We are certainly living in troubling times. We can see it, though most of us would not admit it and would say that it’s just the world changing and the people being changed with it. It is so alarming when we see that our values, our principles, and our moral beliefs on what is right and wrong would be so easily swayed and the truth easily hidden and warped. It is sad to think–and know–that those who are supposed to be responsible for our well-being whether it be spiritual and moral or our well-being as a nation–would think that we, the people, would be easily blinded by well-thought-out excuses and be thought of as stupid as to not see that there is something wrong.
The recent events with the bishops who took “gifts” from Gloria Arroyo and the PCSO has sent forth the wheel of condemnation turning. People from all over the country are expressing their opinions on this matter–and they should, for this is a very big deal. These people–the bishops–have sworn to serve the people, taking an oath of poverty above all else.
This is what miffed the people.
This is what had made me feel that there really are those in the catholic church that are corrupt. That there are those people who had forgotten what their mission is. People who have forgotten that they serve the people and that the people are not there to serve them, but a being that is omnipotent and more powerful than them–God.
Filipinos are religious. At least, most of us are. It is hard to tell now-a-days, especially with the younger generation if that is still the case. But, Filipinos really are religious. We have so many church holidays and festivals. We take Lent, and the other special days of the church, very seriously…although, there are times when some of us forget what those celebrations are truly about. Because of our very religious upbringing, there are those of us who see the priests, the bishops, the archbishops, and the people of the church as our guide–people who were meant to show us the way and live the life of a “Good Shepherd” just like how Jesus lived. They are supposed to be our beacons, our guides, our mentors, our spiritual teachers. They were meant to show us right from wrong and help parents in showing the way to the Lord.
But, now, with this current scandal that the bishops are facing…that does not seem to be the case.
It seems that we are reverting to the time when priests are corruptible. Granted, with the recent letter from the CBCP, they did say this (you can read the whole thing on their website):
We assure you that the bishops concerned are ready to accept responsibility for their action and to face the consequences if it would be proven unlawful, anomalous, and unconstitutional. We assure you that their action was done without malice. Out of their sincere desire to help their people, they failed to consider the pitfalls to which these grants could possibly lead them. They have also expressed their readiness to do everything that is necessary to heal this wound so that we can all move forward in hope.
I question that highlighted part in their statement. How can buying or asking for luxury cars be what they say is a way to “help their people”? Do they seriously believe that that is an acceptable answer? If they needed a means of transportation there are vehicles out there that costs less and they would have opted for a Jeep or another form of transportation (a truck or a mini-van, or a mini-truck (or whatever you call that thing) perhaps?) and not a 1.7 million peso car that cannot be used to help anyone but themselves (how can you transport anything from relief goods to emergency passengers with a luxury car?!)
Sadly, these bishops are not the only ones who are “hoarding” benefits and money. There are probably many other cases where the people are the ones giving service to these pastors instead of the pastor giving service for the people without asking for anything in return. There may even be some priests and/or bishops that are using diocesan services as a means to get more money–making their services much more expensive.
I am not flaming or bashing the mother Church. We have a wonderful religion–a religion that I do not just follow blindly–but one has to wonder about those people who serve the church. Just how much for truth are they? For equality?
I am not sure if this whole PCSO business even tells the whole truth about this scandal, and that–I think–aggravates people further. But, the thing is, it seems that when these bishops are the ones sitting on the “hot seat” and squirming under the heavy gaze of the people, they want everyone to play fair–to listen to their side. But, when they are the ones who are grilling others, they believe that their side is always in the right. I just don’t like how they like to see themselves as high-and-might-we-can-do-no-wrong kinds of people when they should be all about humility.
There are many people who see things that way (check previous Y!News posts about this and read the comments there). Maybe it is high time that the CBCP really do review their ways…and maybe it’s also high time that we–as a people–review ourselves as well.
On our way to Manila last Saturday, my dad asked us this: What is the Wizard’s First rule? It was a question he got from a book he had read (by Terry Goodkind) and he told us that should any of us manage to guess what the rule was, he was going to give that person a Php 1000. Sadly, I wasn’t the one who gave the correct answer. It was my sister who used a loophole to my dad’s guessing game and used the internet to search for what the rule was (*applauds Abby for ingenuity*).
As I was typing this post, that rule came into mind…and I think it sort of fits in with this whole truth-business that we have going on.
The rule is as follows:
Wizards First Rule: People Are Stupid.
Before you go and get your heads exploding with rage at that rule, read the explanation below (also taken from from that book, Wizard’s First Rule) and you will see why Terry Goodkind–through the character in the book–managed to write something like that.
“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”
So, what do you guys think?
Is the government fooling us or are they telling the truth?
Are those Bishops really innocent or morally wrong? Are they hypocrites of their own teachings? Should they be punished for the wrong they committed and what kind of punishment would be “just”?
Do you guys agree with the Wizard’s First Rule?
Tell me what you guys think.
Until the next post, dream on; fly on!