Bishops not in sync with Pope Francis


By Ermin Garcia Jr.

WOE is the couple that has long planned on a meaningful wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church this year!

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines dashed those plans when it decided that any declaration of love and affection between man and woman not found in the liturgy will not be allowed! Duh?

I’ve always thought the church encourages its faithful to develop personal relationship with Jesus, to embrace Him as their Creator and Inspiration but CBCP would hear  nothing of it. What happened?

Our bishops tell us, no more personal declarations of affection in the name of Jesus except what the bishops of the old had decided as appropriate.

If CBCP will insist on its ancient liturgical form and structure, the bishops are effectively telling their community to get married civilly where they can express their undying love and faithfulness, or in other Christian sects.

*          *          *          *          *

LITURGY NOT PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN HUMANISM. I find it ironic today that Pope Francis recently admonished the bishops worldwide – “I don’t want to design, in the abstract, a new humanism, a certain idea of man, but to present with simplicity some features of the practical Christian humanism that is present in the mind of Jesus Christ.”

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,” he pointed out suggesting that the key to discerning the attitude lies in the Beatitudes.

He called Jesus his “starting point, as it is the savior that we can find the authentic faces of man and woman.”

Pope Francis intoned: “Humility, selflessness and disinterest in the tinsel trappings of this world as the key values to the simplicity of Christian humanism.”

But why are our bishops insisting that the starting point is the man-made liturgy?

I don’t pretend or presume to be a learned theologian, because I am not, but, indeed, how can one go wrong when one’s starting point is Christ Jesus, to declare one’s love for the other in the image Jesus when getting married?

Our bishops in this case have unwittingly turned the liturgy into another “tinsel trapping” in this world, contrary to the prayer of Pope Francis. . Tsk-tsk.

*          *          *          *          *

NO WIN SITUATION. It does seem that some Dagupan City councilors are bent on holding the 2016 budget hostage in return for still unknown terms and conditions.

The recalcitrant councilors (in the majority) are foolishly dreaming to believe their strategy will work for their benefit. All that Mayor Belen Fernandez has to do, is to tell her constituency: “I have a prepared a budget for the city’s development but the councilors don’t want any of it and yet they can’t tell what’s wrong with it.”

They’d surely be embarrassed no end if they cite the exclusion of the “overtime pay” of their staff as the reason for their resistance. Until they can show proof of work for the city’s millions worth of “overtime” paid to the staff, they cannot claim to have legit grievances. Without the documentation, how can the councilors insist that their employees need to be paid? Throughout the ugly debate, not one of the councilors’ staff have dared to volunteer to present their “accomplishment.” Worse, they have decided to let their bosses do all the talking lest they make a damn embarrassing mistake that points to their bosses as those who actually received the “overtime pay” that was intended for them and did nothing for it.

This year being an election year, the reelectionists ought to know that recent surveys already show that voters are now more discerning than they ever were. What the wayward reelectionist councilors have is a trump card that cannot hold water. Can they tell the city electorate: “I cannot approve the budget because the mayor won’t give me a promised pork barrel.” I don’t think so.

And if they have the courage to “tell all” about Mayor Belen’s supposed “corrupt policies,“ the burden is theirs to prove their claim right. (In fact, if they have the documents to show that the budget is peppered with pork barrel for her, they can show these to us, and we will help make these public, otherwise, I’m afraid they are just digging their political graves deeper).

From where I sit, I sense only Mayor Belen will go smelling like a rose when the dust on budget brouhaha settles down.

*          *          *          *          *

TROJAN HORSE. What continues to baffle Pangasinan voters is who the Espino family is supporting for the presidency and vice presidency.

Many political observers believe the declared support of Guv Spines for the Liberal Party lock, stock and barrel is certainly coming way out of the left field. Wasn’t the yellow army behind the campaign to discredit him as a corrupt official from day one?

Unless, there’s something that Guv Spines knows about how an alignment with the LP will help him, the astute observers believe the LP is nothing but a Trojan horse, out to stop the Espino juggernaut that will continue to be a thorn on its side.

They tell me it’s not far-fetched for PNoy to make a last minute shift for his cousin Mark Cojuangco while Guv Spines is naively shoring support for the yellow army.

Could it be possible that it’s actually Guv Spines that’s playing the game leading a naïve Mar Roxas to the trap, not the other way around, if only to make sure that Mark C. will not get his hands on the campaign largesse of PNoy?

So, I am told not to be surprised if Mark C decides to shake up the political equilibrium between PNoy-Mar and Guv Spines, meaning, the LP decides to junk VP Jojo Binay because of his expected declining numbers in return for the LP’s endorsement, leaving Guv Spines with nothing but empty promises.

But the little I know about Guv Spines, he surely is not your babe in the woods type who can be hoodwinked in a shrewd political game.

Meanwhile, there is a trump card he can play – Gonz Duque’s, Duterete card. But will Guv Spines bite?

Obviously, Duterte will never have the kind of funding that the LP’s have, not even if the election is held 10 months from now. But he can look forward to a candidate that will make his legacy shine under Duterte.

But what should come first? The chicken or the egg?

*          *          *          *          *

EASY PLATFORM MINUS MOTHERHOOD STATEMENTS. As Duterte’s VP wannabe, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, has explained to the local media last week, DC (Duterte-Cayetano) platform is perhaps the easiest to remember and appreciate, minus the motherhood statements to make the country great again.

Firstly, DC is committed to improve the peace and order environment, where the recidivists have no reason to exist. He wants the drug lords out of business, no ifs about it.

Secondly, DC wants a Federalism type of government installed to enable local governments to chart their won development. Under Federalism, there will be no need for a BBL or similarly-inclined laws to pass and to protect, favored groups.

Thirdly, to make it a policy that all regions will begin to have a viable budget, not a Manila-centered budget.

It might interest Guv Spines to know that a Duterte presidency will make sure Pangasinan will finally have its own airport, the dream that vanished under the Daang Matuwid administration.

(For your comments and reactions, please email to: punch.sunday@gmail.com)

Back to Homepage

Share your Comments or Reactions


Powered by Facebook Comments