between science and religion and so i have to keep myself updated on the trend. Pagsyotain sila kumbaga. I look forward to more discussions with you…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s