The Philippines is not really a Catholic nation

Does it praise Jesus when notables pray for a Duterte/Marcos win? (Photo source:

By Joe America

Occasionally, I write an article that is intended mainly to provoke discussion. Why? Usually because I am confused and the discussion that follows the article helps me sort out my ideas.

This is one of those articles.

About 86% of the Philippine population belongs to the Catholic Church (Center for Global Education). The Catholic Church promotes the teachings of Jesus and the compassion of Mary. It is a ritualistic Church that has a well-structured worship, kneeling, chanting and singing, communion, holy rituals, holidays celebrating the birth or death of Jesus (his rising, actually), and others. Churches can be a simple hollowblock room or a cathedral, but all are elegant for the statues, candles, linens, and quiet holiness found within. Priests are for the most part pious. Women play a subordinate roll. Some of the Church doctrines go against modern social conventions: the Catholic Church objects to family planning, gay marriage, and equality for women.

It is a church of discipline, and yet a forgiving church. This is awkward because the forgiving makes a lot of the discipline meaningless. We’ve published articles here in the past about the dangers of forgiveness and the restraints imposed by doctrine: (“Does Catholicism make us more tolerant of corruption?“, by Andrew Lim). But I’ll go even further than that for what has developed this past year.

I have come to the conclusion that the Philippines is not really a Catholic nation after all. I’ve learned from a whole lot of Bible study in my lifetime that neither Jesus nor Mary would allow followers to engage in the wanton killing of one human being, much less 10,000.

But death is out of control in the Philippines in 2017. And the Catholic Church, it’s congregation, and its priests, are largely quiet about it. I’m not sure any tears have been shed, except among the families and priests of the dead, up close.

I can’t help but think that a REAL Catholic nation would be weeping for each child left fatherless, each woman widowed, each innocent sent to heaven or hell without last rites, and each drug addict not granted the possibility of forgiveness and resurrection, or a chance to find a constructive place in Philippine society.

I think the Philippines, rather than Catholic, is a superstitious nation, a ritualistic nation, and an emotional nation. The personal rites taken up by many . . . drivers as they motor off to start the day or soldiers heading into the battlefield or teachers before beginning their lessons . . . are self-protective rituals, not testaments of faith. They are directed INWARD, not outward. They ask for gifts, and give little. Or they give words, but not acts.

Well, that is not comprehensively true, I know that. There are many who are compassionate and true to the teachings of Jesus and heart of Mary, and are REAL Catholics. What percentage of the church-going public is that? I don’t know. Maybe 5% to 15%, as a guess.

The lack of an outwardly directed faith permits a wall to form between individuals and all the pains of the outer world. The wall stops words of good will from going out, even prayers. It stops acts of compassion and mercy. And it pushes away all the weeping and sorrow from the thousands of suffering souls “out there”.

It is a powerful wall. Maybe even built by Satan, I don’t know.

I do know that Jesus and Mary would stand aghast at the way Catholics in the Philippines praise and honor them, and all they stand for.

Oh, sorry.

. . . the way Catholics in the Philippines sing words of praise but dishonor them, and all they stand for.


248 Responses to “The Philippines is not really a Catholic nation”
  1. andrewlim8 says:

    Thought-provoking. I will use an everyday, common but glaring contradiction: the prevalence of rosaries and religious curiosities on dashboards and rear view mirrors has no impact whatsoever on driver behavior. It is meant to ward off accidents, but it does not make the driver considerate and careful at all. Superstition nation, 2, 017 years after Christ!

  2. Bill In Oz says:

    Joe, I think that this statement of yours illustrates the issue exactly : I’ve learned from a whole lot of Bible study in my lifetime”

    Ummmm ? Bible study has never been a significant feature of Catholicism. After all until the 1960’s the Catholic church was the Latin church. And how many Catholics understood Latin ? About 0.01%.

    Bible study is only a feature of Protestantism which emerged post Luther who translated the Bible into German so ‘protesting’ Catholics in the 1600’s could understand it.

    The Philippines inherited it’s Official’ Catholic religion from Spain: imposed by Spain and it’s missionaries. Part of that ‘package’ was the ” Holy Inquiition” and the belief that it’s possible to cure a social problem by killing off the problem.

    I suspect that the development of the Philippines is thus similar to other “Catholic” countries which were also part of the Spanish empire : examples that come to mind : Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile under Pinochet.

    And unfortunately all of them have been characterised by periods of conflict and mass killings. Mexico in the 1910-20’s ..Spain during the civil war, Argentina 1974-82.

    It’s in the centuries old Roman Catholic psychology and is not easily uprooted.

    • Yes, faith here is taken as faith. My own study was aimed at reconciling rational thought with the many wisdoms of the Bible, and I was blessed to have a cerebral pastor (Baptist) and genius tutor.

      Faith is wholesome, but it ought to lead to compassion, I think. If that is the only lesson the priests here take up, it would be a good one.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Baptism of infants & confirmation of 8-19 year olds, are ‘compulsory’ family rituals. They are not ceremonies to celebrate a mature decision by someone to become Roman Catholic.

  3. John D says:

    The value of life has dropped in value again. It’s cyclical, you know that. I have attended too many funerals in the Philippines. Most of them because of preventable disease but also quite a few due to violence. There is not much distinction for those who attend a funeral of young man who died in combat or attend the funeral of someone who died of preventable disease. Life is simply ended. This eventually translates to a numbness to death even when its due to oppression.
    You can tell when life has value again when the youth begin to congregate for a cause, but today technology separates the passions that build a cause. But time will come again when we ignore the 4×6 screen and look forward to a conversation. Life will have value again.

    • Interesting that you would make that comment, John. On the road this morning, I was reflecting on how cheap life is in the Philippines, in every form. The thought was keyed as I drove past a dead puppy in the middle of the busy road.

      You are correct as well, that people have entered some kind of zombie state imposed by the 4×6 screen.

  4. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Split-level Christianity! — individualistic, no sense of community; no inner life; selfish, irrational, driven by greed and power. What a challenge for each one of us: we start with ourselves.

    • Yes, one Christlike decision at a time, moving outward from a sincere heart, would change the Philippines in very short order.

      • Marie says:

        The sincere heart… therein lies the solution, sir Joe.

        God knows everything about man, He sees our frailties… limitations and inconsistiencies.
        He is merciful.
        And He waits for our sincerity as He sees our actions not motivated by true worship, faith in action.

        The Word of God sums it up this way:

        Matthew 15:8
        ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
        And honor Me with their lips,
        But their heart is far from Me.

  5. Lip service to memorized but not internalized prayers and praises. Unabashed violation of the Ten Commandments from laymen and laypeople. Mouthing but not living the words of God. That is just a few of our dysfunctional and toxic proclivities as PH Catholics.

    I grew up listening to the chatters of elderly women talking about our parish priest’s rambunctious and indecent behavior. The media is full of reports about authority figures committing all kinds of illegal acts. Marcos and his cronies were robbing the people and those who are suppose to serve and protect the people and the country were in the business of killing, terrorizing and pillaging.

    Fast forward to 2017. Did anything change in PH?

    • Miela says:

      A lot of Duterte fans and apologists I see are “religious” people. Whatever happened to the commandments?

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Duterte is a new god for some Filipinos. He is their savior. In many ways, he breaks the commandments and so some Filipinos think breaking the rules of God is the new normal.

  6. chemrock says:

    Thanks Joe for that inbound and outbound-faith expression. It makes it so simple for me to teach the kids, and for those who look up to me sometimes.

    I wonder at the fig 86%. Muslims make up 11%, so that leave only 3% other Christian sects and other faiths. Does not seem right. Maybe the 86% is all churches. The stats is not important here, anyway.

    So this inbound faith syndrome in the Philippines, is it a problem of people,or is it the church?

    • The people. Whether it is the man who waits around the corner to ‘reach you a lesson’ for calling him out on unpaid utang, the SUV driver who insists on counterflowing, or Duterte who says the Constitution is just a piece of paper. Submitting to a higher obligation isn’t cool for the Filipino, pushing one’s own agenda is cool, smart and strong, makes you the alpha male.

      • “…the man who waits around the corner to ‘teach you a lesson’ for calling him out…” This reminds me about the recent article of Rene Saguisag wherein he states that his friend, the founder of Movement Against Dynasties was killed in 2015. The killings of PH journalists and social/political/economic advocates also comes to mind. Maybe change does not come to PH because the game changers are being killed off?

    • The Church, I think. They are still in consort with the Spanish, replaced by oligarchs and other men of power.

  7. Edgar Lores says:

    1. Heretofore, the divide between Catholic belief and practice has been evident in the issue of political and social corruption. Now, the depth of the divide has been revealed by the acceptance and the approval of the killings in the anti-drug war as evidenced by the President’s continuing high poll ratings.

    2. The gap not only shows that Filipino Catholics do not practice what they profess to believe. It shows that they practice the opposite of what they profess to believe.

    3. What are the implications of this phenomenon?

    3.1. One implication is that Catholic religiosity is skin-deep, a personal and social veneer. Personal in the sense that the observance of the rituals of the faith brings a modicum of spiritual satisfaction, if not comfort. And social in the sense that public adherence to the faith makes for social acceptance.

    3.2. A second implication is that political leaders, in particular demagogues, hold greater authority and sway than religious leaders over the populace in establishing and enforcing social norms.

    3.3. A third implication is that the Church has lost ground in disseminating and fostering religious morality. This may be especially true of the new generations.

    3.4. This bodes ill for the future. The Church cannot be relied upon as a moral guide, parents are busy making money, so that leaves the nation in the hands of political leaders… who are also busy making money.

    4. To give the Church her due, I understand that she is engaged in underground work in helping the victims of the anti-drug war and in the open work of the rehabilitation of addicts. The bishops have not been totally silent in voicing their dissent, and one priest has recanted his support for the President.

    5. I would be interested in knowing how the other Christian denominations – the Protestants, the Iglesia ni Cristo, the evangelists — are faring and whether they support the killings.

    5.2. If they are as ineffective as the Catholic Church, then the ship of state has lost its moral rudder and bearing.

    5.3. It is way past time to develop a secular social morality.

    • Ha! I say church, Irineo says people, and Edgar says both.

    • 3.2. In light of the recent SWS survey results, I urge the present administration to use its political capital to affect change for the better for the sake of the country and its people.

      Filipinos are cult and personality worshippers. The influencers’ time and efforts will go a long way if they use their influence in sowing the seeds of unity and progress instead of bashing personalities that they dislike and sowing the seeds of discord.

  8. Somewhat relevant to the topic:

    US Ethics Chief who called out Trump about his unethical behaviors resigned. I guess he figured that when you have what you consider an unethical leader in the oval office then it is hypocritical to have an Ethics Office? Moral courage still exists even in times of rampant demagougery.

    • edgar lores says:

      Office of Government Ethics?

      There is no such office in the Philippines. And that is a good thing. It would just be another bureaucracy of sinecures. Or it would act in reverse of its official functions — to protect, not guard against, official misconduct.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Because of the bureacracy of sinecures, legit institutions are spread way to thin.

        The ethics complaints filed against Aguirre for spreading fake news in the office of the ombudsman will take forever to move because of the mountainous backlog of the office and the sandigan bayan.

        (The entire judiciary has a mountainous backlog)
        Come to think of it, redundancies are created to ensure continuous efficiency, but the opposite happens.

  9. josephivo says:

    There are religious beliefs and there is the Church. The deep religious beliefs mainly are transferred from generation to generation at home via mothers. The Church is a more intellectual, the exterior edifice and a male affair. This split is almost as old as mankind. The overlap of both worlds can be very small or quite considerable.

    The religious beliefs in God and in spirits are very strong in the Philippines, a lot of it is still pre-Spanish. Look at the house altars, the importance of rituals phrases, the mix of catholic, Chinese and animistic beliefs. The Church for many is just a supplier of more rituals, renaming the main God and providing a coherent environment for individual religious beliefs. Beliefs are intuitive, trying to influence the future, emotional, accepting hardship now by believing in ample compensation in afterlife.

    The Church however is still a colonial institution. Faith defined in abstract dogmas, success measured in abstract numbers, top down, even trying to control what happens in a bedroom. Status and being formally correct prevails over being effective.

    In the Philippines the overlap of both, religion and the Church is minimal, it are almost completely opposite animals. Killing addicts is a spiritual exercise, purification, appeasing the powerful. The Church lost its integral connection with the worldly leaders and became just a self-sustaining institution, what they say about killing is not heard by their flock nor the administration.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    This is the English translation of the song Banal na aso Santong kabayo

    Holy dog, saintly horse

    On a bus, in front of me was a lady
    Praying the rosary with her eyes closed
    She asked to be dropped off at the convent
    The driver replied “To the rightful unloading area lest I’ll be caught.”
    But the lady started cursing.

    Holy dog, saintly horse
    I am laughing, Hi hi hi hi
    Holy dog, saintly horse
    I am laughing, Hi hi hi hi
    At you.

    A man is preaching on the streets
    A beggar boy asked him for alms
    “I am sorry,” he said, “This is for the temple.”
    And the child begged, “Just for my food, please,
    Can you not give me anything?”
    But the preacher moved somewhere else.

    Holy dog, saintly horse
    I am laughing, Hi hi hi hi
    Holy dog, saintly horse
    I am laughing, Hi hi hi hi
    At you.

    Whatever you are doing to your brothers
    Is what you are also doing to me.

    Holy dog, saintly horse
    I am laughing, Hi hi hi hi
    Holy dog, saintly horse
    I am laughing, Hi hi hi hi
    At you.

  11. SWS Survey taken June 23-26 is PRD’s highest satisfaction rating yet. Increased ratings in all socio-economic groups.

    Why am I not surprised?

    • edgar lores says:

      I am… gobsmacked.

    • NHerrera says:

      Yehey! Food on the table remains as is! Meaning, it is not time for Mocha Uson to say, If they don’t have bread or rice, why don’t they eat cake!

    • Kamote Procopio says:

      The 12% drop in Mindanao is understandable due to the MLS declaration and the Maute “rebellion kung”.
      What’s surprising is the increase from Luzon and Visayas!

      • NHerrera says:


        Good point.

        My comment: this is a case of contriving a reason — my conjecture — to fit the numbers. Whoever is at fault for causing the Marawi problem, Imperial Luzon or Visayas have come to realize that the problem there is a big one and thus the “fire has to be put out” in a manner of speaking. And, thus, it is better the strong hand (ML) than the problem to escalate, hence the support and the consequent increase in the numbers in Luzon and Visayas.

        • edgar lores says:

          It’s not — #Martial Law Never Again

          It’s — #Martial Law Again and Again!

          Or #Martial Law Forevermore!

        • Kamote Procopio says:

          Thanks NHerrera, makes sense. Seems that “mayroong forever” with Martial Law for this government.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Show them the iron hand of resolve and they shall cheer.

      • Flip-flopping + inconsistencies is not equal to resolve. Iron hand, I agree. Resolve? More like knee jerk reaction, band aid solutions, short cut decisions?

        • madlanglupa says:

          My sarcasm towards this autocratic regime isn’t wavering, as everything else falls short of his long list of messianical promises, even scaring the VACC people who put him into power. Quite that he relies on things such as Marawi and the Bulacan Massacre to justify his goals, his fans having already used Yolanda, Luneta and Malasapano to leverage him to reign..

    • caliphman says:

      I do not know what others here take away from these survey results. What is meaningful for me is not that it is a great scorecard for Duterte but a terrible one for the Filipino people. It’s a repudiation of the principles, values, and ethics I value in a society I want to be identified with and more than ever it makes me totally alienated from the country of my birth.

  12. popoy says:


    I look for a PATTERN then explore for a lot of reasons. Christians say God works in mysterious ways. I searched for wisdom and love in God’s ways. Sodom and Gomorrha; buried cities of antiquities, of recent Haiti, the fall of the Roman Empire, the destruction of New Orleans, there’s Tsunami cities and places, the floods and landslides in some islands, tragic Tacloban, the volcanic ash not lava of Mt Pinatubo, etc. Still I am searching for reasons behind the constancy of man’s suffering and their endings. Christians superstitiously, este piously call salvation.

    Go Google the failed science based prediction of earthquakes by the faults of California. Go Astonished. Google I said to California kababayans the number and Saints that may be praying for churches and places named after them. So numerous even a Casino is named San Manuel. And be astounded.

    Quiapo has only a Mosque, Quiapo Church of the Black Nazarene and Sta. Cruz Church. Ahh, it’s may be like searching the eye of a needle in a big haystack. There is NO PATTERN, no reason BUT NATURE.

  13. popoy says:


    I look for a PATTERN then explore for a lot of reasons. Christians say God works in mysterious ways. I searched for wisdom and love in God’s ways. Sodom and Gomorrha; buried cities of antiquities, of recent Haiti, the fall of the Roman Empire, the destruction of New Orleans, there’s Tsunami cities and places, the floods and landslides in some islands, tragic Tacloban, the volcanic ash not lava of Mt Pinatubo, etc. Still I am searching for reasons behind the constancy of man’s suffering and their endings. Christians superstitiously, este piously call salvation.

    Go Google the failed science based prediction of earthquakes by the faults of California. Go Astonished. Google I said to California kababayans the number and Saints that may be praying for churches and places named after them. Even a Casino is named San Manuel. And be astounded.

    Quiapo has only a Mosque, Quiapo Church of the Black Nazarene and Sta. Cruz Church. Ahh, it’s may be like searching the eye of a needle in a big haystack. There is NO PATTERN, no reason BUT NATURE.

  14. Thea says:

    I asked bluntly to a priest friend if we are really Catholics. If we are, why our faith is superficial? Like Americans were not successful imparting democracy, Old Europe were not able to christianise the Filipinos. These two fundamentals (faith and freedom) are what our country boast to the world,and yet we don’t have them running in our blood. I had yet to understand the whys.

    Or perhaps we were not subjected to this?

    • I think the ‘whys’ are in the inward bound vs outward bound distinctions, something I read a while back is genetic, and that requires a blog. That blog may have to await the return of electrical power to our region, knocked out by yesterday’s earthquake. My participation here is sorely confined by a grand low-batt predicament. 🙂

      Do carry on, and for sure work on priests with a conscience. 🙂

    • sonny says:

      What did the priest-friend reply?

      • Thea says:

        He did not answer directly but what I remember during our long conversation is that even inside the Catholic church there are pagans,that there are Believers and many believers and that Faith must come from inside. Filipinos are no exemption.

        I am looking forward for that blog,Joe.

        • sonny says:

          Thanks, Thea. His answer sounds about right. The first prayer we must do is a request for Faith that will withstand the challenges that come our way. These are specially trying times.

  15. sonny says:

    “… I do know that Jesus and Mary would stand aghast at the way Catholics in the Philippines praise and honor them, and all they stand for.

    Oh, sorry.
    . . . the way Catholics in the Philippines sing words of praise but dishonor them, and all they stand for.” — JoeAm, to Filipino Catholics, July 2017, Anno Domini.

    Filipino Catholics should take these words to heart. Non-Catholics are excused.

    “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” — Jesus Christ to Pilate, 30, Anno Domini.

    The Lord Christ does not veil his invitation to Filipino Catholics. Non-Catholics are not included. The invitation is to be a servant in his realm.

  16. madlanglupa says:

    I do recall that everytime I pass by Guadalupe in Makati, the seminary there have the banner quoting the fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill”. Which in essence the only expression of opposing the growing culture of murder.

    There was also a recent peace rally led by, if I recall correctly, the KofC in Caloocan, denouncing the seemingly relentless string of assassinations.

    Going back to the general subject matter, there is a growing number of people embracing fundamentalist Christianity, but with disturbing tenets calling for more prejudice. Then there are others, especially in the intellectual young deciding to become atheists because with their disillusionment with organized religion and the belief that there is only one life to live with. Of course there are those who support this regime and yet also strongly religious, so convinced that authoritarian figures are also seen as (false) prophets of salvation.

  17. Miela says:

    The Philippines has always been a pagan nation pretending to be a Catholic one. Even as a Catholic, I am baffled by a lot of “rituals” of the general “Catholic Filipino”. It’s like it’s a mixture of indigenous superstition and imported Mexican superstition rather than a catechized Catholic.

    Let’s put this in a historico-cultural context. The people in the lowland Philippines are already superstitious when the Spaniards came. Then, the Spaniards imposed their religion, not in order to “spread the gospel” but to use it as a control mechanism. And the Hispanic influence in the Philippines is more Mexican/New Spain than is peninsular Spain. I think this kind of “Catholicism” leads to the political culture — worship of politicians. Just look at how Filipinos worship Duterte, Erap, FPJ, and the Marcoses. Almost North Korean-ish.

    If you look at it, there is a glaring difference in practice and superstition when you compare lowland Catholicism (Mexican Catholicism) and the Northern Luzon highland Catholicism and Christianity (mainly CICM (Belgian-influenced Catholicism) and Episcopalian). Another difference is that natives of the highlands are able to separate their indigenous beliefs (still practiced today) and Catholicism. Lowland Filipinos tend to be fatalistic. Whatever God is God’s will. Highlanders are not. They’ll try their very best not to “offend the spirits”. If translated to non-superstitious way, lowland Filipinos will accept their caste status, while highlanders will believe there is a way to make things better.

    • “Just look at how Filipinos worship Duterte, Erap, FPJ, and the Marcoses. Almost North Korean-ish.” the other side is the worship of the Aquinos, even if that has given way to a more rationalistic and modern attitude among many, over the years.. but yes, Roman Catholicism has this specific aspect of saints that intercede towards God for those who pray to them, an aspect that directly comes from Roman patron-client thinking – which is the ancestor of Italian padrone and Spanish padriño mentality.. paternalistic which means strict on one side but caring towards the loyal.. Italian bosses for example pay their driver’s dinner, but the driver sits at a separate table and the waiter asks how much is the maximum… Mexican Catholicism is of course an older version of Spanish – the rapture of the Black Nazarene being an example.. there are those who satirize Duterte as the Poong Nazeraan in direct reference to this saint..

      • Miela says:

        I thunk the worship is comes more from the indigenous beliefs than Cathilic belief. In “proper Catholicism”, saints and !ary are venerated but not worship. Filipinoa tend to worship people.

    • Thea says:

      “The Philippines has been a pagan nation pretending to be a Catholic one.” The Philippines during the pre-colonial era was not pagan, although limited in knowledge and not literate, they have existing religions : Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism. This “pagan beliefs”, as coined by the Spanish missionaries, were adapted by the Church itself to easily convert the people to Christianity. They maintained the fiestas and some practises like faith healers(albularyos),prayers through songs and dance,etc. On the otherhand, these missionaries used water to baptise the converts which is an adaptation from Judaism (purification) and the medieval belief of North and Central Europe that some waters possessed healing power. So,to speak, Catholicism in itself is a combination of pagan beliefs and Christianity. What made us pretentious,perhaps, is that we remain dependent of the Church unlike the Europeans. And what lead them(the Europeans) is their development as a civilized society. They have the Renaissance and Reformation periods which opened the minds and freed the people from the bondage of fundamentalism.

      Let me correct the Catholicism (lowlands) leads to political worshipping. IMO, it is possible whenever there are superior-inferior situations in one place,not necessarily lowland or highland. The same with caste status which arises when there is ignorance and deprivation, is it not, whether lowlanders and highlanders,some Filipinos rise from their present situation?This time, it is not Catholicism, it is the will of the person.

      • Miela says:

        Lowlanders tend to think and act as if highlanders are inferior. Just look at the actions and language. “Ang pangit mo, mukha kang Igorot” is still a common phrase. Yet highlanders are less prone to worshiping people. What highlanders “worship” are ancestral spirits and the Igorot dities.

        Politocal worship of Filipinos str!s from the indigenous culture. After all, didn’t a lot of lowland people have Datus/Rajas that was some kind of local monarchy and the Spanish used these Datus/Rajas to control the population. Not only that, Filipinos also worship celebrities to the extreme. It is a joke among the highland people that “they’renot very interested in celebrities”. If you gontonthe Cordilleras, celebrities and national politicians don’t get mugged by the public. People just look and life goes on. You can even see Pepe Smith buying from sidewalk vendors without being harassed by “fans”.

        Many rich and elitist Filipinos worship politicians. As I note to my friends, many of Dutertes rabid supporters/worshippers are from the middle and upper classes.

    • Unfortunately they did not convert the livestream into a video.. it was fantastic.. and also interesting to catch the body language and facial expressions of different G20 leaders.. almost comical afterwards: Macron talking fast like Frenchmen do, pulling Trumps elbow all the time..

  18. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    The glass is half full. Pareto Principle. Twenty per cent Catholics exercise the faith while the rest use their pagaspas (palms) on Palm Sunday to ward off evil in the house not realizing that palms turn into whips on Christ on Good Friday. St. Teresa of Kolkata, St. Juan Diego, St. Pio, St. John Paul, St. Therese of Lisieux, these are models of faith and good behavior possibly followed by the 20 per cent. We have nuns and priests who still go to EDSA One anniversaries. That’s a good sign because they were front and center in the event years ago, a historical fact almost forgotten but not lost on believers of God and democracy, on standing up to despots. The 20 per cent still pray the Holy Rosary while in rallies. It’s all good. The 80-20 mix was prevalent anyway in EDSA One. We’re in safe hands because of people like them. Are we Catholic then? Depending on which way the wind blows, for the 80 per cent, but for the 20 per cent, yes, no change, forever as believers. When the Saints Come Marching In. I think this song was played in Radyo Bandido at the height of protest. Still sends chills down my spine. No change, no change. Dictators, pretenders, power-mad politicians, beware.

    • Kamote Procopio says:

      Citing the Pareto rule again, this 20% true Christians, or Catholics who made an impact to the 80%. Without these 20% there could be no Edsa 1.

      Fast forward to the current political status, the same principle may also apply. We need the 20% democracy believers to comprise the opposition and persuade the 80% to make the true change we need for this country.

  19. chemrock says:

    “There are many, many Christians who practice Buddhism, and they become better and better Christians all the time.” ………Thich Nhat Hanh

  20. Edgar Lores says:

    1. I note that Filipinos turn to the Church when the political going gets tough. This was so during the Marcos dictatorship.

    2. This tendency is probably rooted in the fact that the Church was an adjunct of government during the Spanish colonization. More than an adjunct in truth. Not only did the Cross pave the way for the Sword. During the protracted Spanish rule, the Church was the not-so-velvet glove covering the iron hand.

    3. This should not be the case under the separation of church and state doctrine. The Church is an institution but it is not a government institution.

    3.1. We should not pit one against the other.

    3.2. Nor should we grant to the Church the power to influence the State. That is inviting another form of tyranny.

    3.3. Under the separation of government powers doctrine, what should happen is that government institutions should individually grow in strength and balance out each other. This is not happening here because we have perverted the institutions of democracy. Here, the Executive has arrogated to itself inordinate powers. It is able to control outright the Legislature through the power of the purse and able to manipulate the Judiciary through the power of appointment.

    4. In other countries, the check and balances on the Executive are many.

    4.1. There are the courts as we see them, for example, trumping Trump’s immigration ban.
    4.2. There is the opposition party in a Congress whose members are not turncoats and who do not spring from dynasties.
    4.3. There is the vocal and powerful press.
    4.4. There are citizen organizations, like the ACLU and trade unions, ready to defend human rights and worker rights in particular.
    4.5. There are constitutional monarchies where the king acts as a moderating influence.

    5. In the current situation, the safeguards against presidential power are weak. We seem to be relying on the following four:

    5.1. An independent and people-oriented armed forces
    5.2. The Church
    5.3. America
    5.4. The ICC

    6. The first two are internal and the last two external. The first is a fortuitous happenstance; unlike Marcos, Duterte did not have time to subvert the military. And reliance on the last three is unacceptable if we are to become a truly self-reliant, independent, and democratic country.

    6.1. Regarding 4.2, because we are unprincipled as a nation, we must craft into law principles that are observed as a matter of honor in other countries. It is unfortunate but it seems we require the heavy hand of the law to redirect our inward impulses outward.

  21. lightning rod says:

    Hello everyone! I think I know Joeam from the old Filipino Voices. When blogging was in its infancy and trolling was not yet industrialized.

    I think religion is a red-herring in our efforts to understand Dutertismo. Dutertismo is not a reaction to the religious overtones of the yellow movement. Dutertismo is in itself a religion. But I must admit I am an agnostic.

    • Yes, rod, I started at FV, and Karl Garcia, a regular here, also recalls those days.

      I’m not seeking to understand Duterte, but the absence of any moral courage by the Catholic . . . or any other . . . Church here in the PH.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Yes hotrod, he is the same JoeAm from FV.
      Blogging was a toddler or at primary school then.
      And social media was dominated by friendster and myspace.
      Trolling then was defined differently. ( leading one to a particular site,etc)

      • karlgarcia says:

        Re: Red Herring.

        In other words you see the topic of religion as a distraction.So avoid using it while driving.(joke)
        We talk a lots of subjects every now and then including Dutertismo, it just so happened that religion is the particular subject matter.

        As you might notice In the comments, when something is brought up, we discuss it.

  22. Miela says:

    The only sane institution left in the Philippines, it seems, is the military. From what I can see, they’re not yet politicized as can be seen in the public statements of DND Lorenzana. It is a very bad sign – it means that the civilian institutions are no longer functioning and adhering to the constitution.

  23. maru0907 says:

    I was thinking convenient catholics. But your characterization is more apt.

  24. jp says:

    I used to respect this blog. Now just find it amusing.

    The things you learn from analyzing Duterte…….. Hahahaha

  25. chemrock says:

    As you guys read this blog, I’m sure you all know another institution is going to be run by yet another personality from Mindanao.

    Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles is the new president of CBCP. Valles is a close friend of the presidential family. He was the one who baptised the fish made of stone.

    Who do you think comes first? The Lord, or the Flock, or the Boss?

    God sure works in mysterious ways.

    • NHerrera says:

      Seems like it. If it just somebody from Mindanao, and considering there are three island groupings — Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas — that is 1 in 3 on a lottery; but you said the new CBCP head is a close friend of the Presidential family, so the odds are much much lower. Mysterious way indeed.

      Peace between the Church and Government at last.

    • But to be fair, his presidency was not arranged by the President, he was next in line for succession. He also has EJKs and the death penalty as programs to oppose. Time will tell which master he bows to.

  26. Joe,

    As you know I’m no Catholic, but I am a fan of comparative religion (playing compare and contrast with all kinds of mumbo-jumbo out there). I went to a buddy’s child’s baptism in Canada (buddy’s wife is Catholic) and I remember the priest doing a side-homily (after talking about some Biblical passage or two) about how sacraments in the Church were free (though they take donations). But it wasn’t simply his stating that (which to me was obvious), but in the way he said like he was revealing a truth (a secret truth), like he was letting the congregation in on a secret.

    That just struck me a weird, Joe, both his delivery and the subject re Sacraments being FREE. I guess it was a bit of epiphany for me, something that I had miss, but now replaying in my mind, all the Catholic sacraments I’ve been privy to witness. And I do remember folks paying for it —– not that there’s anything wrong with it, i’ve given money to boxes or hats being passed down before (feeling both the social pressure, but justifying hey I can give $2 to $3 bucks)… but it was the pay to play nature of it.

    So these sacraments would’ve been baptisms, weddings, funeral rites, confirmation, house blessings, etc. etc. most big parties I went to in the Philippines, almost always had a priest (who either tend to have a full plate of food and/or full glass of liquor). Then you go into geography and realize, hey the Philippines isn’t the only Catholic country, and viola! pretty much all majority Catholic countries tend to be corrupt. IMHO it’s the practice of sacraments at issue here , the whole pay to play dirrrtiness of it all, oozes out to other aspects of peoples life, Joe.

    I noticed the only sacraments that Catholic Filipinos didn’t bother with (which could’ve been potentially profitable ) are circumcisions. I know the Jews started this practice, but less familiar with how they do this rite religiously; but in Muslim Middle East it is very much a religious rite and celebrated accordingly with lots of fanfare, but they pay the pastor and the cutter (sometimes they are one and the same) for this service—- remember there is no clergy in Sunni Islam, so pastor/cutter pocket the money for their own costs. Arab Christians did something similar, involving their priests, but it wasn’t a religious rite per se (more like a secular rite of passage, with religious undertones).

    But circumcision in the Philippines had no religious meaning whatsoever I noticed , like it was there before the Spanish brought Catholicism (from the Muslims), hence left alone. But basically in the boonies , far from hospitals some old guy comes in with sharp cleavers/knives (the guy doing circumcisions I guess are the same fellas that go around offering to sharpen peoples’ knives?). Word goes around. Boys line up, with their donations (ie. bottles of rum or boxes of cigarettes), out comes the fore skin and guava leaves are applied as bandage. Something similar goes for Muslim boys there too, but the guy doing the cutting would mumble passages from the Qur’an, but it was similarly without fanfare.

    Now I asked around how it was done in the city, and was told in hospitals, but similarly without the church’s involvement.

    For a potentially lucrative racket, why did the Catholic Church abstain re circumcisions? Maybe this is the solution. How do you clean up a people’s penchant for corruption? Turn every sacrament the Catholic Church peddles and render it like circumcisions, separate from the Church (just pay the guy doing the cutting). So that’s my little input here re corruption and the Church. As to moral courage, and how groups become morally courageous, I think the perfect models are the Mormons, i’m still trying to figure out how exactly they were able to cobble together traditions both morally courageous, as well as great financial management to boot.

    In the end, all this religious crap is wealth distribution which means you have to judge heavily on how this is done in the bigger picture (the myths and legends are it seems arbitrary, ie. your bs vs. mine, only God knows in the end). I think the Catholic Church has largely been able to sustain wealth distribution by way of inheritance (ie. dead Catholics leaving their stuff to the Church); hence sustaining the Church but they are not expanding, but if you wanna see 21st century expansion of religion, the Mormon Church has everyone beat IMHO (and they’re less than 200 years old), I’m sure their missionary work (BYU has the best language programs in the nation) plays a big part, but

    look into how they’ve invested and how they do this as a group very transparent (though not so transparent inside the temple), i’m still trying to figure out how they balance both sets of transparency ( financial management vs. religious doctrine). But they’ve stumble on a balance here, between magic and money.

    • Yes, pay to play is the way, and I agree it sets the moral tone.

    • NHerrera says:

      Lance, thanks. I am an admirer of the creative or unorthodox way you come out with the meat of the matter — circumcision in the current case. 🙂

      • sonny says:

        Circumcision is not a sacrament of the Catholic. FYI, there are 7 sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Penance (Confession), Holy Orders, Last Rites. Matrimony.

        • sonny says:

          Again FYI, a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

          • sonny says:

            A comprehensive information regarding sacraments of the Catholic Church. Important subject matter to know about if interested in the Catholic Church and why Catholics do what they do.


            • sonny says:

              Hopefully truth and understanding will be the benefits in such an exercise.

              • Thanks for that link, sonny.

                Are exorcisms and sin eating considered sacraments? These two I’m particularly interested in , I know exorcisms are Catholic, though I think only a few groups dabble in sin eating?

                p.s. sonny, I ‘m not bashing sacraments here to be sure , just connecting the source of corruption to the whole pay to play notion of sacraments (which may no be absent in the 1st world, but still pretty prevalent in the 3rd), but in and of itself Catholic sacraments are on par with pretty much all other religious traditions out there, no better no worst IMHO.


                Thanks!!! I like “unorthodox“.

        • edgar lores says:

          Sacrament: “a ceremony regarded as imparting spiritual grace…”

          To some, circumcision is a sacrament.

          • sonny says:

            Yes, I would think of the followers of the Mosaic Law who would consider circumcision so and I don’t know if Islam follows a system of sacraments. Either way the Christian dispensation is not part of either one’s theology nor religion.

            • sonny, so I was Googling re circumcision and Catholic doctrine, and I guess a lot of it has to do with St. Paul’s own edicts (as you know the guy’s never met Jesus personally, though claims to have been blinded by his spirit enroute to Damascus).

              I’ve always been curious about Paul’s little personal takes on things, and wonder what Jesus himself would’ve said. This is definitely Paul’s own Christology, same with the whole you can eat anything (no need for kosher food) which seems to have been anachronistically inserted in the Gospel of Mark (because why would this even be an issue with Jews during the time of Jesus, ie. also not consistent with the rest of Mark grammar-wise, though consistent with Paul’s edicts). Google Council of Jerusalem for further on this stuff.

              So that would cover why the Catholic Church don’t put alot of weight with circumcisions, but the Jews and Muslims do (though not mentioned in the Qur’an, but mentioned in the Haddiths, highly regarded for Sunnis and mandatory for Shi’as). So definitely 99.9% sure, circumcision is a Muslim thing that made it to the Philippines before the Spanish.

              From a PR perspective, St. Paul’s move not to make compulsory all the kosher laws and circumcision rites, etc. eases conversions , thus growing your base, from a Jewish religion to a gentile faith. It was successful in this regard, but one wonders what Jesus would’ve done or said re Paul’s edicts.

    • sonny says:

      LC can’t blame you for this comment entirely focused on one word: FREE as in PAY as you go. If the whole affair on Sacraments is about money then the Catholic Church is playing out the whole Protestant Reformation again which is all about selling Church items: spiritual favors, blessings, Sacraments. No pay, no spiritual action. If so, this all about sacrilege and the sin of simony. Sacrilege is defined as desecration, profanation, misuse, or theft of something regarded as sacred and simony is the deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual or annexed unto spirituals. These are always serious sins.

      OR, the priest was simply clarifying a matter of participating in the material overhead of the church, most of the time VOLUNTARY.

      • sonny,

        As for sacraments I totally understand that there’s a Church and then there’s the Community (which many would say is the Church, not vice versa). And yes when comes to the Philippines there are still remnants of the Reformation, sonny, especially now, and especially in Mindanao where it seems more Protestants are being made (thanks in part to the American evangelical movement funding conversions there now, ie. with medical missions, schools, scholarship programs , etc. or just simply having a nice basketball court outside, Mormons are doing this).

        So in a way the Reformation is being prosecuted again in the Philippines albeit more quietly than Luther’s or Calvin’s, I’m sure in the rest of the 3rd world this applies where there are Catholics also, the re-enacting of the Reformation. This is evident during Pacquiao’s rise as a boxer, which weirdly coincided with him moving up in weight class. That’s what ‘s going on in Mindanao, even Mormons are having a go at Mindanao.

        Like the Reformation thousands of years prior , a lot of it is again about sales of sacraments. So why not separate the profane and the sacred all together , mandate that no money change hands during sacraments or with priests in general and just do what Mormons do,

        create private mutual funds (church/parish specific) and have lay persons do all the investing and re-distributions, instead of having the Church seemingly exchange money for sacraments, mixing the profane and sacred. Separate the money and magic, maybe that’s a start.

        This was definitely one of Jesus’ pet peeves (for the most part Jesus talked smack about the Pharisees in the gospels, but in the Temple he was essentially attacking the Sadducees, those Jewish clergy in-charge of sacraments, and he was less civil with them):


          There is a link between Mindanao evangelicals and the original Alsa Masa group of Col. Franco Calida in Davao – yes he is the brother of the present SolGen Calida..

          What is also interesting is that the Cory government and Cardinal Sin advocated armed groups in the mid-1980s – Duterte is therefore a direct product of what Cory herself called “the dark side of people power”. Also fascinating in the source is the cultic/animistic link, the Pulahan aspect of all these vigilante groups. Duterte speaking of eating terrorist livers links him to the “tradition” of the Tadtad groups of Mindanao – does anyone remember Rock Christ, the so-called lost command that practiced occasional cannibalism in Mindanao? Craaazy!

          • I was thinking more along the lines of sane, cleaner (not dirrrty ) Protestant strains that have visited the Philippines , but yeah non-Catholic cults, pseudo-Christian groups have definitely come up also in this un-Catholicization process in Mindanao, Ireneo. But during the actual Reformation if i recall both Luther and Calvin did more to squash new movements and churches (not aligned to them) than did the Catholic Church, so there’s some semblance still with European Reformation of the 15th Century re the chaos that ensued. Very interesting.

          • edgar lores says:

            The book – what is available – is a good read as it gives details of the New Christianity which is largely Protestant/Evangelical in character.

            The New Christianity argues that the enemies are Communists, Muslim fundamentalists, and idolatrous Catholics – all of which are fundamental ideologies.

            But the New Christianity is also of a fundamentalist stripe. This is fighting fire with fire, which in a way works. But the more effective method to fight fire would be to douse the fire of fundamentalism. I do not know how to do this pragmatically, except to start with one’s self.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Uhm. We could be looking at instruments to the faith, and not the faith itself. For example, a man loves hunting. Does he forego of his passion when the gun he has brought in the expedition failed to fire? Or does he change the gun, but hew ever closer to the passion of hunting? I’m looking for hossanahs and hallelujahs to Father God. So far, if my reading proves prescient, all I see are hits on the instrument, failed to fire, failed to fire. Find the instrument that will best suit your purpose and go after the passion. In my case, ever since I was born, I have found fruition and meaning in Roman Catholicism. I will not inflict it on anyone who is not so inclined, but I will keep on being a good Catholic, hoping another good Catholic will find inspiration in what I do. It’s the passion, not the instrument. Pedophiles, profit-takers, sex offenders are in every jungle anyway. I have chosen my jungle for the benefit of my passion. Till the end.

      • I agree, Wil, there’s faith and there are instruments of faith , in the Catholic Church’s case it is the sacraments , in the case of Islam it is their jurisprudence, especially in times of war and in criminal law.

        Update the sacraments by imposing no money changes hands (no pay to play), but get money working in other aspects of the Church, away from sacraments. Similarly, like sacraments, in Islam cutting heads off of criminals or enemies in war was the most humane thing you could do in the 7th century (ie. as oppose to torturing them, which was the norm). What’s more humane now? What is the most fiscally responsible thing to do now?

        But for me, whenever the subject of Catholic Church is brought up and why countries which are predominantly Catholic are indeed inherently corrupt (name one Catholic country that isn’t 😉 ) , the 1st thing that comes to mind are the Sacraments, both the official and unofficial ones, ie. blessing houses, objects, exorcism, etc. etc.

        • karlgarcia says:

          In hotel, restaurant, and rest of the hospitality industry you give tips to the one who serviced or served you on top of what you give the institution.
          Then we have this donations to the church, if anonymous or discreet enough, it is just an offering, but what if it is not anonymous, is it already bribery or even money laundering if it came from perceived undesirables?
          In sacraments, all offerings are discretionary, if you can not give what you do not have, you find a sponsor or god parents.( not necessarily the Michael Corleone types)

          • What if they don’t find a sponsor or god parent, karl?

            • Or don’t wanna be in a position where they have a godfather (Don Corleone-type who wants debts paid)?

              • karlgarcia says:

                In some cases you owe favors to your god parent or kumpadres and kumadre ( for lack of translation i will use co-parent) that you return the favor somehow, but in some cases you mutually won’t have anything to do with one another or never see or hear from each other ever again.

            • karlgarcia says:

              With regards to sponsors, it is supposed to be as a second parent thr the wedded couple in matrimony and as a second patent to the child im baptism.
              But in the Philippines if the mayor or anyone does not shoulder mass weddings (weddings done en masse)
              They just don’t get married and just live as common law spouses without giving up being catholic.
              Even some middle class couples people skip getting married not because its the in thing, getting married is costly.

              • I guess that was the point that priest in Canada was making re sacraments being FREE, karl. Not having money shouldn’t prevent you from getting these sacraments. Like sonny explained it’s the symbol of God’s grace, grace shouldn’t be bought and sold, period— tithings and donations, etc. other ways of multiplying funds that’s fine, but leave sacraments FREE.

                Getting married shouldn’t be costly, at least where sacraments are concerned. The other stuff like receptions, honeymoon, catering, that’s a whole different matter, but just simply officiating sanctifying a marriage, that should be FREE (and I’m sure it is, just not getting around it seems, which is the priest’s point in my original post).

              • karlgarcia says:

                ok I admit I included the whole package when I said it is costly. Couples just do civil weddings because simple weddings are impossible because of the fiesta mentality where you have to invite the whole town.(i can guarantee that this is only slightly exagerrated)

              • Ah, I see , karl. you’re not really talking of sacraments, but social pressure to feed everyone. That’s a more difficult nut to crack, karl—- are there places like Vegas there, where people just run off and get married then come back, and say, “sorry, guys, wish you were there (here’s photos), but we’re done celebrating now!”.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Aside from municipal or city halls, there is no Vegas here. With social media or even texting,I don’t know if there are still secret weddings.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Lance actually even without the pressure of feeding everyone, I don’t think sacraments should be free for reasons Edgar mentioned.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                I figurecd this out early last year. We married here in Oz after we came back.. Not too big; not too expensive; and the only folks there were friends wishing us happiness.

              • edgar lores says:

                Very practical and with an intimate gathering.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Very good for you Bill.

              • That’s how celebrations should be, Bill… small & memorable , anything bigger is just work IMHO. Good on you.

                Are you familiar with , done by natives up and down the northwest coast over here.

                “an opulent ceremonial feast at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige.”

                Similar to what karl described above (the need to feed everyone, which i’m sure is related to the potlatch system), which is prominent these days in rap/hip-hop culture (ie. displays of destroying wealth in order to be seen as wealthy , an oxymoron fo’ sho’):

              • “I don’t think sacraments should be free for reasons Edgar mentioned.”

                How does this sacrament stuff get played out over there ,karl? If tomorrow, your local church offered a list of prices for sacraments, would people take to it? and see it as honest or will they feel awkward ? How much would marriage rites be in Philippine pesos? and how would other rites, like confirmation and baptism fair in comparison?

                sonny’s in Chicago, I just can’t see sacraments being priced the way edgar described, for the simple reason that when you sell something, you’re in fact cheapening it, better not to put monetary value on it.

                But if you say it’ll work in the Philippines, i’ll defer to you, you’re more familiar with the church over there. But IMHO it cheapens it, hence not practical. 😉

              • sonny says:

                LC, a friend of mine once said: “Sonny, if the Vatican knew what you are thinking, you should be excommunicated! 🙂 ” But what can I do, I love the Catholic Church.

              • karlgarcia says:

                That is what I think and feel because in this case money keeps the world go round or sustainable.

                That is all, the fee should be small enough to make it affordable.
                Nothing is free, if you don’t pay for it, some one else pays for you.

                That is just me.
                Like that priest in Canada, the clergy from Cebu thinks sacraments should be free.


              • edgar lores says:

                The very fact that the news item was written shows that the sacrament of matrimony is not really free of charge. Hence, my claim of double-speak.

                Perhaps the error of the Church is in classifying matrimony as a sacrament?

                Among Protestants, only baptism and the Eucharist are sacraments. And baptism is invariably adult baptism.

                IMHO, matrimony should be classified as a service… as it is offered in the secular world. After all, where does the holiness of marriage lie? Surely, it is not in a ceremony that is less than a day. Neither is it in the covenant (vows) because covenants can be broken. The sanctity would lie in the combination of the covenant and in the celebration of the covenant by the couple throughout the years.

                If matrimony is not a sacrament, then the Church could not be accused of simony.

                From Wikipedia, the sacraments were codified in the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563). This was after Luther’s Ninety-Five These (1517). The Church has painted itself into a corner.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thank you for your views Edgar. That was what I was thinking, it is not free if charge at all. The appeal was from an archbishop to make the poor not worry about fees.
                About some sacraments being classified as a service. The eucharist itself is called a service by some.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                True. But there must be a distinction between “general” service and “special” or “individualized” service.

                The Eucharist is a general service in that it is offered to all without distinctions of any kind — rich or poor, old or young, brown, black or white. The service is not customized.

                Matrimony is individualized. There are distinctions as to age and sex. There may be a distinction as to wealth itself. En masse weddings for the poor may be free of charge or extract a minimum charge. For those that are financially capable, the charge will vary — perhaps tacitly — according to capability. The service can be customized.

                There would be a distinction as to the aspect of holiness itself. The Eucharist is a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper. Jesus did not marry.

              • edgar lores says:

                I would add that neither Christ nor Christianity instituted the ceremony of marriage. It predates Christianity.

              • “Sonny, if the Vatican knew what you are thinking, you should be excommunicated!”

                I hear ya , sonny. So long as the community’s good , the church should follow suit (community in the end should be central, not the other way around). But if the community has a penchant already for the corrupt , then the church too follows. And you get a positive loop going. Then it’s difficult to figure which came first, the chicken or the egg.

                But are you familiar with actual fees associated with these sacraments where you’re at, sonny?

              • “If matrimony is not a sacrament, then the Church could not be accused of simony.”


                I’m afraid you’re missing the point here, we’re not attempting to re-make the Catholic Church in our image! We’re trying to find out why Catholic countries tend to be corrupt, like the Philippines, and attempt to fix it.

                I’m saying the root is in the way priests and Catholics in the Philippines deal with sacraments, ie. pay to play.

                Work within the lines here. The Church is centuries old , the sacraments are there, I’m pretty sure Pope Francis himself would be against this cherry-picking of sacraments idea of yours—– again it cheapens grace.

                Like i said, sacraments are FREE, as per that Canadian priest, sonny’s explanation and now that priest in Cebu (karl). So the issue here seems to be the implementation on the ground, the doctrine of sacraments being FREE is already in effect——- it’s just a matter of

                getting Catholics on board, in the Philippines (and the rest of the 3rd world), which seems to have a Dark Age (pre-Luther) understanding of these sacraments.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! I don’t think I am missing the point. I am aimed at the very heart of the issue — which is that corruption stems from unexamined structures and practices.

                Sacraments are not “free.”

              • So was that church you’re talking about Catholic? If they’re listing sacraments as a service with a fee, then it would make for a perfect test case, if selling of sacraments has a potential for success , edgar.

              • edgar lores says:

                I am told the Church is rich.

              • sonny says:

                from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
                “2121 Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things.53 To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money!”54 Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: “You received without pay, give without pay.”55 It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.”

                While I’m looking for the appropriate words of Canon Law of the Catholic Church, all 7 sacraments in the Catholic Church are accessible to all Catholics, free of charge. Anything else is voluntary.

              • karlgarcia says:

                @Edgar, thanks again.
                @Uncle Sonny, voluntary but most welcome( is that any different from expected?)
                @Lance, just read between the lines regarding your question to Edgar, assume the church is Catholic because it was pertinent to our discussion, and pertienet examples were given.

              • sonny says:

                Neph, the words voluntary, expected, welcome are nowhere close to mandatory, or compulsory – meaning a fee is the necessary condition to the efficacy of the sacrament. Baptisms, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Last Rites, Matrimony, Forgiveness of sins in Confession can all be done and sealed in the absence of money. As I said, I am looking for the words of Canon Law that says this is so.

              • sonny,

                I started out playing Devil’s advocate here, but now feel as though I’m advocating Jesus’ and the Church’s position re FREE sacraments. God works in mysterious ways! LOL!

                As you know I’m a big fan of the Pope,

                “a Church that is poor” I think is consistent with Jesus , and especially with what Jesus did in the Temple re fees and sacraments inside the Temple.

                So from the git-go, I believe Jesus was right (I’m a big fan of Jesus, not so much Paul as you know, who I think co-opted the Jesus story for himself, and the part about being poor and for the poor was somehow lost over the years). It was Paul who strayed (who never even met Jesus).

                Based on Jesus’ example, and what Pope Francis said above, a sacraments-for-a-fee idea just goes against everything Jesus taught and what Pope Francis is trying to do now.

                But with edgar’s witnessing of baptism for a fee in a Catholic church in Australia, and what Pope Francis said here,

                “The Holy Father concluded with a reminder that access to the legal structures and competent, professional legal representation are both the right of every member of the faithful, and the duty of the Church to provide without respect for any member’s ability to pay for them. Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis said, “This is a point I would like to stress: sacraments are free-of-charge. The sacraments give us grace – and due process in marriage cases (It. un processo matrimoniale) touches the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. How I would like all marriage processes to be free-of-charge.” (that sounds like a yearning, to me)


                My question, sonny… so there are , as edgar stated, churches out there that do charge fees (actually listed) for say baptism and marriages, and potentially other sacraments?

              • *******
                I am told the Church is rich.

                I think the point is, they are not supposed to be rich, edgar. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                The Church is so rich… that nobody knows how rich it is.

              • karlgarcia says:

                @Uncle sonny,
                Can the words in the canon law you are looking for be found here?

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Karl, thanks. This should lay to rest the notion that the sacrament of marriage is “free.”

                “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” – attributed to Jan van de Snepscheut.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks back.
                I have learned an avalanche of knowledge from this thread.

              • karl, thanks for the link, i read it… but from the 1st paragraph I already knew it was going the wrong way, opposite of what Jesus intended, ie. her premise is all wrong, then she lays out her argument like a good lawyer citing this and that, but she’s coming from an opposite angle, so it falls short IMHO (Jesus’ words must trump Canon law, I’m still waiting for how sonny will source his, but as for me, re sacraments/money,

                Jesus is first, then argue from there, so I’m not relying on Canon here, nor am I familiar with it, but Jesus trumps Canon, is my point.)

                The writer is one Cathy Caridi , an American canon lawyer (but has the initials J.C.L. after her name, does this mean she’s a nun? I don’t know), but she’s going about justifying all this the wrong way IMHO.

                It’s wrong because Jesus already outlined how he wanted his message shared to others, when he first commissioned his 12 disciples in Galilee (and gave them very clear instructions).

                I don’t really cater too much for the Great Commission , or anything post-crucifixion for that matter. Personally, I think the Jesus story ends with the women running from an empty cave (Mark’s short ending). But that’s just me. So for me, the initial Commission in Galilee is the actual Great Commission , which is neither here nor there,

                but the point here is what Jesus specifically said to those he tasked with carrying his teachings forward, these are clear instructions straight from the horses mouth, i’ve bolded the pertinent lines below, but all of it is good reading, especially for priests who feel they need “living expenses, just like the rest of us!”

                (it’s not suppose to be comfy like the rest of us 😉 , sacraments are free because Jesus himself instructed that they be free, read on…)

                Matthew 10:5-42King James Version (KJV)

                5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

                6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

                7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

                8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

                9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

                10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

                11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

                12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.

                13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

                14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

                15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

                16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

                17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

                18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

                19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

                20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

                21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

                22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

                23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

                24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

                25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

                26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

                27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

                28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

                29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

                30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

                31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

                32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

                33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

                34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

                35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

                36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

                37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

                38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

                39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

                40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

                41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

                42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.


              • karlgarcia says:

                Let’s hear from sonny.

              • p.s.~ karl, I did not read the Canon law links in the article, maybe Canon law in fact agrees with Jesus, maybe not. But I didn’t look thru it.

              • karlgarcia says:


              • p.s.s. ~ I used Matthew above since it’s the most detailed account (also the most similar to the Gospel of Thomas, my favorite Gospel, short/sweet to the point, and funny), but here’s Mark and Luke:


                Mark 6:7-13 King James Version (KJV)

                7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

                8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip [bag], no bread, no money in their purse:

                9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

                10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

                11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

                12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

                13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.


                Luke 9:1-6 King James Version (KJV)

                1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

                2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

                3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip [bag], neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

                4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.

                5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

                6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.


              • sonny says:

                @ Karl – I keep on looking for a central place on what Canon Law says on the fees and sacraments. It is like looking for the proverbial needles in the haystack. Thanks for locating that link. Now I know more, just like you. The Canon Law experts in Church have not sat down and put together a CANON LAW 101 for quick reference, I feel.

              • sonny says:

                @ Bill – the word “limbo” comes from the word “limbus” (limbo, ablative case). The word means “rim, edge, border”. My own: “in limbo paradisi” at the edge of paradise, for the unbaptized infants when they die. Read here:


                @ re Jesuits and their suppression. They were heavily involved in the European power politics where and when the popes were as temporal rulers. Their disfavor was purely political. To answer your questions, ask a Jesuit and knock yourself out in discussion. 🙂

                @ LC, money and the sacraments are now bound with the two principles affecting their administration: Simony, where the Church will steer clear of and also the precept of contributing to the support of the Church. All Catholics obey this precept to the best of their ability. Otherwise no parish will remain standing. Strictly common sense, in my opinion. No heavy casuistry needed.


                J.C.D after a priest or lay person’s name = Juris Canonici Doctor –> Canon Law lawyer

              • sonny says:

                J.C.L. = Juris Canonici Licenciatus = Canon Law lawyer

              • sonny,

                Thanks. I remember reading somewhere about the Jesuits, and the making of , after months of training their practical application is to get on the road (with only a few pocket change to get them thru the 1st day). I’m not sure how long they were suppose to be out on the road, but essentially they were to preach, help and experience God on the road.

                Do other orders do this, or is it just the Jesuits? it seems as though they are re-enacting the 12’s commissioning instructions in Galilee (albeit taking some modern day liberties with having money).

                As for money and sacraments and simony, the Jains and Buddhist lay-people and clergy, seem to have clear expectations of both’s purposes, ie. monks are suppose to be poor, have less and be dependent on the lay-folk, the lines are pretty clearly outlined, yet lay-folk’s support is consistent ; but i don’t know for sure if they have sacraments, and a lot of it too is that they’re mostly inside consistently Buddhist/Jainist communities,

                there’ s not a push to preach to non-Buddhists/Jains as Christianity– no doubt from St. Paul, so at no time are they overstretching their logistical lines, maybe that’s the issue here more than simony, etc.

                if conditions don’t allow priests to be able to run a proper church, ie. they’re having to balance simony and sacraments because they’re getting hungry too, because less and less church go’ers are giving donations/supporting the church,

                then essentially it’s a bad observation post or forward ops base , where you’re just taking up space with no clear mission or purpose, best to return to the fold re-group and locate another area with a clear community and mission for the clergy.

                It makes sense now why Jesus said,

                Matthew 10:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

                5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

                6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

                ———— this may just be a logistical issue, sonny, we’re talking about, ie. don’t overstretch your logistical lines, so you don’t have to play simony: yes, no or maybe.

                A very good talk re sacraments and simony, learned lots, thanks sonny, edgar, karl, Bill, et al.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Modern day 21st century Ireland !
          But also increasingly ex-cathoiic

          • Bill In Oz says:

            This blog has drifted a long way from it’s original topic of whether the Philippines is Catholic !

            And lance you have not responded to my answer to your question re any counties that are Catholic but not corrupt. I replied Ireland, but there is also Germany & Austria and Belgium..
            But all I acknowledge very secular nowadays.

            Marriage was added to the list of sacraments by the Church councils in the 13th century. Edgar..

            And I think you are wrong when you say that all protestant churches only allow adult baptism.. There is a huge diversity in Protestantism and many allow infant baptism, including the Anglicans and the Lutherans.. The Lutherans deny marriage is a sacrament but the Anglicans say it is..

            And yes that is ironic given the Anglican churches origins as Henry the 8th. break from Rome because he could not get an annulment from Katherine of Aragon.. Which if the Catholic Church had been un-corrupt or at least consistent, he would usually have been granted. Lots of royals got papal annulments in that time.

            Henry’s ‘reason’ was that his brother Arthur had married Katherine before he married her. And consumated the marriage as well ! But then Arthur died with no heir.So Henry’s dad ( Henry the 6th ) leaned on him to marry Katherine to keep things all in the family. Henry the 8th was just 13 at the time and naturally agreed with his father’s request/orders.

            But the newly arrived Tudors needed a male heir to consolidate their hold on the throne
            of England. And Katherine did not produce a male heir.Just one daughter- Mary. Hnry though this was an indication of God’s curse on the marriage. And after 27 years asked Rome for an annulment.

            But Katherine was the niece of the King of Spain and the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany/Austria. His troops occupied Naples a little way South of Rome and were quite ready and able to ‘remove’ the pope if he gave Henry an annulment from Katherine…They actually did so over some other issue later on anyway.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Almost forgot : Cardinal George Pell,has flown back in Australia from Rome of his own free will to fight the charges of pedophilia in Victoria. At least he is consistent.And a fighter.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                H’Herrera, I have been reading a just published biography of Cardinal George Pell. The character that emerges is of a bully and a thug. How could such a person become a bishop and cardinal of the catholic Church ?

                In the coming weeks he faces trial for pedophillia against young boys in 1961 when he was a seminarian at Corpus Christi College near Melbourne.

                But it is very clear that he was protecting other pedophile priests during his time as a priest in Ballarat, as an archbishop in Melbourne and even as a archbishop/cardinal in Sydney.

                It’s clear also that even later when it was all in the public eye & criminal trials were going ahead against priests, he was really only interested in the financial costs that admitting to pedophilia by priests would be. His aim was to minimise the financial costs and amounts paid to victims by way of compensation….

                I truly think he has earned time in the slammer.

              • NHerrera says:

                Bill, thanks for the additional information on Cardinal Pell.

            • Sorry, I didn’t know that was in response to my question, Bill —- it was so far down the thread.

              But i did include the corruption map below of Europe very early on (various shades of green and red) to address the countries you’ve just listed, in anticipation of that very comment, Bill.

              Though i know Ireland is widely responsible for safe-guarding Rome’s literary accomplishments (Latin works), when compared to non-Catholic countries it falls short. And you’re correct on secularization, which is probably Why in comparison to other corrupt Catholic countries in the 3rd world, Catholic majority countries in Western Europe will tend to be greener.

              So it’s the shedding of Catholicism that may be contributing to that greening of colors in the map , but since we’re talking 3rd world here, I’m painting within the lines , i’m not attempting to sabotage the Catholic church here as edgar is. 😉 Well intentions aside, I’m just working with current Catholic mores, ie. Free sacraments, straight from the Pope’s mouth.

              As for whether the Philippines is Catholic , YES, hell yeah! it is very Catholic, but 11th century Catholic.

              • edgar lores says:

                What happened to the dirrrty?

              • The 11th century Catholic Church was dirrrty, edgar— they sold sacraments as you’re advising now, only with no set price, but pay to play was the norm.

                Not to mention the Crusades, and the controversy over how popes were chosen, ie. patronage system, very very dirrrty, etc. etc. etc.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                However nobody is selling indulgnces Lance not even in the Philippines. Now that’s a real improvement on the 11th century. Though actually I hesitate to mention it as someone might read this, get inspired and start doing it again.

            • edgar lores says:

              Bill in Oz, I did say “invariably,” didn’t I? I should have said “for the most part.”

              The exceptions do not alter the recognition in Protestantism that the decision for baptism should be performed from an adult consciousness.

              For Anglicans, I find this caveat: “From the anglican formularies we are compelled to say that if a child is baptized but does not come to real repentance in due course then they did not receive the sacrament ‘ worthily’. Instead the sacrament acts to confirm that they are not of the elect: they that receive them unworthily purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith (Article 25).”

              And for Lutherans: “As Lutherans we believe, teach, and confess that infant baptism does not work regeneration apart from faith (e.g., Mark 16:15-16, Romans 4:20-25). With that said, we also believe, teach, and confess that faith is not a product of the man’s intellect, or a result of mankind’s will, or conjured up by a person’s arousing feelings.”

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Acknowledged Edgar. Thank you.

                When I was a boy the Church taught :
                1 That infants & children who died un-baptised were consigned to Limbo.
                2 That adults who refused the grace of baptism were bound for hell.
                3 That baptised Catholics who reneged on the church were damned as heretics and also bound for eternal damnation in hell.

                How is hell the church reconciled these dogmas with the dogma of divinely ordained ‘free will’ is beyond my understanding. Just like the idea of counting how angels dance on a pin head passes beyond all human understanding.

                All these dogmas are now in abeyance, as is the doctrine on buying indulgences.. But they could be revived ( enlivened ? ) one day by another pope’s infallible words.

                I find it curious that the order which accepted logic and clarity in thinking most, was the Jesuits. And that very character lead to them being suppressed by Rome in the 1770’s. They were seen as a threat. By some quirk a branch of the Jesuits was not dissolved in Imperial Russia. The Czar did not authorise the papal bull being ‘read’ and enacted.

                Why ? I actually have no idea. The Czars are all Russian Orthodox so hypothetically speaking it was none of his business what the pope did to Catholics. But the Jesuits in Russia, which included part of very Catholic Poland so there were a few of them. And I guess they were ‘his’ Jesuits and he protected them sort of from the pope & his minions.

                So the Jesuits survived in Russia and then in the 1820’s a different pope withdrew the bull dissolving the Jesuit order. And they re-emerged and grew again. And now Papa Frank is/was a Jesuit.

                How ironic ?

                The Catholic Church’s true factual history is full of such odd queer quirks. So full that they are largely suppressed as too ‘dangerous’ for most Catholics to know. It would undermine their faith perhaps ?

              • edgar lores says:


                Totally agree with your summation in the first sentence of the last paragraph.

    • chemrock says:

      For me the paying is nothing wrong. It’s the misuse of the funds that is unacceptable. There are costs involved in everything and that’s got to be paid for. What they need is some restrictive ratios, such as no build-up of general reserves beyond a certain amount. Any excess ought to be redistributed. Then again, we have to appreciated the Vatican is a state and has state needs. There is no GDP, only collection against expenditures. As a state, they too need foreign reserves.

      The paying which I object to are the tickets to attend mega church sermons such your favourite Joel Osteen.

      • I totally agree, chemp! It’s the purpose of every organization, religious or otherwise, to raise money after all, that’s kinda the whole point. But when you mix money & magic , lines become blurred and concepts of simony & sacrilege (per sonny) enter the picture, so do exactly what Jesus did in the Temple, get all this trading and business out of there so as not to corrupt.

        LOL! How’d you know Joel Osteen has a special place in my heart?

      • edgar lores says:

        Chemrock, have to agree with you.

        I don’t see why money is considered profane.

        • In and of itself, money isn’t profane (it’s what makes the world go round 😉 after all, edgar) , it’s the paying for sacraments that’s at issue and how that notion eventually permeates outside the Church, hence Filipinos are constantly slipping money here, money there to get things done , ie. because since baptism they’ve essentially been train to do so.

          Jesus wasn’t pissed that there were merchants, traders and money changers , he was mad because they were in the Temple. He wasn’t protesting against animal rights, they ate the meat they sacrificed at the Temple after all. He was criticizing the bribery/preferential treat (doves vs. lamb), corruption, associated it the practice (with the system of bringing money in the Temple).

          • edgar lores says:

            1. “The sacred and the profane (money & magic)…”

            2. “IMHO it’s the practice of sacraments at issue here , the whole pay to play dirrrtiness of it all, oozes out to other aspects of peoples life, Joe.”

            What’s dirrrty about paying the Church for the sacrament of matrimony?

            Shouldn’t one categorize the different sacraments and determine which ones should be paid for and which ones not (i.e., simply supported by tithing)?

            • “What’s dirrrty about paying the Church for the sacrament of matrimony?”

              I don’t know if you meant that as a philosophical question , edgar —- as satire ala my great misunderstanding with Bert, when i thought his comment was satire. But you’ve hit the nail on the head with that one question ,

              exactly my point… it’s a slippery slope, like slipping a few thousand pesos to some clerk to fast track something in gov’t, or slipping a few hundred pesos to a PNP officer to look the other way (ie. he needs the money, and you need to not be involved here).

              When you play favorites with sacraments, ie. matrimony should be paid for, whilst death rites should be free, it kinda waters down the whole notion of sacraments doesn’t it? I can understand the money making point of sacraments based on Dark Ages Catholic Church, ie. building big churches, funding wars, dirrrty popes / cardinals / bishops, women, etc.

              But in this day in age, with all sorts of investment schemes, and ways to grow seed capital, do donations really need to be associated with these sacraments? Why not just money not changing hands at all when it comes to sacraments, wouldn’t that be the wisest move here? Yes tithing=taxation, where taxation can be routinize and objective, with a formula.

              For the sake of though experiments, let’s go down the slippery slope , edgar (with sonny’s close watch) , which ones would you make a paid sacrament of the ones he’s listed above, which ones would you deem FREE? And why?

              I’m no Catholic but once you start playing preferential treatment with these sacraments you’ll ruin the whole point, edgar—– hence all or nothing.

              Like that priest i mentioned in the beginning said, sacraments are FREE, it’s already Church rules that they are FREE, so it’s just a matter of enforcing this rule, edgar, and ensuring every Catholic (especially in the Philippines) knows this.

              • Edgar Lores says:


                You have made a wholesale condemnation of paying for sacraments — as you say, all or nothing.

                And I have asked, “What’s dirrrty about paying the Church for the sacrament of matrimony?”

                You have not answered this specific question, but chosen to lump matrimony with the others.

                Now try to see, from my and other’s points of view, why I would consider this sacrament — and perhaps others — to be an exception. Try to give one or more reasons and determine whether they are superable or insuperable. If you can’t, then, your position is written in stone, from which you cannot budge, and there is no point to further discussion.

              • edgar,

                That’s not my position, that’s the Church’s. My position is simply the slippery slope, backed by the fact that every Catholic nation is corrupt (more or less), backed by Jesus’ attack of traders, money changers, and bidnessmen inside the Temple. Did he have “proof” that there was specifics going on, or did simply paint a wide brush? hmmmmmmmmmm…. I don’t think he was targeting specific folks in the Temple, edgar. 😉

                My point re sacraments specific to your points (re cherry picking) is that I’m pretty sure sacraments weren’t designed to be cherry picked, ie. this is more important, that’s less, hence all or nothing. But I’m assuming here (not Catholic), if you were Catholic in the past, or know how these sacraments are treated by Catholics, you can shed light , but

                unless sonny (or some other Catholic) weighs in re your cherry picking of sacraments idea, fine. But I’m sure you’re not supposed to , edgar.

              • Edgar Lores says:


                The Church sort of double-speaks. She says she does not buy or sell sacraments. But, in truth, she expects some financial recompense for the performance of the sacrament of matrimonyper custom or tradition.

                She says the sacraments are “free.” But… but for matrimony, donations to the institution and stipends to the clergy are not only accepted and expected. Expected.

                The double-speak troubles me. It gives rise to your attitude of something dirrrty and of the sacred and the profane.

                Outside the Church, the solemnization of marriage is hardly offered for free — whether at the civil registrar, with a private celebrant, or at Las Vegas.

                So why should the Church offer it for “free?” Then turn around and expect the couple — or the sponsors as Karl has mentioned — to pony up?

                I understand some parishes have a schedule of fees. (I attended a baptism here in Oz, and this was the case.) This, to my mind, is honest. One pays for the service one gets. That is why I favor paying for the sacrament of matrimony/(baptism).

                Paying for a sacrament is not necessarily a slippery slope. If one can determine the criteria why matrimony is an exception then one can apply these criteria to the other sacraments. In this way, everything is up-front and the double-speak and the hypocrisy vanishes.

              • Jesus thought it dirrrty too.

              • “Paying for a sacrament is not necessarily a slippery slope. If one can determine the criteria why matrimony is an exception then one can apply these criteria to the other sacraments. In this way, everything is up-front and the double-speak and the hypocrisy vanishes.”

                Exactly why it would be all or nothing, edgar, you’ve made a great case for a wedding, but why not apply it also in baptism? Pay to play. Confirmation? Pay to play. One can determine the criteria for each, which I’m pretty sure they did during the Middle Ages, ie. you want your grandpa or child to go to heaven, last rites are expensive, read the menu, you want the quick and dirty or the fancy and heavenly.

                If you’re trying to sabotage the Church’s reason for being then yeah it makes sense, but that’s not what I’m shooting for here, edgar, I’m simply attempting to echo what the priest in Canada said (connecting it to corruption and why this sacraments are FREE is so difficult to grasp), why can’t we just heed his words. Instead of commodifying everything? That’s the point here, and the

                point of Jesus’ little temper tantrum in the Temple.

              • edgar lores says:


                You are tying yourself in knots. First, you say it’s dirrrty. Now you say it’s not. Make up your mind.

              • “I understand some parishes have a schedule of fees. (I attended a baptism here in Oz, and this was the case.) This, to my mind, is honest. “

                And this was Catholic? they actually had a schedule of fees? Seems unnecessarily watering down the concept of grace IMHO, edgar. That’s what the Church has going for it, that they have grace, once you start selling ’em like burgers… is it still grace? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….

              • It’s dirrrty, edgar.

                In the 3rd world, especially in the Philippines, paying for sacraments becomes a slippery slope for patron-type relationships, ie. (per karl) a mayor has to sponsor you getting married, how does that play out during elections? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm… it’s not rocket science.

                In the 1st world, sure you can put up a menu in the vestibule area of the church (was that church you mentioned Catholic?), for how much everything is, that may be practical. But from the church’s stand point they are selling grace now. practical for the 1st world, you see how much everything is , but lessens the Church’s power IMHO.

                When you go to one the greener countries on the maps below (least corrupt) you’ll have plenty of leeway.

                But we are talking about the 3rd world here and the potential for corruption, not the 1st world, so yes it is still very very dirrrty, edgar.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. Ah, we are back to dirrrty.

                2. The analysis is not rigorous. Is the dirt in the double-speak of the Church? Or is it in the culture of patronage? Or is it in the interaction of both?

                3. (Why would I cite an example if the example were not pertinent?)

              • ************
                3. (Why would I cite an example if the example were not pertinent?)

                I’m just asking if it was a Catholic church you went to, or not, edgar. Which listed fees for sacraments.

              • edgar lores says:

                You should not need to ask.

                There is nothing wrong with a schedule of fees. It is possible that a no-frills basic marriage ceremony can be improved with extras. Such as having the ceremony on a weekday at a special hour. Such as sort of leasing church premises so that decorations of flower bouquets and chains of flowers can bedeck the pews. Such as the arrangements for musical ambiance, either the church choir or a hired talent or a talented friend.

              • *************
                2. The analysis is not rigorous. Is the dirt in the double-speak of the Church? Or is it in the culture of patronage? Or is it in the interaction of both?

                The dirrrt is in combining magic and money, edgar.

              • It’s a simple enough question.

                Was the church in question Catholic or not?

              • edgar lores says:

                And it is a simple enough answer — why ask the question?

              • edgar lores says:

                Why ask?

              • OK, so it wasn’t a Catholic Church.

              • edgar lores says:


              • “I understand some parishes have a schedule of fees. (I attended a baptism here in Oz, and this was the case.) This, to my mind, is honest.”


                So this was a Catholic church?

              • sonny says:

                LC, Edgar,
                I’m trying to buttonhole a priest (one I’m sure knows Church History, Cath Theology & Philosophy, Sociology, Canon Law, Psychology, etc.) to pose the questions to get cogent answers to questions you brought up. Priests and qualified lay persons are over-subscribed. Questions outnumber them by a mile. So I’ll take a stab at those points.

                @ Paying for sacraments: (I’ve brought up balancing the morality of money & sacraments (simony, sacrilege) and the RCC precept on contributing to the support of the Church)

                Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Last Rites, Matrimony are free once the pecuniary disability is established for those who are receiving them. Any minister of these sacraments will be hard-pressed to deny the valid reception of any of the sacraments;

                @ Divorces and Annulments
                Almost all people know, the Catholic Church does not recognize divorce but grants annulments. The reason is relatively simple. Divorce and annulment govern two different events in the timeline of a marriage: Divorce occurs normally after the consummation of a marriage, i.e. late in the lifetime of the marriage; Annulments are granted after examining and establishing the circumstances of the applicants at the point of contracting the marriage bond, i.e. at the time of exchanging marriage vows.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Sonny, thanks.

              • sonny says:

                A Catholic sacramental marriage is more than a contract, it is a covenant – meaning it is binding until death. Hence the adjudication of the validity at the time of acquisition of the bond.

                Covenants from Wiki:

                1. A covenant defined (or sometimes created) a relationship. This relationship might be between a king and his vassal states, between a deity and his nation, between two humans, etc.
                2. Some covenants are conditional (if one party does A, then the other party will do B), just as with a present-day contract. But generally, ancient covenants are unconditional (each party commits to a certain action, regardless of whether the other party keeps the covenant). [1] [2]
                3. Covenants often included the slaughter of animals as a symbol of their significance.
                4. Unlike present-day contracts, covenants often carried no expiration date. Thus the parties were understood to be bound by the covenant until death (or forever, in the case of covenants with God).
                5. A contract is enforced by the civil government; a covenant is regulated by God.
                6. A contract involves the exchange of property or actions; a covenant binds two parties together personally.

              • sonny says:

                “… Then again, we have to appreciated the Vatican is a state and has state needs. There is no GDP, only collection against expenditures.” — chempo

                “… The Church is so rich… that nobody knows how rich it is.” — Edgar Lores

                As the continuation of Christ’s Kingdom on earth, the Catholic Church considers itself the stewart and not the owner of the riches entrusted to her. I have no figures but I would venture to say the Roman Catholic Church is largest charitable institution in the world. I would make CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES (CRS) and CATHOLIC CHARITIES as my first accounting stops to verify this.

                I would be very curious as to how the Vatican cajoled and “harassed” the Catholic countries from all over the world with missionary congregations (men and women) to send them and resources to support the Philippine Church (schools and parishes) during the expulsion of Spanish Catholics during the turn of the 20th century.

      • More food for thought:

        • Oh, and that’s Europe close-up, anyone see a pattern yet? 😉

        • one can see Europe in many ways…


            There should be maps like this of the Philippines…

            1. The Philippines according to Sara Duterte… from North to South… Marcos country… Imperial Manila.. Leni’s turf… The Visayas… Holy Davao… Marawi.. the other Moros..

            2. The Philippines according to Bongbong Marcos… my sister’s turf.. Aquino country… The Prize.. enemy zone.. Mama’s home.. Rest of the Visayas.. Davao.. Terra Incognita..

            3. The Philippines according to Digong Duterte… BBM zone.. Northern Capital.. Trillanes, De Lima and Leni country.. Tacloban.. Cebu.. Chinese territory… Moroland.. Burning Marawi.. Southern Capital..

            helps people see how different perspectives are.

          • LOL! Hahahahahaha… re the very first map, the porn you guys have is really unfamiliar, Ireneo , the Czech stuff involves all sort of family taboo and communal norms, I definitely prefer our stuff, LOL! less dirrrty.

            • The Spaniards have their own Atlas of Prejudices…

              The World according to Duterte might be, starting from the USA… “Putang Ina”… EU “Putang ina rin”.. Russia “My friend Putin”… China “My Boss Xi”… Japan “also give money”.. Singapore “my idol”.. Indonesia “near Davao”…

              • … India: “60/40” Middle East: “OFWs” Africa “black people” South America “who?” Australia “Pacquiao’s defeat”.. Malaysia “MILF friends”… Brunei “very rich”..

        • Just Googled Atlas of Prejudice, Ireneo and first one I saw was this one,

          which I’m sure Bill would enjoy, LOL!

      • And this one about sums it up…

    • Here’s the whole map, Ireneo:

  27. bunny tanner says:

    I note that the Christianity in the Philippines is well molded into the indigenous paganism and old ritual traditions that dominate the inner outlooks of the people. Then you get the warped outlooks instilled by some of the groups like Iglesia ni C(h)risto where a member saw an artistic poster of the Buddha and asked the person why they had a picture of ‘the devil’ behind their stall! Dominance through christian indoctrinations – the Philippines had exactly the same population as the UK in 1988 – 68 million …today the UK has 74 million and the Philippines over 105 million – family planning and birth control are essential to enrich the country’s future – hello Catholic church – get your act together

  28. NHerrera says:

    Yes to the current blog. By the way of historical perspective, the Pope — the head of the Catholic Church — and the Catholic Sun King, Louis XIV, of France did not behave too nicely themselves as Catholics.

  29. NHerrera says:

    XXX is not really a YYY nation.

    Supply XXX for country and YYY for religion. A truism in a lot of instances.

  30. andrewlim8 says:

    Intermission for fun:

    Recently, French president Macron gained publicity by having himself lowered via chopper to a waiting French nuclear sub. Widely praised for looking cool like Bond.

    In contrast, Duterte is pictured wearing ill fitting fatigues, no inner shirt, huge belly, an AK-47 and casual shoes with corny socks.


    • That picture and many variants of it have made the rounds:

      And LCPL_X was right from the beginning – it won’t be morals, it will be the breakdown of the warrior image Duterte is trying to project that will weaken him.

      The memes going around about Duterte at the moment are pretty catastrophic I think, and will have an effect on his popularity, as he tried to project more than he could deliver.

  31. boom buencamino says:


    I like that part about INWARD and OUTWARD directed faith. It helps explain the patent disconnect between what we profess and what we practice.

    But as to the conclusion that the Philippines is not really a Catholic nation well….Was the Vatican State really Catholic when it helped to escape those Nazis that the victors of the war found useful for rehabbing their devastated industries and fighting their war against communism? Were the western conquistadores and colonial powers Christian when they went about their task of christianizing the world and also enjoying the material fruits from their christianized colonies? Are the muslim radicals ISIS et al really muslims?

    How does a sweeping conclusion on religiosity of a people provide a way to reverse the return of the dark ages?

    I’m not even sure, for example that du30’s propagandists, really believe what they say. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just doing it for money, fame, and power. So I would rather we focus our energy towards finding a way back to the light.

    We are losing the info wars because the dark forces seem to have mastered and used new technology earlier than we did. We are still only becoming aware of the means to use its power. The studies made by Rappler and other mainstream media on how the new technology was perverted was a revelation to me.

    In the last election we were winning in terms of info reported by mainstream media but we overlooked, even dismissed, the power of social media and the popular broadcasters who turned opinion into news and who succeeded in blurring the line between fake and real news.

    Those SWS and Pulse surveys that show the incredible popularity of du30 tells me that a great majority of the public get their info from social media and popular on air commentators rather than from unbiased reporting from mainstream media.

    We were laughing at dutertistas, Mocha specially, while their following was increasing to an amazing degree among OFWs whose active participation in their sites created a bandwagon effect in terms of dissatisfaction, easy solutions, and all that.

    Why is it now acceptable even intelligent to respond to EJKs with “human rights, what about human wrongs?” or “what about the rights of the victims?” etc.

    I would venture to say that Mocha made du30 president because Andanar, Abella and the other official propagandists have a fraction of the influence and credibility she (they) has over ‘tards. She not only interprets du30 for them, she even sets the tone for official propaganda. The “intelligensia” of the troll world go to Thinking Pinoy and Sass Sassot while the “masses” follow Mocha. Mocha and the trolls legitimize and validate what the official propagandists say.

    It has reached a point where du30 can do no wrong. They have created a separate reality, their own bubble. Look at the comments in socmed etc. The comments are informed by what they read in socmed and hear from pro du30 commentators, not by what mainstream media reports.

    When mainstream media reports something du30 said or did, we criticize, they cheer. How do we pierce that bubble they live in? Do we copy their method of repetition and flooding the web or is their another way to do it?

    One thing for sure, we have to win the info wars because if du30 were to die tomorrow, whether by God or an assassin’s hand, or if he were to live out his full term, his daughter or son will be elected to replace him in 2022.

    I don’t know if we are really a catholic nation or not, and I don’t care because I’m a secularist. One thing I know is necro-politics has a big influence in this country.

    • The Filipino mind is the “barangay mind” (c) chemrock for the most part – and Mocha knows how to talk to the “barangay” folks. Socmed – and the OFW gatherings of Duterte – are like a big barangay, loud and noisy. OUR city, literate world is NOT their world, we are “elitists”.

      Leni does know how to reach the barangays, even her radio show seems to be slowly picking up – where I must say I find it sympathetic that she has LESS of a kolehiyala accent and more of a Bikolana accent, guess it is because she is in her own comfort zone, in Naga. That minor aspect alone makes a difference, I know, having dealt as a person from an “elite” background with Filipinos abroad. Miss the tone, just slightly, and you can lose them..

      There are some blogs like Pinoy Ako Blog, or the agressive Madam Claudia page on FB, or the page of Miyako Izabel (a Lumad from Davao with a UP anthropology degree) which able break things down in a way that people get it. You have to pick up people where they are..

      • If there is one thing the Catholic Church knew, it was how to convey its message on many levels… the philosophers that Manong Sonny knows well on one hand for the verbal and logical people, the pictures for the simple folks were like Internet memes for the more visual people.. the singing and the common rituals for the feeling people who loved the sense of togetherness, all three aspects combined: yellow = rational, red = visual, blue = feelings was the color-coding I once learned from a consulting and communication coach.

        Then came mass literacy due to Gutenberg, and Martin Luther was one of the first to use mass printing to distribute a message – the counter-offensive was from the Jesuit side. If one side has learned to argue, have counter-arguments ready, this is what Jesuits are known to be excellent at, to the point that other Catholic orders feared them, thinking them a rebirth of the Templars who were also strong in science and logic.. nothing is truly new.

        • Great summation. I didn’t think of this messaging as a targeted PR campaign til now, Ireneo!

          I remember going to Catholic mass (my buddy’s dad’s funeral), and not knowing the decorum I kept my ball cap on thinking I was in the right (in the Middle East covering your head was what you did when in the house of God, silly me), and I was chastised by a priest.

          Ironically, the whole time during the mass my focus was with 3 women seated a few pews in front wearing really tight mini skirts, the whole time I was trying to ascertain if they were wearing panties or just really skinny thongs—– who chastises them? Or was this a Catholic targeted PR messaging (age old) designed for the least among us (namely me, who discuss people, LOL!)

    • “One thing I know is necro-politics has a big influence in this country.” Yes.

      And obviously people believe that the political caste transfers its perceived capabilities to its children. See GMA or Aquino III, both children of former Presidents.

      All Pacific people have a caste of leaders. The Hawaiians believed that their leaders ruled by virtue of “Maná”, Indonesian students demonstrating against Suharto even when he was already under house arrest mentioned “feeling” a kind of dark force coming from him. One must not underestimate the power of old beliefs that are implicitly passed thru generations. Filipino healers have the concept of “galing”, related to beliefs in anitos and anting-anting – both the idea of magical powers and the notion that they are passed within family trees.

    • The aim of the article was to provoke the Church, through the more moral of its flock, to become more engaged. It was a bit of a taunt, I suppose. It was good to read today that Cardinal Tagle believes the Church must do more than words to oppose all the killings. So perhaps others are disappointed as well and we’ll see the Church try to be relevant in peoples’ lives on this, and the death penalty.

      The mass attraction to Duterte is an important issue, and it’s been batted around from time to time in our discussions. No one has found a solution, obviously.

      • Boom Buencamino says:

        It would be hard to beat du30 as far as taunting the church goes from cursing the pope to threatening to put up his own iglesia ni du30 to all sorts of insults and mockery aimed at the church its pastors and beliefs. And yet it has not reacted in a way many would hope it would. It is almost as if an asshole insulted your entire family and the patriarch just let it slide off his back
        Not the sort of behavior that would give the family courage to push back.

        Du30 propaganda is so effective that there are tards who have stopped attending Mass because they were offended by sermons against EJKs. That’s what a friend told me he heard from one of his tard employees who was a religious guy before he converted to tardism

    • NHerrera says:

      A former beckon of democracy gone super dysfunctional because of Trump’s ego or celebrity mania. Makes Duterte nice in comparison (minus the EJKs).

      • NHerrera says:

        Trump tweeted that he and Mr Putin had discussed forming “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded and safe”, prompting derision on social media and from the Republican Party.

        Like the fox guarding the chicken coop?

      • NHerrera says:

        My last associated thoughts for the day —

        A dramatization of the rise of Vladimir Putin culminating in the present as head of Russia and “in charge” of Trump’s US, driven by a sort of “revenge” on Hilary Clinton:

        Here is Fareed Zakaria’s take on The Most Powerful Man in the World:

        The United States and China for that matter are more powerful countries than Russia, of course, but the power of a head of state is determined both by the country’s strength and the capacity he or she has to exercise that power unilaterally, unconstrained by other institutions, parties or political forces. And combining those two metrics, it’s easy to see why Vladimir Putin rises to the top.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Did Zakaria mention oligarchs( a very over-exposed word in political commentary in the Philippines)?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Ok I read the transcript looking for that very word. It was mentioned after mentioning that Yeltsin’s leadership was a mess,and some comments about Mercedes selling more than local limos and the poor are becoming desperate.

  32. Bill In Oz says:

    Slightly off topic ! But yesterday there was a news report that communion hosts have to contain gluten..But it does not matter if they are made with GM flour…

    Unnnn. It’s got to be made with flour with gluten in it ? Really ? Why ? Lots of folks get sick if they eat gluten. But maybe the gluten disappears when ‘transubstansiation’ happens..

    But this is rather doubtful..

    I suspect this is all getting beyond the capacity of the old Vatican curia official Cardinal Robert Sarah to understand.

    Here’s the report from the Adelaide Advertiser.

    “Vatican: Gluten-free bread bad, genetically modified bread good.
    Jesse Matheson,
    July 9, 2017 5:39pm

    The Vatican has outlawed the use of gluten-free bread during the Holy Communion ritual.

    The new guidelines were made that includes banning gluten-free versions of the sacred bread because the bread can now be bought over the internet.

    Fifty loaves of the circular breads can be bought online for less than $10 a box while a 500 pack of mini-breads can be picked up for as little as $6 per bag.

    Called unleavened bread, Catholics believe that during the sacrament the bread and accompanying wine turn into the body and blood of Christ.

    Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which handles the affairs relating to religious practices during mass, said the decision was made to ensure people were buying the bread made by certified people “distinguished by their integrity”.

    Although completely gluten-free bread was banned, genetically modified low-gluten alternatives are acceptable as long as there is enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives. “

    • sonny says:

      Bill, there are Benedictine nuns and other sources who now make communion hosts that have minimal amounts of gluten that meets both sacramental requirements of unleavened bread and does not trigger allergic reactions for ciliac-afflicted communicants.

  33. Rick Rivera says:

    The reason I wrote back to this comment is to let everyone knows the church stands give the message of GOD and his son JESUS and his mother all of us to understand the purpose here on earth.
    This is the year of good against evil,and as I look at it evil is triumphantly winning.we know that that a lot of discussion about what best for the people can be interpreted in a lot of meaning and action.for the relegious ones with faith to their GODS can be describe as martyrs or traitors to their faith depends on which sides you on.this is the war of faith and this is the last war every scholars are worried about.the great war between good and evil and you know which sides you belong.and that is hard to choose if you don’t have faith .faith will determine your side if it’s strong and conviction is in you.

  34. jholski says:

    We are a Catholic Nation… by population but not by practice. You are right though, there are many who strive to live a good Christian life but most of the time, they are silenced by the popular voice of the people. We are living in a world where people do not want to offend anybody, except Christians. Practicing faith and standing up for what you believe in now faces another type of persecution – the social media bullying. During the election time, it’s easier to go with the flow and say what the seemingly louder voice of the “majority.”

    However, being a Catholic Nation even by population could still be a blessing. We know that although some of the teachings of the Catholic faith is undermined and not put well into practice, there will always be someone who will stand for them, maybe not the majority but it makes sure that there are vanguards who will try to speak out about and even try to achieve a just and peaceful society. The call to practice the faith is a personal call from God. People are free to heed or choose not to respond. We can become people of little practice but through it remains a glimmer of hope that the voice of God could still be possibly be heard.

    In Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” I believe the God speaks His Word to the Church and it will continue to accomplish what He desires. He cannot force anyone to believe and to adhere to His Word but it continues to be issued. True, the Church has so much to do in catechizing its members and also true that it still does not do a very good job at it. But the Church is not only the hierarchy nor the physical structure but the people is the Church.

    Our faith as a people is there. It remains invisible. It pushes us to believe that there is something better in our poverty and even in losing our loved ones. I believe that we as a people have hope. People voted for Duterte and all that he embodies because of hope for something better that what it is. It is an expression of an internal cry, desiring for a better country, a better nation. Although, i think the Filipino can continue to hope because in their hearts they know God will not abandon them; hoping that God will send people to make things better. We might have misplaced that hope for now but God is a God of justice and mercy, in the end, what He ultimately desires for us will be brought to its fruition. The circumstances of the Philippines today maybe new to us but it is not new in the biblical world. The Church will continue as long as people have hope. We are not perfect human being and are very far from it; although we sometimes act and judge like we are already perfect. The Church will always be imperfect because we are imperfect. If we are perfect, they we won’t need God. The Filipino people need God.

    • Church = hope. An inspirational view. I would only add, with all the humility I can manage to muster, that hope can lead to fulfillment better if it is sought in an active voice, rather than passive. And certainly better than if it is sought by way of punitive and vindictive voices.

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  1. […] This essay follows on the heels of Joe’s previous piece “The  Philippines is not really a Catholic nation”. […]

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