By Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. SJ
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Pablo Tecson wrote a petition in Change.org asking for the resignation of Bishop Villegas and other bishops for interfering in Philippine politics. But the opposite is also true: Duterte is interfering in the practice of the Catholic religion through his virulent remarks against the pope, the bishops, the priests, and the Catholic faithful. To highlight the absurdity of Pablo Tecson's petition, we shall draft a parody petition vs President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte, using arguments similar to those proposed by Pablo Tecson:
PARODY PETITION VS PRESIDENT-ELECT RODRIGO DUTERTE
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the President-Elect of the Republic of the Philippines. His actions do not speak for all the Filipino citizens in the country. The Catholic Church has been a victim of the dirty mouth of Mayor Duterte who laces his sentences with p*tang ina mo (son of a whore) in his criticism of the Church.
The words of Mayor Duterte have created a division among the Catholic faithful: those who are obedient to the moral authority of the Catholic bishops (e.g. Bishop Socrates Villegas and Bishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz) vs. those Catholics who voted Mayor Duterte to the presidency. Why does Mayor Duterte keep on harping on the Catholic religion in the country when we have a separation of church and state? We all know the words of Mayor Duterte:
- “From the hotel to the airport, alam mo inabot kami ng…dito lang…niyaya ako…limang oras. Sabi ko bakit? Sabi pinasarado daw,” the politiko said. He then asked, “Eh sino darating?” “Si Pope (Francis),” answered his companion.“Gusto kong tawagan, ‘Pope putangina ka umuwi ka na. Wag ka nang magbisita dito,'” Duterte said.
- “I will destroy the Church and the present status of so many priests and what they are doing,” he said. “You priests, bishops, you condemn me and suggest I withdraw, but then I will start to open my mouth. There are so many secrets that we kept as children. Do not force (me to speak) because this religion is not so sacred.”
- “Ang hindi kasi nakuha ng Simabahan, napaka-bobo naman kasi itong Katoliko. Tapos ngayon, nagsabi pa, hindi daw sila nagkampanya. Eh ‘yung tatlong bishop na nagsalita against me?”
- Do not f*** with me, Cruz! Iparinig mo sa kanya 'yan!”.
- “Di na ako miyembro ng Katoliko....May bago ako, lipat na lang kayo dito sa Iglesia ni Duterte,"
We, the Filipino people, are calling for action by Congress to correct the behavior of Mayor Duterte once he steps into power as President of the Philippines and impose his anti-life laws, such as death penalty, divorce, and population control. Two-thirds of Congress can override the Presidential veto. And if President Duterte decides to impose martial law to crack down on Catholics and other Filipinos who dissent against his policies, Congress should stop his plans and get him impeached.
We pray that this petition will reach the House of Representatives and the Senate and we pray that with the grace of God, this petition will become an eye opener to all religious people in the country to show President-elect Duterte's limitations. Leave religion to Catholic bishops, Protestant Pasters, and INC ministers, and let the people make moral decisions guided by their religious leaders, even if these decisions touch on politics, for even the Iglesia Ni Cristo endorsed the candidacy of Mayor Duterte as President. If Mayor Duterte allows one religious group to endorse him, he must also allow another religious group to criticize him. This is democracy.
In summary, this petition seeks the following:
- The support of 2/3 of Congress to stop President Duterte from making anti-life laws detested by the Catholic Church, such as death penalty, divorce, and population control
- The impeachment of President Duterte in case he tries to establish Martial Law to suppress Catholic dissent against his administration.
President-Elect Duterte doesn't deserve to be the President of the Philippines if his words and actions do not represent the majority of the Filipino citizens. Mayor Duterte admitted that he is bipolar:
"Ako, palabas-masok ako sa bipolar. One moment seryoso ako, one moment tatapunan ko kayo ng biro."
This makes Mayor Duterte psychologically incapacitated to serve as President of the Philippines: his words and actions can lead to chaos, because no one can be sure if he is serious or joking. And if this is the state of Iglesia ni Duterte, each one claiming to be Duterte's pope, interpreting his idol's words and actions according to his particular background and political leaning, leading to the formation of a thousand sects of the Duterte Religion, each one fighting for Duterte's eyes, ears, and tongue then the inevitable result is a Civil War.
The saintly Pope Paul VI's words come to mind: "The smoke of Satan has entered the Church":
Referring to the situation of the Church today, the Holy Father affirms that he has a sense that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” There is doubt, incertitude, problematic, disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation. There is no longer trust of the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life. And we are not alert to the fact that we are already the owners and masters of the formula of true life. Doubt has entered our consciences, and it entered by windows that should have been open to the light. Science exists to give us truths that do not separate from God, but make us seek him all the more and celebrate him with greater intensity; instead, science gives us criticism and doubt. Scientists are those who more thoughtfully and more painfully exert their minds. But they end up teaching us: “I don’t know, we don’t know, we cannot know.” The school becomes the gymnasium of confusion and sometimes of absurd contradictions. Progress is celebrated, only so that it can then be demolished with revolutions that are more radical and more strange, so as to negate everything that has been achieved, and to come away as primitives after having so exalted the advances of the modern world. (Catholic Stand)
Like a smoke of Satan, Mayor Duterte looked for the cracks in the conservative wall and the liberally open windows to enter the Catholic Church from without, in order to poison the minds of Catholic faithful within, and destroy the Church as he has promised to do.
It is true that Christ promised the indestructibility of the Catholic Church:
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19l I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.* Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:18-19)
But this only about the Catholic Church as a whole; it does not mean that the Catholic Church won't be destroyed in the Philippines or in US or in China. As long as there is one Catholic Cperson left before the Last Judgment, Christ's promise remains valid, albeit with a haunting question for all of us:
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Lk 18:8)
Duterte can live up to his promise of destroying the Catholic Church in the Philippines. All it takes is to kill all the priests or send them in prison. Without priests, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can't be offered. Without the Mass, the Cathedrals will crumble, and the Philippines will be plunged back into Paganism, as in the days before the Spaniards came. As St. Jean Vianney said:
The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for you. After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish twenty years without priests; they will worship beasts. If the missionary Father and I were to go away, you would say, "What can we do in this church? there is no Mass; Our Lord is no longer there: we may as well pray at home. " When people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice there is no religion. (Fish Eaters)
The Filipino people elected Rodrigo Duterte to be the President of the Philippines, and many of those who voted for him are Catholics. We need to support President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte in accomplishing the changes he wants for our country for the better, in so far as they don't contradict our Catholic faith and morals.
Vox Populi is not always Vox Dei: the Catholics in Germany elected Hitler and the Nazis to power, the Catholics in Mexico voted for the anti-clerical and secular Mexican Constitution which led to the persecution of Catholics and the Cristero War, and the Catholics in France joined the French Revolution against the Old Order represented by the French King and the Catholic Church. That is why, Catholics must always remain vigilant, for many, many more Catholics did not vote for President-Elect Duterte, but they must respect the democratic process enshrined in the Philippine Constitution.
If President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte cannot work with the Catholic Church in the Philippines which represents 80-85% of the citizens, and continue to attack it in words and deeds, then some Catholics may revolt against his presidency just like the Cristeros in Mexico, replacing the NPA as the new insurgents, since the CPP-NPA-NDF has already grabbed political power in the person of President-Elect Duterte who promised to appoint Communists to his Cabinet. To prevent war and bloodshed, it is best that President-elect Duterte steps down from the presidency for the sake of the healing of our country.
This is a parody petition and should not be taken seriously by President-Elect Duterte and his die-hard supporters. This parody petition should not appear in change.org or in similar petition-aggregating platforms. But of course you can share this parody petition to your friends for fun reading: no one takes words seriously nowadays in our country, for even our President-Elect asks us not to believe his preposterous statements. A political campaign based on propagation of malicious falsehoods in social media would find truth to be truly radical deserving of suppression. "How you campaign is how you will govern," as Mar Roxas said. So read and share!