Church Goons Unleashed on Aquino

I thought about handing this blog to Maude so she could do a good job of ranting, but I decided instead on this more moderate presentation. You know, preferring to at least give the Church some love and kindness, rather than the brutal condemnation they deserve.

So anyway, the priests, these whimpering softies who want Carlos Celdran hoisted by his petard very un-Jesus like above the spires of the Manila Cathedral because he hurt their feelings, are out to undermine the constitutionally elected President of the Philippines.
Frankly, I’ve come to develop a bad taste in my typewriter when these Catholic politicians cloak themselves in the righteousness of the Lord and then go out to try to destroy good people’s work. It bothers me immensely when those who represent the God of Goodness list only criticisms of a duly elected leader, and discount the accomplishments, all for their own doctrinal political gain.

Remember, the Catholic Church is an organization that uses the State’s services – it’s courtrooms and judges and streets and infrastructure – but pays nothing for them. No taxes. And it makes millions because of this.

I believe the Catholic Church should be more respectful of government’s position of not being able to attack back when attacked by a religious organization.But the Philippine Constitution is interpreted to give them full right of free speech. Okay.

Kindly allow those of us who disagree to shout back, that you do not represent the whole of the Philippines, you represent a shrinking majority of faithful. Shrinking exactly because of this political gamesmanship, lack of humility, and self-serving denigration of the good efforts of others.
You are not entitled to protection FROM free speech. You cannot be entitled to the presumption of reverence and respect when your own voice lacks reverence and respect. And you for sure are not entitled to claim the One and Only God is in your corner but not in the corner of the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
This is political scheming akin to that done in 1896 by Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda of Manila who got a Spanish Governor who would agree to the execution of Jose Rizal  to replace the governor who would not do that execution.Today’s schemers want to undermine a good president.  Go against him in 2013 and get a president in 2016 who will do their bidding.

This is the Rappler headline on the story:
After plenary, CBCP blasts Aquino gov’t
Now remember, this is in contrast to President Aquino’s low-key signing of the RH Bill, a step taken to specifically avoid putting any untoward embarrassment on the Church.
This is the CBCP example of walking with Jesus? To strike out in angry vengeance? To turn no cheek to the RH loss, but to come charging after those who disagree with Church doctrine like attack dogs, fangs dripping with infuriated humiliation that they LOST the RH legislative battle?
Goon: (noun) Person doing an organization’s
thuggish dirty work. [Source: HDNWD]

And the dogs have names. Archbishop Jose Palma and Bishop Gabriel Reyes. And they have official titles: Goons.

And faces, that’s them, over there, in a photo taken from Rappler.
Here’s the caption Rappler attached to the Photo:
  • “CRITICIZING AQUINO. The CBCP, headed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma (right), hits the Aquino administration after their bi-annual plenary. Beside Palma is Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, also a CBCP official, who blasts pro-RH politicians. File photo courtesy of CBCP”
So at this plenary session, the high priests got together and talked about RH and about all the things President Aquino has not done in three years. Like cure poverty or rain bread from heaven. Rather than acceding to the will of the Philippine people with any kind of grace, they agreed to attack. The stridency of the attack puts to shame the counsel of Cardinal Tagel when he spoke of the need for the Church to temper its righteousness and work on being humble.
The official Church statement  from the plenary session is worth reading. In particular, look for the section on “The Philippines as the Rising Star of Asia”.
Hint, you won’t find it. The statement instead reads like a laundry-list of complaints compiled by famed anti-blogger benigno. The complaining, whining tenor of the statement conflicts sharply with the reality of the moment, that the Philippines is on the rise. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry at this elegant, eloquent priestly lament:
  • In the midst of the country’s natural and social upheavals, we see ourselves in the boat with the Apostles buffeted by stormy waves. We are tossed about by the waves created by the secularist spirit, which continues to reduce the role and place of religious faith in the public sphere. Our cherished moral and spiritual values are at grave risk. We are overcome with fear and anxiety, perhaps also wondering if the Lord has fallen asleep, or if the Lord does not care that we are drowning (cf. Mk. 4:38).
Good Lord. The rest of us feel we are in a jet hydroplane heading for honesty and economic growth, optimistic as never before.
Why is the Church not on the same boat?
The CBCP has also posted its own interpretive “news release”on the subject on the CBCP web site. Here is their headline:
CBCP chides Aquino for inability to address PH’s problems
Here are some excerpts from that article:
  • The CBCP particularly lamented Malacañang’s cold treatment of the Freedom of Information bill, which if enacted will allow the public to scrutinize any government transactions, projects and other documents. “Why are they afraid to entrust the citizens with the truth of their governance?” the CBCP said  . . .


  • The collegial body of the bishops then lamented the continuing human rights violations and unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings even almost three years of Aquino election into office. Other forms of crimes and kidnappings continue, they said, and the government “is not able or lacks the political will to prosecute the perpetrators and touch powerful people.”
  • “The huge gap between the rich and the poor remains. There is little inclusive growth,” the CBCP said.
  • The bishops also deplored the recent enactment of the Reproductive Health law, and the promotion of a “culture of death and promiscuity. . . . This is due to the slavishness of our political and business leaders to follow practices in Western countries that promote, in spite of examples that we clearly see in the West, divorce, resulting in more break-up of families and the dysfunctional growth of children, contraceptives, leading to more abortions, the use of condom, aggravating HIV-AIDS infection, and school sex education, bringing more promiscuity and teenage pregnancy,” they said.
  • CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma clarified they have nothing personal against President Benigno Aquino III for approving the RH law. Admitting that they also have shortcomings and do not want to appear self-righteous, he said, “As shepherds, we feel that it is also part of our duty to voice the sentiments of the people.” “It’s not because we want to condemn but we want that all of us will try to take a hard hit over this realities and hopefully be able to come out with solutions,” Palma said. “We don’t want to appear like fighting anybody. Our main intention is for the good of the people,” he said.
  • “If the government is doing good, we will always have collaboration. But if the government is doing something bad, we will criticize and we will oppose,” he said.
  • “We denounce the non-prosecution of alleged perpetrators of corruption and strongly call upon the government to pursue allegations and signs of corruption of power holders not only of the past but also of the present, even of friends and party mates,” they said.. . . Pabillo criticized Aquino for being “selective” in choosing which corrupt officials to prosecute, even claiming that there had been a double standard of justice under the current administration. “There are reports about corruption under the present administration but nothing happens to them,” he said. (CBCPNews)
What’s wrong with that, you ask? There are some important ideas there, FOI and extrajudicial murders.
What is wrong is the failure of the Church to appreciate that the nation is stable, well-governed, and on the rise, and to feel thankful she can join to be a constructive part of the long-sought after rise of the Philippines to a leadership position in Asia. What boat are they on, do you figure, that they cannot find the candor, the honesty, the truth, the positive, the uplift about being an integral part of the Philippines rising?
The Church evidently liked the old, backward boat the Church has been on for 600 years, not the new one. The Church, like China and the anti-bloggers, can only deride and undermine. Lament, decry, deplore.

Is this the attitude of Jesus?

What, I studied the wrong bible, or what?

Never has the real reason for the Philippine’s deep poverty, corruption and struggles been so crystal clear as in this strident attack on government by Church leaders.

This is the assignment the Goon Squad has taken on: knock the Philippines back to the rightful path, the backward path.Set Jesus aside.

Push the nation back to the values that underpin corruption and overpopulation and lousy health care and poverty.
Back to the dark, coup-tinged era of vengeful politics and manipulation for self-interest.
In the name of their God. The God of  Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda. The God of Goons Palma and Reyes.
I have an idea for the Goon Squad, not that they’ll listen. They are up to their eyeballs and earholes in political deceits and self-service. But I offer this:
Take some responsibility for the failed moral leadership, the corruption, the poverty. Go with humility for a change. Try mightily and with prayer to grasp where the heart of the problems really rest.  You are bright people. Reach for it, this true understanding. Cardinal Tagle almost got there until this pithy backward statement undermined him and threw his good words into the trash pit of wishful thinking.
The Church that hitches its political wagon to the destructive values of Gloria Arroyo over the honesty and earnest work of Noynoy Aquino makes the bed in which it is destined to rest.
But the Philippines need not rest in that same bed, need not be held back from progress and prosperity and the uplift that comes from treading an earnest, honorable path.
It’s called divorce, actually.
It’s called leaving the abusive Church and its goons behind – in the dust and echo and irrelevancy of empty cathedrals – where they can continue to weep and wail, lament, decry and deplore, but never quite get what happened, and why.
20 Responses to “Church Goons Unleashed on Aquino”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Easy peasy cut off monies from PAGCOR and PCSO to church-tied charities. But who's got the cojones to do that? Calling Putin. He he heDocB

  2. THAT's what President Aquino needs. He's the good cop. He needs the bad one. De Lima snarls but carries a small hatchet. Whe is the Filipino Putin? Not Roxas, I'm thinking . . .

  3. That would have been a great role for Binay had he not been so ambitious for himself and his family.

  4. Edgar Lores says:

    1. The floods in Brisbane on the weekend triggered power outages throughout many suburbs.2. As I suffered – and enjoyed – the forced abstinence from creature comforts like hot water and cold drinks, and the 24/7 connection to the world via the Internet, I was able to devote some time to reading and to reflect.3. In reading an article, “This Whole World is a Poem”, by Micahel Sowder, I stumbled upon these gems:3.1 “…the nineteenth-century English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley said poetry’s purpose is ‘to remove the scales of familiarity from our eyes’”.3.2 And a quote from Emerson: “To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which never will be seen again.”3.3 Finally: “When we pay attention to the world long enough, wakefully, lovingly enough, we realize that everything in the world is sacred, that this whole world is a poem, or a million poems, just waiting for us to write them down.”4. Today, I come back to the world of the Internet, and to the Philippines, and what do I find? The familiarity of discontent, the lack of beauty and the lack of the sacred.4.1 For too long now, the sacred in the country has been associated with the Church, the clergy and the rites.4.2 There is now a gradual awakening that the Church and the priests no longer represent what is sacred.4.3 In this awakening, many have left and are leaving the Church in disgust. Still, many are unable to leave the web because the Church provides filaments of support to the mysteries of life. And many who remain are of the belief that reform is possible from within.5. I withhold judgement and can only hope that each individual finds his path. I can only urge people to take some time off from these seemingly overwhelming issues that divide us, take a mindful look at an object of beauty and wonder – whether that be an acacia tree, a sparrow, a banana leaf or a watermelon seed. The sacred is in these objects. And if we look long enough, and lovingly enough, the “scales of familiarity” may fall from our eyes, and we may be granted the grace of the poetry of their existence. And ours.6. Mabuhay.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Familiarity breeds, not contempt, but cowardice. Cowed leaders. Vatican patriots.DocB

  6. Amen. Good to have you back.

  7. Indeed, it is amazing how much power people allow the Church to take. Fear, indeed. Vatican parrots.

  8. andrew lim says:

    Nice to know Edgar is well after the floods. If religious feelings can be offended, can secular feelings be offended as well? If yes:I am establishing a religion where the place of worship is the internet. The equivalent of a religious ceremony is reading the news. So when I read that the CBCP issues that statement, my secular feelings are offended. So I will charge them with an addendum to Article 133, "offensive to secular feelings". ha ha ha ha

  9. Make it class action. Very popular, I suspect, this feeling of offense. Or better yet, a Constitutional amendment to establish a wall the way Jefferson meant it to be so that churches are not allowed to meddle in State affairs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your problem is who is pursuing the case?Research that America Joe.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Then make a case out of it. Not just a story telling that you're doing now. Are you that stupid?Secular feeling be offended… Pwe!

  12. That the bishops opt to raise hell about poverty, corruption, political dynasties etc during this administration and not during the previous one is so sad. For them to manipulate that which have been in existence for as long as I can remember just to score points against an administration that would not bend or kowtow to the Church's every whim is below the belt and un-Christian like. I am a Catholic and never have I been ashamed of the bishops' position until now. Shame.

  13. As long as the Brilliant Ivy-school Graduate Philippine Media practitoners remains catholic they'd happily publish anti-anything coming from the church to protect their religion. They cannot even autopsy the press releases of the church.

  14. The church is funded by PAGCOR and PCSO ? I thought the church was against gambling !Now that put the pieces of the puzzle together in Erap-para-lahat-pantay-hERAP. The church helped the ouster of Erap because Erap did not share his jueteng commission to the church.

  15. The Celdran case? The bishops witnessed as to their being offended, but the case is being pursued by an attorney who was not at the meeting. The convoction is on appeal. I don't understand why the courts accepted it. It is a matter to be resolved within the Catholic Church, as Celdran is a member of that Church. Why must the State get involved?The focus of the blog article is on the aggressive stance the Churcn has taken to undermine President Aquino. That is pretty outrageous. You can't be political, which mandates taking sides, and provide spiritual ease to all who enter the Church. You can't be political and walk with Jesus, it seems to me.

  16. It is a very peculiar position for the Church to take, I agree.

  17. I actually thought your pals at Rappler were pretty aggressive in calling the Church statement an attack on Aquino. The CBCP's article used the term "chide" to acknowledge they were unhappy with Aquino. I almost choked at the paragraph saying it is not a personal attack.

  18. Ella Tovara says:

    Comparing the past and the present administration and the past and present stance of the CBCP – Thinking people would conclude that it all comes down to monies.During the past administration, the CBCP were given monies and vehicles that is why despite the corruption and power grabbing, the CBCP never voiced a reaction. They were mum, silent and looked holy.Now that President Aquino is obviously not giving them anything and investigating what the past administration did to keep the CBCP silent-like the use of PCSO funds- the CBCP is shouting at the top of their lungs and throwing everything as the fault President Aquino including the natural calamities.But, the thinking Filipinos are not listening to the CBCP. How, can they, the CBCP already lost their credibility. Hopefully, the critical thinking of the Filipino people will be sustained by blogs like yours and the media like Rappler.

  19. Yes, Ella. I have always found church services to be solemn and spiritual places, places to sing in joy, learn good lessons, or receive compassion in sadness. It is simply bizarre to see such a stridently political religious organization. I'll have more to say about this in tomorrow's blog.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great post. I am facing many of these issues as well..Feel free to surf to my web site read what they said about it

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