Painful truth

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORIES! -

ItimeLIKE Pope Fran­cis but this I have to tell him to his face, so to speak, that he was grossly wrong to say that “The Philip­pines is a great Catholic na­tion.” I can’t imag­ine him a hyp­ocrite for say­ing this so I have to as­sume he was but­tered up by pre­ten­tious Philip­pine bish­ops.

By Catholic, the Pope’s in­form­ers per­haps mean we are reg­u­lar Church-go­ers who give in the col­lec­tion box and pay for masses and sacra­ments, pray the rosary, cel­e­brate lav­ishly even fa­nat­i­cally the feast of saints, and are un­der the spell of the clergy.

All those prac­tices, how­ever, do not make us a great Catholic na­tion. If any­thing they make us a na­tion of hyp­ocrites be­cause we are in fact not Chris­tians at all. Con­sider the fol­low­ing scan­dalous fact about this na­tion.

In this coun­try of 80 per­cent Catholics, 40 per­cent are poor and 15 per­cent are hun­gry. This is roughly the de­mog­ra­phy of ev­ery dio­cese and par­ish in this coun­try. Yet, what do our up­per class and/or up­per mid­dle class Catholic bish­ops, priests and laity do to al­le­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing of the poor in their re­spec­tive ju­ris­dic­tions?

Chil­dren of the poor roam our streets peek­ing into trash bins for left-over food while their par­ents scrounge garbage dumps for some­thing they can sell. Ten, 12 fam­ily mem­bers are crammed into a one-room shanty in the slums but stone­hearted clergy would rather have poor ig­no­rant par­ents and their chil­dren live in dire poverty than give them ac­cess to sci­en­tific and ef­fec­tive fam­ily plan­ning meth­ods that ed­u­cated and rich Catholics are able to ac­cess on their own.

Okay, they say it is not their re­spon­si­bil­ity but the gov­ern­ment’s. But 80 per­cent of dy­nas­ties plun­der­ing this coun­try and keep­ing its peo­ple poor and ig­no­rant are Catholics. Chil­dren of rich Catholics get their ed­u­ca­tion from ex­pen­sive Catholic schools only to later join dy­nas­ties in their un­abated op­pres­sion of the ig­no­rant and pow­er­less poor. Now the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is rush­ing to ap­prove a draft char­ter that has no pro­vi­sion to abol­ish po­lit­i­cal dy­nas­ties which are the bane of this coun­try. Eighty per­cent of them are Catholics. But I don’t think bish­ops should re­lay to the Pope that th­ese are Chris­tians.

I have said this be­fore and I am say­ing it again. Catholic bish­ops and priests should ad­mit to hav­ing ut­terly and mas­sively failed to Chris­tian­ize this coun­try. No, Holy Fa­ther, we are not a great Catholic coun­try. We are Church-go­ers, fa­nat­i­cal devo­tees of Sto. Niño, Mama Mary and the saints. But we are not Chris­tians be­cause we are un­just to and un­car­ing of the poor among us. We treat our dogs bet­ter.

In­stead we are what you call pa­gan Chris­tians. We are a na­tion of hyp­ocrites. The Holy Fa­ther should visit us again, this time to face this painful truth.

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