Mitsubishops: the CBCP conveniently absolves its own and remains above the Law

A statement issued last week by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on the matter of some of its members using taxpayers’ funds to buy luxury sport utility vehicles (SUVs) for use in their “field work,” made it quite categorical: “Our conscience is clear.”

But of course it is. This is a statement coming from the henchmen of an institution that sees itself as the sole legitimate channel that dispenses “God’s mercy” and delivers the sacrament of “reconciliation” that, effectively, absolves one’s “sins.” The belief here is premised on the notion that the Clergy are the sole inheritors of the authority to forgive sins that Jesus Christ supposedly left to his apostles after he died…

It is therefore clear from the words of Christ that the Apostles had power to forgive sins. But this was not a personal prerogative that was to erase at their death; it was granted to them in their official capacity and hence as a permanent institution in the Church — no less permanent than the mission to teach and baptize all nations. Christ foresaw that even those who received faith and baptism, whether during the lifetime of the Apostles or later, would fall into sin and therefore would need forgiveness in order to be saved. He must, then, have intended that the power to forgive should be transmitted from the Apostles to their successors and be used as long as there would be sinners in the Church, and that means to the end of time.

Quite ironic that, on one hand, the Church would enshrine at the heart of its sacred dogma that sort of absolute power while, on the other, propagate among its constituents an image of it being a champion of “democracy”. This democracy, we might highlight yet again, has at its core the principle of check-and-balance, where co-equal independent branches of government serve as mutual control mechanisms to prevent abuse of power by and spread of inbred thinking in any one of its branches. It is no surprise, therefore, that an institution such as the Roman Catholic Church had, for centuries, remained imprisoned in a framework of flawed and inconsistent philosophical constructs. The Church recognises no authority other than itself. That’s absolute power by any definition.

So like the fool who self-diagnoses himself rather than seek professional medical advise, the CBCP clears its own conscience.

Recall though exactly how the centre of the imbroglio, the “Reverend” Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos made the request for the fancy wheels in his letter to then President Gloria Arroyo

“I hope you will never fail to give a brand new car which would serve as your birthday gift to me,” Pueblos said in the letter.

“For your information, I have with me a seven-year-old car which is not anymore in good running condition. Therefore, this needs to be replaced very soon,” he added.

Arroyo agreed and after 5 months, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) gave Pueblos a check for P 1.7 million, which he used to buy a Mitsubishi Montero.

Looks like there is something here that is a lot “clearer” than someone’s conscience.

The Reverend Father Joaquin Bernas SJ, showed in a recent article that there is hardly any legal basis for a criminal prosecution against the “Mitsubishops.” So even as the Senate (and, the House, perhaps), in its noble quest to continuously improve the legal framework of the land “invites” the Mitsubishops to their “inquiry”, Bernas is certain that “no criminal liability” would be found.

But as Randy David points out, it is really on “moral authority” that the Church’s position in Philippine society rests upon. Just like the Duterte clan rules Davao City with a brand of governance that has very little if any grounding in the Law, the Church are able to lord it over Filipino “souls” on the basis of a perceived moral high ground that it monopolises. The Philippines, after all, is a society that lives by a very shaky ethical foundation — one that muddles together state, religious, and personal beliefs, dogma, and doctrine into a mishmash of inconsistent and unstable thinking and resulting action.

As such, a media circus is the last thing our holy bishops need considering that their power over the minds of the Filipino is quite ephemeral, as it is already finding out as it loses one battle after another for the hearts of its 100 million-strong congregation, first with the issue or Reproductive Health, then with the matter of divorce, and now in this most recent revelation of gross impropriety. After all, how much would Php 1 million spent on a luxury SUV have bought for the average Filipino? Most likely a lot more stuff more valuable than the presence of some bishop in some “far flung” village.


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29 Comments on "Mitsubishops: the CBCP conveniently absolves its own and remains above the Law"

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kalurkey! can’t they just confess and admit they made a mistake like we all do during mass?


i’m not sure what they are clearing their conscience for. if it is that asking for a pajero as a birthday gift is not a crime or is not god forbidden, then why are they preaching people to live in poverty??

Felicity Merriman

I’d rather ride in a used van than bask in a million-peso SUV if I’m a church minister. First of all it IS a violation of the non-affiliation code to meddle and/or support a particular church, and second, why ask for a Mitsubishi Challenger if you can do the same fieldwork with an el-cheapo/used vehicle?

The church should focus on addressing issues like pedobears in their ranks and various other upheavals than just ignore it and live in some euphoric state.

Ms. Mike Portes

Bishops are in the business of selling morality, then how can they be effective salesmen if their own morality is in question?

The religious conglomerate has a massive tax free account with BPI aside from stock options in mining and many more and yet some still compromise what they are selling for favors? I really don’t get it. If private groups can do outreach without a political benefactor so should the church. Such enables them to properly serve God without being beholden to anyone.

Joe America
Superb perspective on the Church and its current shenanigans. I think the Philippine Catholic Church has had a very bad year, making it perfectly clear to women that the Church has little regard for their troubles (anti- RH Bill, anti-Divorce Bill), living under the stigma that pedophile incidents cast worldwide, and now this very un-spiritual begging for cars or receiving of untoward “gifts”. This is an institution that is so rigid that it only misses the mortis.If I were the Philippine Catholic Church leaders, I would wonder seriously how long I can hold onto my flock in the internet era,… Read more »
Ace Ventura

Matthew 10:7-8

New International Version (NIV)

7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Sorry to say that Bishop’s soul is already sold to the Devil for what they did is against the Bible no wonder why Rizal was executed for exposing of fallacies of the Catholic Church only fools would deny that fact.

Dr. Noh
I for one cannot understand why these Catholic bishops even have to resort to asking for freebies from public funds. They already have hundreds of billions of pesos in San Miguel, PNB, and Philex Mining shares. Google up their stock ownership from the Phil Stock Exchange website and you’ll see how rich they already are, yet here they are still draining much needed funds from money earmarked for charity. PARASITES of the worst kind! And arrogant enough not to even be the least bit apologetic about it. Just reading about their little “our conscience is clear” speech made me throw… Read more »
Hyden Toro

It is becoming a Media Circus, already…the Bishops have still the thinkings and mind-sets of the Bishops in the Dark Ages; who tortured people thru Inquisitions, and burned Heretics on the Stakes…
Jesus Christ did not give any “blanket authority” on people, to : torure people; burn people on stakes; receive bribes; delude people; lie at will; etc…
Jesus Christ taught his ways , thru his exemplary life; on how to live fully and help other people…this is the essense of his teachings…to bend his teachings to rationalize your moral bankruptcy is not only ridiculous; but abominable…

As you have used these words: “Mitsubishops”, “This is a statement coming from the HENCHMEN of an institution…” Are you criticizing or vilifying the Church if not the clergies? “(T)he CBCP conveniently absolves its own and remains above the Law” What law have they violated? Well, according to you, it’s not actually they are above the law per se but citing Randy “The Infallible” David “moral authority”. (My apology for not reading anymore the link. For me, Randy David is just a plain leftist whiner. I would rather invest my time reading your blog). So it could be the “morality… Read more »

So for you, the sin of one becomes the sin of everybody.


As you have said “So be it then. I vilify the Church because they make it EASY for people like me to do so. But I make use of ethical frameworks that are subject to free inquiry and public review.”

Vilify and ethical. Duh???

Vilify is defined as “to make vicious and defamatory statement about. Synonym of malign.

Ethics is defined as the rule or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.

I’m lost to what really you are or where really you are on this issue – morality.

“The end justify the means” at its best heh.


“You feel lost because you’d rather spend your time moralising instead of applying a critical mind to making a logical evaluation of the issue”

Isn’t it the issue started in constitutionality of the their act?

You’re the one that is moralising. You can’t pin the issue on legalizing so it will be on moralising. This MO seems to be familiar with me.

Jeez… I know you can do better than that.

Man, read both your post and my comments again.


” Dot number one: CBCP clears its own conscience. ”

hmm… u say this like its nefarious.

tell me, who can clear a persons/groups’ conscience, other than himself or themselves?

“Dot number one: CBCP clears its own concsience.” Yes, though I didn’t mention it in my comment, the CBCP has already apologized to the public for what the issue had caused. “Dot number two: Roman Catholic Church is its own confessor.” I can refer this back to your dot number 1. I might misinterpret you on this one, but then, who do you think will be their confessor? As if you’re telling your readers that they admit their mistakes to themselves only. I can easily disprove this. “Dot number three: RCC is “pro-democracy”.” Yes they are. However, I can’t get… Read more »

But earlier, Pnoy offered PAGCOR money to Baguio bishop

di ba magsosorry si Hipokritong santo?


the hypocrisy of the church both reflects and influences the hypocrisy of the country, reinforced by the money grabbing, intellectually devoid, western envious politicians.
no pride, no principles, no passion and obviously no god – unless he was having a joke and put all the criminals and losers in the philippines as an example of the 7 deadly sins

I won’t mind being called a Catholic fanatic if for others it would look that way. I also have criticized the Catholic clergies including nuns for things that seems to be uncatholic. “Those in the church particularly the nuns. Just because they don’t like the present administration, they will offer their protection to Jun Lozada, a confessed corrupt, just to show that they have the self-righteousness. They thought that it would be a repeat of EDSA I or EDSA II. Duh! (Hindi sumali ang APO at si Ka Freddie! He he he he…) Or maybe even Bishop Bacani (or… Read more »
Du Hast
That was one hellish debate in the comments section. Trosp’s point: Not everyone there is bad/perfect Benigno’s point: Some of their priests are corrupt. They are a shameful organization. I have to agree with Benigno. The CBCP isnt only just “some” organization, it is the largest religious organization in the Philippines. Not only are their(the corrupt priests) names are involved but also the congregation to which they are associated and a Catholic one no less. It is by the name of CBCP that they can assure that every member within their organization is trustworthy and God-fearing. You yourself stated “The… Read more »

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