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DUTERTE ACCUSES PHL CATHOLIC CHURCH OF BEING 'FULL 0F SH*T'
[RELATED: ‘Molested when we confessed’: Duterte fires up at Catholic priests over pedophilia, corruption]


JANUARY 26 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
: "The most hypocritical institutionin our country is the Catholic Church". Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed his colorfully-worded wrath on the Catholic Church again, saying the organization is corrupt, “full of sh*t,” and accusing priests of sexual abuse. Duterte on Tuesday accused the Church and its bishops and priests of corruption, womanizing and said he was abused by a priest as a student of Ateneo de Davao University. He also said three Cabinet secretaries had been molested. Speaking to the families of Special Action Forces who died in Mamasapano in 2015, Duterte advised the crowd to read "Altar of Secrets" by Aries Rufo to discover the truth about church officials, saying he would resign if its allegations were untrue. He added he might pen his own book about the Church, entitled "Hypocrisy." “I challenge the Catholic Church,” he said. “You are full of sh*t. You all smell bad, corruption and all.”  He accused the Church of corruption, and slammed it for previously asking the government for a Pajero car. “Shouldn’t you be ashamed of yourselves?” he said. “That’s so expensive and so many people have nothing to eat.”  “Son of a b*tch, the jerks accepted it,” he added.  It wasn’t all hate, however, Duterte pointed out that he and the Church have something in common: womanizing. He told the audience that Bishop Teodoro Bacani had two wives, like him. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘Molested when we confessed’: Duterte fires up at Catholic priests over pedophilia, corruption...

ALSO Abella: Duterte not expecting Catholic Church’s adversarial approach vs. drug war; suggests a dialogie with Digong
]RELATED: CBCP exec welcomes proposed dialogue with Duterte]


JANUARY 21 -Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks against the Catholic Church were a criticism against the institution that could have assisted the administration in its war on drugs. In a radio interview, Abella said the comments of Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani triggered Duterte’s recent tirades against the Catholic priests and bishops. Abella explained that Bacani on Wednesday denounced the anti-drug campaign as a “bringer of death” and criticized the 160,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP) for failing to catch the killers of 4,000 people. “We have to understand that he [Duterte] seems to be referring to the Catholic Church, but he is basically referring to the church as an institution na ang expected—he agreed, in fact, he said that faith-based actions actually are able to help the rehabilitation of addicts,” he said. “This is not policy but in a sense I’m giving my personal opinion. What the President is really expecting is not an adversarial approach. The President is quite open to listening to other opinions, pero ano po siguro, what triggered him is the fact na it seemed to him perhaps the comment came from a moral high horse na pare-pareho lang naman tayong may mga pagkukulang,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, CBCP exec welcomes proposed dialogue with Duterte...

ALSO: Philippine president challenges Catholic church to 'showdown'
[RELATED FROM JAPAN TIMES.COM: Once-powerful Philippine Catholic Church divided, subdued over drug killings]


JANUART 19 -Rodrigo Duterte told clergymen: ‘You criticise the police, you criticise me. For what?’ Photograph: Lean Daval Jr/Reuters

The president of the Philippines has launched a tirade at priests and bishops critical of his crackdown on illegal drugs, accusing them of homosexuality, corruption and child abuse. Rodrigo Duterte was furious about concerns by the Catholic church of alleged extrajudicial killings during his war on drugs, and lambasted clergymen for denouncing him instead of using their influence to help end addiction. His rebuke came a day after one of Duterte’s top advisers met Pope Francis at the Vatican. Jesus Dureza said the pontiff had told him he would bless the Philippines, and “also bless your president”. In a speech to police officers, the firebrand leader of one of only two majority Catholic Asian countries challenged the church to a “showdown” and threatened to expose priests and bishops for a litany of abuses. “Most people here are Catholic. If you are a good priest, make them understand that they will die,” he said, referring to drug users. “You criticise the police, you criticise me. For what? You have the money. You are all crazy … when we were making confessions to you, we were being molested. They are touching us. What is your moral ascendancy, religion? What is the meaning of it?” READ MORE...RELATED,
Once-powerful Philippine Catholic Church divided, subdued over drug killings...

ALSO: CBCP President Villegas urges Catholic Church to adapt to ‘rapid’ changes in PH
[RELATED EARLIER REPORT: Philippine Catholic Church in crisis amid sex scandal (The Bishop Bacani Scandal)]


JANUARY 29 -Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. File Photo
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas urged the Catholic Church on Saturday to adapt to “rapid” changes in Philippine society during the opening session of the 114th plenary assembly of the CBCP. “There are rapid changes happening in Philippine society and it is imperative for us churchmen to acknowledge them so that our pastoral praxis can better answer the needs of the Filipino nation,” he said. Villegas said shifts in Philippine society call for shifts in pastoral approaches as well, noting that a “defensive Church will not inspire and ignite souls.” READ MORE...RELATED,
Philippine Catholic Church in crisis amid sex scandal...

ALSO:
'How can a book destroy the Church?' - Like Pope Francis, the book 'Altar of Secrets' helps rebuild the Catholic Church by exposing its weaknesses

[RELATED: Book review - Unveiling sacred lies in 'Altar of Secrets']


BOOK LAUNCHED JULY 2013 -In Vatican City, the first Latin American pontiff denounces a self-centered Catholic Church. Shaking mindsets about a supposedly unquestionable hierarchy, Pope Francis engages the Church in self-criticism. In the Philippines, during the papacy of Francis, a veteran investigative journalist does exactly this. A Catholic who once desired to enter the priesthood, journalist Aries Rufo has launched an unsettling book on the sexual misconduct, political interference, and financial mismanagement by bishops and priests. The first of its kind in the Philippines, the book Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church contains groundbreaking exposés on ranking prelates. These include investigative stories on the sexual indiscretions of high-profile bishops and multimillion-peso donations that remain unaccounted for. In the book's dedication, Rufo makes his intentions clear: “For those who remain steadfast in their faith yet ache for reforms within the Holy Mother Church.” He explains this more during his book launch on Friday, June 7, incidentally the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “Are we out to destroy the Church? Of course the answer is no.” READ MORE..RELATED,
Book review - Unveiling sacred lies in 'Altar of Secrets'...


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Duterte accuses Catholic Church of being ‘full of sh*t’


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. © Czar Dancel / Reuters

MANILA, JANUARY 30, 2017 (RT GLOBAL NEWS) Published time: 24 Jan, 2017 22:06 Edited time: 25 Jan, 2017 12:59 - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed his colorfully-worded wrath on the Catholic Church again, saying the organization is corrupt, “full of sh*t,” and accusing priests of sexual abuse.
Duterte on Tuesday accused the Church and its bishops and priests of corruption, womanizing and said he was abused by a priest as a student of Ateneo de Davao University. He also said three Cabinet secretaries had been molested.

Speaking to the families of Special Action Forces who died in Mamasapano in 2015, Duterte advised the crowd to read "Altar of Secrets" by Aries Rufo to discover the truth about church officials, saying he would resign if its allegations were untrue. He added he might pen his own book about the Church, entitled "Hypocrisy."

“I challenge the Catholic Church,” he said. “You are full of sh*t. You all smell bad, corruption and all.”

He accused the Church of corruption, and slammed it for previously asking the government for a Pajero car. “Shouldn’t you be ashamed of yourselves?” he said. “That’s so expensive and so many people have nothing to eat.”

“Son of a b*tch, the jerks accepted it,” he added.

It wasn’t all hate, however, Duterte pointed out that he and the Church have something in common: womanizing. He told the audience that Bishop Teodoro Bacani had two wives, like him.

READ MORE...

During his speech, the president also made time to defend his harsh war on drugs, which has been marred with allegations of extrajudicial killings.

Church officials are among those who have criticized the populist president for his stance, with Bishop Broderick Pabillo recently urging the Church to speak out against the more than 6,000 drug killings carried out under Duterte.

He also reminded the crowd that he won the election despite the Church’s warnings against him.

VIDEO: THIS IS IT! The greatest criticism DUTERTE PRESIDENT AGAINST THE CATHOLIC CHURCH; WHY HE IS REVISITING 'MAMASAPANO MASSACRE', AND HIS ANTI-ILLEGAL DRUGS IN THE COUNTRY
 
https://youtu.be/4elxRrmu-1w?t=346
Published on Jan 19, 2017 During the PNP Officials' Oath-Taking at Rizal Hall, in Malacanang on January 19, 2017, President Duterte exposed a book which can be found online called 'Altar of Secrets' where tons of ecclesiastical malpractices inside the Roman Catholic Church are revealed. http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/...

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RT GLOBAL NEWS ONLINE
[RT https://www.rt.com/ RT is the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news.]

‘Molested when we confessed’: Duterte fires up at Catholic priests over pedophilia, corruption Published time: 20 Jan, 2017 11:17 Edited time: 20 Jan, 2017 11:19


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © Czar Dancel / Reuters

Unshaken by a blessing from Pope Francis, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has hit back at priests and bishops critical of his war on drugs, accusing clergymen of homosexuality, child molesting, hypocrisy and corruption. “You asked for it,” he said.

“You expose me, fine. I expose you. Why? When you commit mistakes it's OK, but when we do, no? Bullshit. That’s stupid,” the president said during a speech to newly-promoted police officers at Malacañan on Thursday.

Duterte, who revealed in 2015 that he was molested by a priest when he was young in an act of “sexual awakening,” but did not file a complaint for fear of “what would happen,” said Catholic priests had their skeletons in the closet.

“You asked for it. If you want a showdown, then let's have a showdown. You mend your ways. If you cannot even give justice to the small boys that you have molested in the past, you do not have that moral ascendancy to lecture [me] on what to do. Sanctity of life? You're enjoying your worth,” he said, as quoted by The Philippine Star.

“When we were young, I talked to cabinet members. When we were making confessions to you, we were being molested,” he added.

As if this wasn’t enough, Duterte mentioning alleged homosexual acts taking place inside seminaries.

“What will you do with the homosexuality in your seminaries? What have you done to the children there?... Mga le**e kayo [You fools],” he said.

“You are in palaces while your faithful are in squatters areas and then you talk about sanctity? Look at your mirror.

“What is your moral ascendancy in the Philippines? Religion? What is the meaning of it? You do not help us. You just keep on talking,” he added in Tagalog.

PORNHUB ONLINE BANNED

Last week Duterte banned a number of X-rated websites in the country as part of a crackdown on child pornography. Sites including Pornhub and XVIDEOS are now reportedly inaccessible.

During his speech to police officers, Duterte also lambasted the failure of the Church to truthfully explain how donations in the country – in which about 80 percent of the population are Catholic – had been used.

“What did the church do? The Catholic Church earns millions every week all throughout the Philippines. There are many churches. Where is the money of the people?” the president wondered.

“We explain how we use our funds to the people. You? Priests and bishops, you wear fancy clothes, you have vehicles. Do you have a house, even with just five rooms, for rehab? What did your church do?

“You count money instead of going around the neighborhoods, explaining to the people why they should not be in that industry because they will die. Now you want the killings to end? All you have to do is to preach because most of the people here are Catholics,” he continued.

Duterte mentioned bishops who allegedly asked former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to provide them with posh cars.


INQUIRER NEWS, July 06, 2011: Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos (photo) asked Gloria Arroyo for a car as b’day gift - Bishop’s Pueblos’ letter to Arroyo reads: “I will be celebrating my 66th birthday on March 8, 2009. I know this will be a precious day and timely occasion to thank the Lord for giving me another year … After a prayerful discernment and due considerations to the existing crisis phenomenon today, I have decided not to hold a birthday party. Instead, I prefer to make use of my birthday as a day with and for myself, and with God. “Having (been) declared, awarded and honored from your good office as ‘Peace Champion of Caraga,’ I am grateful to God that He has made me an instrument of His peace, especially here in Mindanao. I know I can do more to promote and work for peace. “It is in this view that I am asking a favor from your Excellency. At present, I really need a brand-new car, possibly a 4 x 4, which I can use to reach the far-flung areas of Caraga. I hope you will never fail to give a brand new car which would serve as your birthday gift to me. For your information, I have with me a 7-year-old car which is not anymore in good running condition. Therefore, this needs to be replaced very soon. Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/21579/bishop-juan-de-dios-pueblos-asked-gloria-arroyo-for-a-car-as-b%e2%80%99day-gift#ixzz4WnxTOH My Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

“Remember you asked vehicles from Gloria? Knowing full well that the policemen have no vehicles. You had [Mitsubishi] Pajero, you sons of b*****s,” the president said.

“You were given vehicles knowing that there is a principle of separation between Church and State. It was sheer, purely graft and corruption because you did not deserve it. You cannot use property or money for your comfort. That is not for you but for the government but you had the gall,” he added.

Earlier this week, Duterte lambasted the Church for its opposition to his war on drugs.

“The Church really doesn’t understand. They know [the drug problem], they know that it is worst, and yet, they said that extrajudicial killing is not good,” the president said, according to Sun Star Manila newspaper. “So other priests should use shabu so they would understand [that the drug problem worsens]. I recommend one or two of the bishops take it also.”

Shabu is a Philippines slang term for the highly addictive crystal methamphetamine which is the most popular illegal drug in the country.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis blessed the Philippines and its president.

According to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Duterte asked the pontiff to bless the country, and Francis replied that the president would get his blessing as well.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Abella: Duterte not expecting Catholic Church’s adversarial approach vs. drug war Published January 20, 2017 12:26pm By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks against the Catholic Church were a criticism against the institution that could have assisted the administration in its war on drugs.

In a radio interview, Abella said the comments of Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani triggered Duterte’s recent tirades against the Catholic priests and bishops.

Abella explained that Bacani on Wednesday denounced the anti-drug campaign as a “bringer of death” and criticized the 160,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP) for failing to catch the killers of 4,000 people.

“We have to understand that he [Duterte] seems to be referring to the Catholic Church, but he is basically referring to the church as an institution na ang expected—he agreed, in fact, he said that faith-based actions actually are able to help the rehabilitation of addicts,” he said.

“This is not policy but in a sense I’m giving my personal opinion. What the President is really expecting is not an adversarial approach. The President is quite open to listening to other opinions, pero ano po siguro, what triggered him is the fact na it seemed to him perhaps the comment came from a moral high horse na pare-pareho lang naman tayong may mga pagkukulang,” he added.

READ MORE...

Abella said that Duterte was only addressing the remarks of the people who presented themselves as having moral ascendancy when they could help him in his war on drugs.

“Basically po, I don’t think we should approach it so much na something anti-Catholic… We could actually be working on this all together. We become adversarial towards one another. I suppose that’s where the President seems to be really coming from,” he said.

“The other institutions seem not to appreciate the fact that something is being done. For example, a million people have already surrendered and there’s a lot of work to do,” he added.

Abella also maintained that there are no extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration. He pointed out that the term should be extralegal killings.

“We assume regularity in carrying out the efforts to stop the drug menace and to be able to address the drug apparatus,” he said.

Have a dialogue with Duterte

Meanwhile, the presidential spokesperson, a former pastor, suggested for Catholic Church leaders to meet Duterte, the same way Filipino tycoons had dinner with him.

“If we could be more collegial and this is really the time that we could be all build together,” he said.

He even offered himself to be their emissary to the President.

“I would encourage the good bishops to have a dialogue. Mag-usap tayo… Wala naman sigurong matigas na tinapay sa mainit na kape,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News


INQUIRER

CBCP exec welcomes proposed dialogue with Duterte Philippine Daily Inquirer / 06:12 PM January 21, 2017

An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has welcomed Malacanang’s openness to seeking a dialogue following President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the Catholic Church.

However, the matter of whether the Church will sit down for a talk with the President is a matter to be decided by not just one, but majority of the country’s bishops.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, noted a dialogue is a good move to discuss solutions to the problem of illegal drugs.

“It would be prudent for both sides to really sit together and take a collective action on how to legally, ethically and morally address at least the drug problem in our country,” Secillano said.

The CBCP official made the comment in reaction to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella’s statement that they are open to a dialogue with the bishops, after Duterte’s rants against the Church.

READ MORE...

RELATED: Palace: Duterte’s tirade not ‘anti-Catholic’

Last week, the President attacked the Catholic Church anew for its criticisms on the issue of extra-judicial killings amidst the government’s bloody war against illegal dugs.

Duterte slammed the priests and bishops as corrupt, bringing up old scandals like the issue of bishops who allegedly asked former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for luxury vehicles.

READ: Duterte hits Church: You have no moral ascendancy

He also questioned the Church’s failure to explain how it uses the donations it receives in Masses, and the alleged molestation cases happening inside seminaries.

He even challenged priests to try taking shabu so that they could understand the extent of the country’s illegal drugs problem.

However, the CBCP’s bishops have declined to directly answer Duterte’s tirades against the Church.

Following the attacks, Abella said he was willing to act as an emissary should the President and the bishops decide to sit down for a talk.

Secillano noted that while openness to a dialogue is good, the decision to sit down and talk should be made not just by one but majority of the country’s bishops.

“It’s a good thing that the Palace has taken that initiative… But we cannot predict though the decision of the Church’s hierarchy because it has to be collegial,” he said.

Bishops are scheduled to meet from January 25 to 30 for the CBCP’s plenary assembly, during which the issue might be tackled.

Secillano noted that a dialogue is a good thing “if only for the bickering to stop and not further inflict undue harm on each other which has caused division.”


THE GUARDIAN, UK

Philippine president challenges Catholic church to 'showdown' Reuters in Manila Thursday 19 January 2017 12.14 GMT Last modified on Friday 20 January 2017 07.16 GMT

Rodrigo Duterte lambasts clergymen critical of his war on drugs, accusing them of corruption and child abuse
 


Rodrigo Duterte told clergymen: ‘You criticise the police, you criticise me. For what?’ Photograph: Lean Daval Jr/Reuters

The president of the Philippines has launched a tirade at priests and bishops critical of his crackdown on illegal drugs, accusing them of homosexuality, corruption and child abuse.

Rodrigo Duterte was furious about concerns by the Catholic church of alleged extrajudicial killings during his war on drugs, and lambasted clergymen for denouncing him instead of using their influence to help end addiction.

His rebuke came a day after one of Duterte’s top advisers met Pope Francis at the Vatican. Jesus Dureza said the pontiff had told him he would bless the Philippines, and “also bless your president”.

In a speech to police officers, the firebrand leader of one of only two majority Catholic Asian countries challenged the church to a “showdown” and threatened to expose priests and bishops for a litany of abuses.

“Most people here are Catholic. If you are a good priest, make them understand that they will die,” he said, referring to drug users.

“You criticise the police, you criticise me. For what? You have the money. You are all crazy … when we were making confessions to you, we were being molested. They are touching us. What is your moral ascendancy, religion? What is the meaning of it?”

READ MORE...

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines made no immediate comment about the attack.

Dureza was at the Vatican to deliver a letter from the president, thanking the pope for his 2015 visit to the Philippines.

Duterte had famously called the pope a “son of a bitch” for causing traffic chaos. He later apologised, saying his remark was aimed at incompetent officials.

The pontiff’s blessing did not stop Duterte chiding the church, which is among a few institutions willing to oppose his war on drugs.

Police figures show 7,042 people have been killed during the campaign, 2,250 in anti-drugs operations. Most of the other deaths were still being investigated.

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RELATED REARLIER REPORT FROM JAPAN TIMES ONLINE

Once-powerful Philippine Catholic Church divided, subdued over drug killings ASIA PACIFIC REUTERS OCT 11, 2016 ARTICLE HISTORY PRINT SHARE


A woman prays after Mass in a chapel at Camp Crame, the headquarters of Philippine National Police, in Manila on Sunday. | REUTERS

MANILA – Philippine priests of the Roman Catholic Church, an institution that helped to oust two of the country’s leaders in the past, say they are afraid and unsure how to speak out against the war on drugs unleashed by new President Rodrigo Duterte.

In interviews, more than a dozen clergymen in Asia’s biggest Catholic nation said they were uncertain how to take a stand against the thousands of killings in a war that has such overwhelming popular support. Challenging the president’s campaign could be fraught with danger, some said.

Duterte, who had a 76 percent satisfaction rating in a survey released last week, has quashed opposition to his war on drugs and blasted critics in curse-laden language. More than 3,600 people, mostly small-time drug users and dealers, have died at the hands of police and suspected vigilantes since he took power on June 30.

In another poll conducted by the same agency, the Social Weather Stations, 84 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the war on the drugs, although a majority said they had qualms about the killings.

Opposing the drug war “in some locations becomes a dangerous job,” said the Rev. Luciano Felloni, a priest in a northern district of the capital, Manila. At least 30 people, including a child and a pregnant woman, have been killed in his ‘barangay’, or neighborhood, where he is setting up community-based rehabilitation for drug users.

“There is a lot of fear because the way people have been killed is vigilante-style so anyone could become a target. . . . There is no way of protecting yourself.”

Another priest, who like several others asked for anonymity because of possible reprisals, said it was risky to question the killings openly. Dozens of drug addicts and pushers are being killed every day, but anyone who criticizes Duterte’s campaign could suffer a similar fate, he said.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the church was free to make statements, and there was no cause “to even imply” that anyone in the clergy would be targeted.

However, Abella added: “The church needs to consider that recent surveys show the people trust and appreciate the president’s efforts and it would do well to take heed and not presume that the people share their belief system.”

“We expect them to be reasonable and considered.”

Duterte said Monday he would not stop the campaign.

“I’m really appalled by so many groups and individuals, including priests and bishops, complaining about the number of persons killed in the operation against drugs,” he said in a speech in the southern city of Zamboanga.

“If I stop, the next generation would be lost.”

Some priests have supported Duterte’s war on drugs.

BUT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE BEING HELP

“Are the means unnecessarily illegitimate?” said the Rev. Joel Tabora, a Jesuit priest in Davao, where Duterte was mayor for 22 years, and where about 1,400 people were killed from 1998 until the end of last year in a similar anti-crime and anti-drug campaign, according to activists.

“People are dying, yes, but on the other hand, millions of people are being helped,” Tabora said.

OUST OF FM MARCOS AND ERAP ESTRADA

Three decades ago, the Church in the Philippines championed a so-called people power revolution that reverberated around the world and ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It also participated in a popular movement in 2001 that led to the impeachment and removal of another president, Joseph Estrada.

For the Vatican, the Philippines is a key eastern hub: It has the third-largest population of Catholics globally and accounts for more than half of Asia’s roughly 148 million Catholics.

Nearly 80 percent of the 100 million people in the Philippines are Catholic and, unlike in many other countries where the faith was once strong, the vast majority still practice with enthusiasm.

Duterte, who is not a regular churchgoer and says he was sexually abused by a priest as a boy, has publicly questioned the church’s relevance. He dubbed May’s presidential election a referendum between him and the church.

His victory by a substantial margin indicates that despite its appeal, the political clout of the church is waning, some priests say. Indeed, many churchgoers who spoke to Reuters said they supported the war on drugs.

WHY ARE THE KILLINGS HAPPENING

At the San Felipe Neri Parish Church in Manila on a recent Sunday, the Rev. Francis Lucas said in a sermon that the Philippines was going through a “moral crisis.”

“Why are all of these killings happening?” he asked, pacing in front of hundreds of people packed into wooden pews. “You have to love and care for one another.”

Lucas is one of the few priests to oppose the killings in his sermons. But he later told Reuters it was unfair to expect the church to influence the course of the war on drugs because it no longer had the secular power it once enjoyed.

“How come everybody wants the church to act when others don’t?” Lucas said. “Yes, we have influence but times have also changed.”

In the car park outside the church, where people had spilled out and were listening on loudspeakers, his sermon did not go down well.

CHURCH HAS TO  BACK OFF

“The church has to back off,” said Jenny Calma, a 34-year-old mother of two.

“We voted for our president because he promised to stop drugs,” Calma said as her children played between parked cars.

“The church will lose” if it takes on Duterte over the killings, she added. “The feeling, the atmosphere in the community — sometimes the church understands, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Nevertheless, some in the clergy are providing shelter to individuals trying to flee the campaign.

BISHOP CRUZ

“There are cases where asylum is being sought and given, which are not brought to the attention of media . . . especially during these times when life is cheap and summary execution is a way of living, and extrajudicial killing is a matter of course,” retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said. Cruz was formerly head of the country’s apex Catholic body, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Cruz said details of the priests involved, their locations and who they were protecting were restricted because of the dangers involved.

Reuters spoke with one priest who temporarily hid someone fearing for his life, but the priest declined to be named because of concerns about his safety. He said that if any details were revealed he would become a target.

VATICAN SPOKESMAN -'WORRYING'

At the Vatican, a senior official said the Holy See’s Secretariat of State was following the situation in the Philippines closely but, as with all countries, would leave it to the national bishops’ conference to make its position on internal matters known to governments.

But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue, called the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines worrying.

After Duterte took power, the first official comment from the Philippines’ conference of bishops came in mid-September. By then the president had been in office for more than two months and almost 3,000 people had died.

In that message, the CBCP said “deaths because of police encounters, deaths from extrajudicial killings” were cause for mourning and that drug addicts needed healing. But it also echoed the president’s language, noting that the drug users “may have behaved as scum and rubbish.”

Cruz said the church was being “prudent” because so many people supported the summary execution of drug dealers.

“The CBCP also has to be very careful because it might unnecessarily offend a good number of people with goodwill, who are Catholics themselves,” he said.

THE LATE CARDINAL SIN

Under long-serving Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Philippines Church helped topple Presidents Marcos and Estrada and campaigned against the death penalty, which was suspended in 2006.

Sin, who retired in 2003 and died two years later, saw the church’s role as sociopolitical. However, before he retired, he initiated the division of the Archdiocese of Manila into multiple dioceses all run independently under different bishops.

Now, priests say, the church’s leadership is more fragmented and, because of that, carries less clout.

Since the division, the church has lost critical political battles, most notably failing to block a reproductive health bill promoting artificial contraception in 2012.


ABS-CBN

Villegas urges Catholic Church to adapt to ‘rapid’ changes in PH ABS-CBN News Posted at Jan 29 2017 06:54 PM


Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. File Photo

MANILA -- Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas urged the Catholic Church on Saturday to adapt to “rapid” changes in Philippine society during the opening session of the 114th plenary assembly of the CBCP.

“There are rapid changes happening in Philippine society and it is imperative for us churchmen to acknowledge them so that our pastoral praxis can better answer the needs of the Filipino nation,” he said.

Villegas said shifts in Philippine society call for shifts in pastoral approaches as well, noting that a “defensive Church will not inspire and ignite souls.”

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“We have our liturgical pageantry but are our rituals connected to the hopes and frustrations, the joys and grief of our people? We issue pastoral letters but are we still understood and relevant to the struggles and visions of our people? Can we listen to gutter language without judgment?” he asked.

Villegas also explained that many institutions that symbolize stability and permanence have become “shell institutions,” that are pretty on the outside but have nothing on the inside.

“Families and religion have become shell institutions but the inside has radically changed. The relationships have changed; the understood submission to authority has shifted, the presumptions with regard to decision making have evolved. We still carry the shell but the shell can be deceptive, illusory and fictitious,” he said.

“Are we not becoming shell institutions lovely to see with nothing inside?” he added.

Villegas also urged the clergy to ask themselves whether they have given themselves to the serious study of theology to answer the “the vexing problems in human hearts, the agnosticism of many of the young, and the indifference of those who think that the days of religion have given way to the age of science.”

“There has to be openness in the Philippine Church that is confident, at the same time, in its rootedness to the indefectible Spirit of the Lord,” he said.

SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA PRIEST HIT FOR 'IMPEACH DUTERTE' CAMPAIGN TO CONGREGATION

 
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NEWS REPORT FROM THE INQUIRER

Parish priest denies involvement in campaign to oust Duterte By: Ed Margareth Barahan - @inquirerdotnetINQUIRER.net / 03:59 PM December 21, 2016


FR DAVID REYES

A parish priest in San Pedro, Laguna on Wednesday denied involvement in a signature campaign to oust President Rodrigo Duterte which is being circulated by a fake social media site.

According to Father David Reyes of Saint Joseph the Patriach in Laguna, the report that his parish is doing a signature campaign to oust or call for Duterte’s resignation is not true, unfair and malicious.

“Saint Joseph the Patriarch Parish has never engaged in any signature campaign calling for the Philippine President’s resignation or ouster while the parish supports its Diocese in its stance against the death penalty and extra judicial killings,” Reyes said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

He also encouraged other parishioners to check the sources of reports first and not to believe anything without sufficient basis.

“We encourage the parishioners and all our brothers and sisters to be cautious in being swayed by fake news such as this indicated below. The news is malicious, baseless and unfair, and does not verify information if they are factual or hearsay. The news is based on a message posted by Maharlika Facebook page from an alleged parishioner,”

Reyes called it “laughable” for a barangay (village) parish with a small population to engage in a signature campaign. RAM

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EARLIER RELATED REPORT FROMSOUTH CHINA MORNING POST FLASHBACK  JUNE 16, 2003

THE BISHOP BACANI SCANDAL

Philippine Catholic Church in crisis amid sex scandal PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 June, 2003, 12:00am UPDATED : Monday, 16 June, 2003,  12:00am Raissa Robles

The sex scandal embroiling Catholic Bishop Teodoro Bacani has taken on political overtones and undermined the political and moral authority of the Philippine clergy.

It has erupted at a crucial time for the Catholic Church in the Philippines. Its most prominent and politically powerful member, Cardinal Jaime Sin, is due to retire as Archbishop of Manila when he turns 75 in two months' time.

Bishop Bacani was considered one of the possible successors, before his secretary of five years accused him of sexual harassment.

In the next few months, candidates will start campaigning for next year's presidential election. The Catholic Church, led by Cardinal Sin, has played a pivotal role in these elections.


BACANI

Cardinal Sin was the first church official to wield his power against an incumbent president, the strongman Ferdinand Marcos. And it was Bishop Bacani who first defined the contours of this power.

In his landmark book, Church in Politics, he wrote that 'Cardinal Sin knows he is powerful', is 'at home with power', and 'projects his sense of power'.

It was Cardinal Sin who persuaded Corazon Aquino to run for president in 1986 and dissuaded then-senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from running for the same post in 1998. Both women followed his advice and made history.

Bishop Bacani made no bones about the church being a powerful institution. 'Politicians recognise this,' he wrote, which is why they always troop to Cardinal Sin and the bishops for their 'blessing'.

'Yes, the church is a political force to reckon with [and] this force cannot be ignored,' he concluded.


SIN

He said church officials such as Cardinal Sin wielded power not for personal gain but 'for the good of the church' - that is, to ensure that the government followed church rulings against artificial birth control, divorce and abortion.

Bishop Bacani himself made sure, as a member of the Aquino-appointed Constitutional Commission, that church-owned lands remained tax-free under the new charter. He also lobbied for the insertion of provisions against divorce and abortion.

He said the church had the 'moral duty' to participate in politics to help remove the sins in the country's social structures, institutions and systems. Along this line, the church had issued 'election guidelines' to Catholic voters. The guidelines, as emphasised by Bishop Bacani himself, told the Catholic flock to choose leaders who have 'strong moral character' and are 'not sexually promiscuous'.

Bishop Bacani also noted that Filipino Catholics 'are likely to give much weight to the pronouncements of their priests and bishops' because of their 'respect and affection' for them.

It is these same sentiments that are being sorely tested by the sex scandal surrounding Bishop Bacani.

Nila Bermisa, a Catholic nun who heads the women and gender commission of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, pointed out that Bishop Bacani was not being accused of consensual sex but of 'abuse of power' - which was what sexual harassment was all about, she added.

Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, feared that 'this sad situation may also shake the faith of not a few'.

Although no details about the two alleged harassment incidents have been released, the largest and most influential Catholic charismatic group, El Shaddai, has denounced the claims as an attack on the clergy. A week ago, half a million members gathered in Manila and insisted their spiritual adviser, Bishop Bacani, was innocent.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, a presidential candidate courting El Shaddai votes, said Bishop Bacani 'will eventually be vindicated'. But rival candidate Raul Roco, who is courting women's votes, sided with the bishop's secretary.

Mrs Arroyo, another possible presidential contender, sided with the beleaguered bishop, who hails from her home province.

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Philippines' Cardinal Sin retires; succeeded by Cardinal Rosales September 15, 2003 Printer friendly version Print this article Email to a friend Email to a friend  THEAGE.COM.AU


TRAFFIC SOLVER. A file photo of former Manila archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales in December 2006. Jes Aznar/File/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – An 83-year-old Catholic cardinal in the Philippines came to the rescue of thousands of stranded motorists over the weekend after single-handedly untangling a traffic jam in Manila during a typhoon. Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales took matters into his own hands on Sunday, August 23, as he traversed a typhoon-lashed Philippine highway on the outskirts of the capital to help settle a traffic dispute. "We were trapped for over an hour and we were rushing to another engagement. I said to myself: 'we cannot take this anymore,'" the retired Manila cardinal told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, August 25.

With no traffic policemen in sight amid the onslaught of Typhoon Ineng (Goni), Rosales said he zipped up his raincoat and walked nearly a kilometer to find out what was causing the 1.6-kilometer (mile) long snarl, the likes of which have become a daily misery for Filipinos.

"We're all in a hurry," he said to the erring motorists, after discovering 6 cars fighting over two lanes in Santo Tomas town on Manila's outskirts. As his boots filled up with rainwater, the hooded old man used hand signals to force the vehicles to back up, freeing up the jam. The rain later let up to reveal a giant crucifix peeking out of his jacket. The chastened motorists then got out of their vehicles to kiss his ring.

Cardinal Jaime Sin, the hugely influential spiritual leader of Roman Catholic Philippines, has retired after reaching the age of 75, the Vatican's representative office in Manila said.

Pope John Paul II has nominated Gaudencio Rosales, the archbishop of nearby Lipa city, "as successor to the See of Manila," said Father James Reuter, spokesman for the apostolic nunciature.

The unfortunately named Cardinal Sin wielded his enormous influence in this Southeast nation of 80 million people, Asia's biggest Catholic outpost, to usher out corruption-tainted Filipino presidents over the past 18 years.

After using his office as shepherd of Manila's faithful to criticise the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship, the cardinal called hundreds of thousands of civilians into the streets in February 1986, helping convince Marcos to resign and flee into US exile.

In January 2001, the cardinal was also a rallying figure for a military-backed popular revolt that ousted Joseph Estrada after Congress impeached the democratically elected leader for alleged corruption.


I LOVE YOU SIGN: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Pope Francis. INAUIRER FILE PHOTO MANILA

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Tagle the 32nd Archbishop of Manila on October 13, 2011, to succeed Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales. Pope Benedict XVI announced he was naming Archbishop Tagle to the College of Cardinals on October 24, 2012.

Tagle himself had been notified the night before. At the consistory where he was formally made a Cardinal on November 24, he was assigned the titular church of San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle. Tagle was the seventh Filipino to be made Cardinal of the Catholic Church. When he became a cardinal he was the second youngest one.

IN 2015, Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” which is in charge of the charitable activities of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide. Cor Unum, instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1971, is part of the Vatican curia. Its mission expresses “care of the Catholic Church for the needy, thereby encouraging human fellowship and making manifest the charity of Christ.”

IN MAY 2015, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of over 130 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations in over 200 countries and territories. According to the confederation in its official website, Tagle is the first Asian to head Caritas Internationalis.


RAPPLER.COM

'How can a book destroy the Church?' - Like Pope Francis, the book 'Altar of Secrets' helps rebuild the Catholic Church by exposing its weaknesses Paterno Esmaquel II @paterno_ii Published 4:30 PM, June 08, 2013 Updated 1:57 AM, June 09, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – In Vatican City, the first Latin American pontiff denounces a self-centered Catholic Church. Shaking mindsets about a supposedly unquestionable hierarchy, Pope Francis engages the Church in self-criticism.

In the Philippines, during the papacy of Francis, a veteran investigative journalist does exactly this.

A Catholic who once desired to enter the priesthood, journalist Aries Rufo has launched an unsettling book on the sexual misconduct, political interference, and financial mismanagement by bishops and priests.


Pope Francis, the first Latin American to head the Catholic Church, faces a long list of problems besetting the 1.1-billion-member church, including slowing membership growth in the traditional Catholic strongholds of Europe and North America. (AFP/Getty Images/Andreas Solaro) NEWS BRIEF: And as a Jesuit, Francis also will bring a new perspective. Founded in the 16th century, the Society of Jesus is a religious order whose members live mostly communally, take vows of poverty and focus on teaching, evangelizing and working with the poor and marginalized. A history of free thinking has periodically brought Jesuits into conflict with the Vatican.

The first of its kind in the Philippines, the book Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church contains groundbreaking exposés on ranking prelates. These include investigative stories on the sexual indiscretions of high-profile bishops and multimillion-peso donations that remain unaccounted for.

In the book's dedication, Rufo makes his intentions clear: “For those who remain steadfast in their faith yet ache for reforms within the Holy Mother Church.”

He explains this more during his book launch on Friday, June 7, incidentally the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “Are we out to destroy the Church? Of course the answer is no.”

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“How can one book destroy a Church that has been in existence for more than 2,000 years? As my favorite archbishop, Oscar Cruz, said, the Church has been there for two millennia. There must be something divine in it to survive that long – which is true, actually.”

“Instead, we try to portray a Church that is divine and human as well, a local Church trying its best to institute reforms, taking baby steps to respond to the changing times without compromising its principles and dogma,” Rufo explains.

(Watch Rufo's speech below.)


https://youtu.be/7E2ba-kmPHM?t=29

Rufo's book also aims to hold the clergy accountable for their misdemeanors.

The author says, “Not only are they accountable to the people, but also to a higher source from where they draw their moral responsibility.”

'Tough love' for Church

His colleague, veteran political reporter Miriam Grace Go, says critics will surely question Rufo's motives and credibility. Go says Rufo – as well as his news organization then, the award-winning investigative magazine Newsbreak – encountered the same questions whenever he investigated the Catholic Church.

“Let us assure you that Aries is somebody who loves his Church, the Catholic Church. But it's a tough love. How else can you fix it and make it stronger and more effective in serving and ministering to the flock, but by cleansing it? That is exactly what Aries is trying to do,” Go says during Rufo's book launch.

But will Rufo's book sit well with the likes of Pope Francis?

Well, he's the same Pope who, during the conclave that elected him, delivered a litany of problems that make the Church “sick.”

Then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio said: “When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light; she ceases to be the mysterium lunae and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness.”

It's the same pontiff who denounced the hypocrisy of priests and admonished "intolerant" Catholics, and said prelates should become “shepherds living with 'the smell of sheep'” and not “collectors of antiques and novelties.”

Time and again, the bishop of Rome hasn't shirked from criticizing his own Church.

How different is Rufo's Altar of Secrets? – Rappler.com

Read excerpts from the book:

A bishop and multimillion-peso donations

The fall of the rising star

----------------

THE BOOK

Altar of Secrets : Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church by Aries C. Rufo, Marites Dañguilan Vitug (Introduction)
4.03 · Rating Details · 266 Ratings · 13 Reviews

"Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church is the first of its kind in the country.

Journalist Aries C. Rufo shows a Church that is cloaked in secrecy. It keeps the wrongdoing of its bishops and priests - in sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement - within its confines and lets them get away, unpunished.

Accountability, after all, is not a strong suit of the Church. Rufo also delves into how the Church influences policy, as nowhere among Catholic countries in the world is the Church deeply involved in the shaping of policy than in the Philippines. Overall, reforms are taking place, but these are highly dependent on the Church leaders, the bishops who try to change mindsets and systems."

Paperback, First Printing, 211 pages
Published 2013 by Journalism for Nation Building Foundation
Original TitleAltar of Secrets : Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church
ISBN139789719568902
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.rappler.com/nation/30898-altar-secrets-rufo-launch
Other Editions
None found
All Editions | Add a New Edition | Combine


GMA NEWS NETWORK (BOOK REVIEW)

Book review: Unveiling sacred lies in 'Altar of Secrets' Published September 6, 2013 2:33pm By LUIS B. GORGONIO, GMA News

This is for Filipino Catholics who can bear the painful truth. Bishops and priests who sired children, squandered money offerings, and jockeyed for power to get plum positions – you will find all of these and more ecclesiastical malpractices in “Altar of Secrets," a new book by veteran journalist Aries Rufo.

While many of the sources were anonymous, the wealth of inside information gathered by Rufo through two decades of experience in covering the church beat has lent credence to his claim that some “princes” of the Catholic Church have lived immoral lives.

In the introduction, Rufo takes pains to note that the book is not “divinely inspired” and that he believes the men of the cloth are also “made of clay.”

It is not about faith, or religion, or the Catholic Church as a whole. It is about the sexual misconduct of individuals who are preachers of morality. It is also about injustice, corruption, financial mismanagement, and the abuse of power by people who happen to be bishops and priests.

Rufo's purpose is to demystify the men in white vestments, who claim to be perched on moral high ground but are as human as the rest of us. Hypocritically, some people in the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines demand transparency and morality in government and society while shrouding the wrongdoings of some of their men in utter secrecy, Rufo asserts.

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Power play

Part I details the scandals involving some bishops who have betrayed their vow of celibacy. One chapter talks about an "orphanage" known to shelter the children sired by bishops and priests.

Another follows the rise and fall of a young and brilliant bishop in the archdiocese of Manila, who was proven to have offspring. Then there's the story of a gay bishop who was accused of molesting young boys in a seminary.

The section ends with the revelation of a retired bishop that in the Philippines, 50 priests at any given time are in “conflict situations” – or have turned their backs on their vow of celibacy.

Part II revolves around the Philippine version of corruption and financial mismanagement in the Catholic church, which has its infamous counterpart in the Vatican.

There's a rich narrative on the Archdiocese of Manila's Monte de Piedad, a bank rendered bankrupt due to the lavish lifestyles and poor management skills of bishop-administrators.

Rufo also describes how millions of pesos in donations to charity were squandered by some bishops. In one diocese in Metro Manila, donations for disaster victims were never released for their intended purpose. An attempt by the faithful for a “transparency” dialogue, the author claims, was met with the bishop’s condescension.

The author likewise tackled the “mystery” of the millions in cash donations for the improvement of the church-run Radio Veritas, the communications outfit that played a big role in the 1986 People Power uprising that ousted the Ferdinand Marcos. The book hints that until now, no transparent accounting has been made to explain how the money was spent.

And then there's the jockeying for rich parishes in some dioceses among priests, who often compete for the coveted “intimacy in friendship” with the bishop to get plum assignments.


BLESSED ARE THE... Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos prays over former President Arroyo in this photo taken on Dec. 3, 2005, in Butuan City. INQUIRER PHOTO:  INQUIRER NEWS BRIEF -Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, a staunch antigambling advocate, urged colleagues in the Church to come clean and openly admit if they were among the seven bishops reported to have received Mitsubishi Pajeros from the Arroyo administration. By: Jocelyn R. Uy, Maricar Cinco - @inquirerdotnetInquirer Mindanao, Inquirer Southern Luzon / 04:24 AM June 29, 2011

Part III discusses the intersection between church and politics in this country, starting with the scandal about the “Pajero bishops” who were close to the disgraced ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The prelates are seen to have “collaborated critically” with the previous administration, which in turn showered them with favors ranging from expensive vehicles to large amounts of cash.

On an institutional level, the author discusses the Church's meddling in the affairs of the state, particularly its vehement opposition to reproductive health legislation.

To strike a balance, the author did cite some honest attempts at respecting church-state boundaries, as seen in the partnerships on governance initiated by the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo. Much earlier, there were also attempts in getting local parishes involved in the fight against corruption, initiated by former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo.

The last section, Part IV, is devoted to what Rufo considers the “failed promise” of renewal for the Church through the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II). He said the spark initiated by Vatican II had inspired the church to try to transform itself and pursue a preferential option for the poor. But the Basic Christian Communities that blossomed during the Marcos dictatorship seem to have faltered as a new way of being the Church in the Philippines, the author contends.

A little bit of context


CaRDINAL SIN OF THE PHILIPPINES

The book seems to hold certain assumptions that do not fit into the Church hierarchy's understanding of itself, thus depriving the reader of a larger context in which to appreciate the cases presented.

For instance, on financial transparency, there seems to be an assumption that the Church is a public trust similar to the government, which gets a share of the income of wage earners. It overlooks the fact that the Church is a private institution. This was the point of Jaime Cardinal Sin's response when a reporter asked him, “How wealthy is the Church?”

The Cardinal retorted: "Have you made your contribution to the Church?" When the reporter said, "No," the Cardinal said, "Then you have no right to ask that question."

There is also no distinction made between diocesan priests, who have no vow of poverty, and religious priests or those who belong to congregations, who do. It is certainly no excuse, but one reason some diocesan priests are tempted to embezzle church money is because they need to save for their retirement. They are not like the Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians or other members of religious congregations that take care of the needs of their members when they grow old and thus, have no need to have money of their own.

And then there's the oft-debated separation of church and state: Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz has justified their involvement in political and social issues by saying, "the separation is understood in the sense that the state will not adopt a state religion."


Jesuit Bishop Francisco Claver

The late Jesuit Bishop Francisco Claver, who once headed the social action commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, has clarified this matter thus: The Church should not meddle in partisan politics or the “small p” but it should be immersed in the “big P” or the polis – the general life in the city.

In an attempt to present a basis for his idea of separation – meaning dichotomy of roles – between the supposedly “heavenly” Church and secular authority, Rufo cites anonymous scholars and invokes the famous passage attributed to Jesus: Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.

“But what belongs to Caesar that doesn’t belong to God after all?” Fr. Kees Swinkels of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart once said, a typical reaction among socially active church people that differs starkly from the layman Rufo's interpretation of the same passage.

Rufo is absolutely right in his cry for change and renewal of the Philippine Catholic Church, to become truly a church of the poor. But the book could have provided a more balanced view of the Church by going beyond the RH law and also looking at other issues that progressive priests and bishops have advocated on the sidelines less loudly, such as environmental protection and indigenous peoples' rights.

The seeds of renewal have already been sown in various documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially Gaudium et Spes, which opens with these words: "The joys and the hopes, the grief and the anxieties of the people… especially the poor… are the joys and hopes, the grief and anxieties of the followers of Christ.”

Amid the scandals in the church detailed in the book, Filipino Catholics would do well to remind their religious leaders about the vision of Vatican II: the Church as a community of the people of God striving to work towards justice and peace. – YA/HS, GMA News

ABOUT ARIES RUFO (FROM RAPPLER.COM)


MANILA, Philippines – Multi-awarded journalist Aries Rufo died of cardiac arrest early Saturday afternoon, September 19. 2015. He was 45. In 2011, Rufo co-authored, along with Rappler managing editor Glenda M. Gloria and Rappler Head of Research & Content Strategy Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza, The Enemy Within, a book on corruption in the Philippine military. In that book, Rufo looked into how dismissed military comptroller retired Major General Carlos Garcia won a plea bargain deal with the Ombudsman. (READ: How the big fish got away) Among Rufo's many journalism awards is the prestigious Lorenzo Natali Award in 2008, for his Newsbreak piece, "A cry for justice in the Philippines," about the murder of judges in the country. In 2004, Rufo, along with Rappler news editor Miriam Grace Go, placed third in the Asian Development Bank in its Developing Asia Journalism Awards held in Tokyo. Rufo was also a recipient of the Jaime V Ongpin Award in 2004 for his work, "Sins of the Father."  His wake will be at the Funeraria Paz at Araneta Avenue beginning Sunday, September 20. A Mass will be held at 7 pm on that day. – Rappler.com Published 8:31 PM, September 19, 2015 Updated 8:47 AM, September 20, 2015


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