RANDOM THOUGHTS | Our church and our new president
“IN the 1997 CBCP Pastoral Exhortation: ‘Philippine Politics’, these questions were posed: ‘How are we going to change the way politics is conducted in the Philippines so that instead of being a stumbling block , it contributes positively to full integration? development, including the spiritual growth of our people? How do we renew politics so that it becomes a channel for the well-being and growth of our people in the life of grace? How do we ensure that the truths about faith and politics… do not remain unattainable ideals but become a reality? (Chito R. Gavino III. “No more stings of conscience”, 2002)
In 1997, the Catholic Episcopal Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was very concerned about constitutional change. However, in 1999, the CBCP rejected moves to amend the Philippine Constitution because “these were perceived to be based on selfish motives”. Today, the CBCP is still against the insensitive and inadequate amendment of the 1987 Constitution for fear of change! CBCP promotes the status quo that breeds stagnation. How sad. Where is his Christlike passion and audacity? Comfort and convenience seem to be the rule now. How ironic! How sad.
We have a very sick Filipino society. Our people and our country are caught in fourteen (14) traps and deeply mired in two (2) omissions. Here are our questions to our new 2022 President regarding our current dilemma:
How do you intend to cure the trap of our sick society?
How will you address the spiritual/moral trap?
How are you going to fix the health trap?
How will you remedy the environmental trap?
How will you tackle the insurgency’s longest trap?
How are you going to solve the demographic trap?
How will you solve the poverty trap?
How are you going to remedy the economic trap?
How will you overcome the debt trap?
How will you tackle the political trap?
How will you approach the trap of crime, illegal drugs and violence?
How are you going to tackle the trap of bribery and corruption?
How will you approach the bulging and inefficient bureaucratic trap?
How will you tackle the education trap?
What is your vision for the Philippines?
What is your mission for our country?
We hope and pray that our new President will be an inspiring, healing, and unifying Servant-Transformation political leader with vision, integrity, competence, compassion, and commitment. May our new President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. lead our nation as a “worthy representative of God”. This is the litmus test for him/her.
Our Catholic Church must be proactive, not only vigilant, but must also strongly support political reforms in the Philippines, because “Philippine politics – the way it is practiced has now been most harmful to us as a people.” It is imperative for us to move forward.
Politics has its spiritual and ethical dimensions. Based on this truth. The Catholic Church has proposed five bases for its mission have been proposed namely:
“1. The Gospel and the Kingdom of God call for the Church’s involvement in politics.
- The Church’s Mission of Integral Salvation involves the temporal sphere.
- Salvation comes from personal and social sin, including sin in the political sphere.
- The Church has an option for the poor in the area of politics.
- The path of the Church is the human person who is affected by politics.
There is no absolute separation between church and state in the Philippines. The true measure of a church’s accomplishments is how it combats the inhumane, unjust and oppressive structures/systems in our society. In these difficult times, passion and boldness are expected of our Church, according to Pope Francis. Activism, instead of just being vigilant, is the call of the times. Christian Filipinos and their churches should be like Christ as “peaceful revolutionaries.”
Our Catholic Church must lead the way in “lighting a fire under” our political leaders to exercise servant-transformative leadership if elected. The elect are expected to work for the common good. Their mission is to do God’s work on earth.
To our politicians, we recommend this “Politicians Prayer”:
“Lord God, help me to fulfill my duties as a politician.
It is indeed a great responsibility. The road to following the path of truth, honesty and integrity is rugged and dangerous. There is always the danger at every turn and corner of falling into the evil system of bribery and corruption and succumbing to the temptation of always wanting to stay in power. Let me not just guard my public image and neglect the more important issue of public service. Be with me, Lord, and guide me so that even in my weakest moment, I may find the courage and strength to stand up for my principles and serve the public interest before my own. I pray for my country and my fellow citizens. Give us the true nationalist spirit that we are my fellow citizens. Give us the true spirit of nationalism so that we can work together for the common good and the progress of our nation for peace, justice and solidarity. Amen.”
May I humbly suggest that both houses of Congress adopt this “prayer” to be said at the start of their respective sessions. This suggestion is also addressed to the executive branch of our government.