Monday, January 23, 2017

Christian Faith vs Support for Duterte

I'm writing this as a reaction to this article, which I saw float in my Facebook Newsfeed...

 Bishops prepare for battle | The Volatilian™

For many Catholics there is no conflict between their faith and their support for President Duterte. Prove me wrong.

I'm not saying these Catholics are model Catholics. That's not for me to say. But neither will I say any Catholic is a model Catholic, unless he has been declared a saint.

Catholics go through each segment in history under different circumstances. While we stick to the gospel as our guiding light, we took actions in one era that applies only to that era -- take the Crusades as an example. Yes, even Catholics sometimes have to take up arms. Is that the call that the Bishops are making today against the duly constituted government?

The gospel yesterday tackled the beginning of Christ's ministry, which came after the arrest of Saint John the Baptist. What was Christ's message? Was it, "Down with King Herod"? or was it, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"? Dictators, real or perceived, have come across the path of Christianity. Christ's response? "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

I was expecting that to be the message of the Catholic Church in the Philippines today and, so far, I'm sadly disappointed. Sadly disappointed.

So, with all due respects, if Bishop Villegas wishes to be a queen-maker just like his former boss Cardinal Sin, he has to do more than just raise the issue of "EJK". Even if he wins in that issue (which I seriously doubt) that issue isn't enough to change people's minds about President Duterte.

People have been praying for a strong leader who will zealously clean the halls and the streets of corruption. Now we have one. Yes, even your flock will not let this opportunity go.

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