Roman Catholicism’s promise: Nothing in life and everything in death

In his recent PhilStar colmumn How Catholic Talibans stormed the CCP, William Esposo lamented “the terrifying emergence of a Catholic Taliban who threatens to destroy the very foundations of our Christian morality.” Indeed, it is happening. On the Visayan Daily Star, Nida Buenafe writes about how parishes in Bacolod are unreservedly demonising artist Mideo Cruz who, as we recall, is at the centre of a Catholic fatwa being incited by the Philippines’ Roman Catholic Church over an exhibit of his work at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (CCP)…

The exhibit prompted the Church in Bacolod to hold an indignation rally today at 4 p.m., starting with the praying of the rosary inside the San Sebastian Cathedral.

A para-liturgical service will follow at the Bacolod City Public Plaza with the burning of the horns and tail on a Mideo Cruz’s effigy.

In his homily yesterday at the church of Our Lady of Candles in Capitol Heights in Bacolod City, Fr. Danilo Cenal said the symbolic burning of the horns and tail will depict the public indignation over the exhibit.

“Only the horns and tail will be burned. The picture of Mideo Cruz as a person will be left untouched. The sin should be condemned but not the person,” Cenal said.

The Roman Catholic Church, perhaps, as “Father” Cenal lamely tries to demonstrate may deny going as far as attacking Cruz’s very person. But history is rich in accounts of how the Church had stood by and watched as hideous atrocities were committed by its zealous followers in the name of its “God”. Filipino Catholic officials should look to the example of their former top honcho in Europe who in 1998 apologised (albeit using wording that failed to impress many Jews) for “failing to speak out against the Nazi holocaust during World War Two”…

Pope John Paul has said he hopes the apology will help to heal the wounds of past injustices and misunderstandings between Christians and Jews.

But the document makes no criticism of the Pope of the time, Pius XII, who has been accused by the Jews of pro-German tendencies.

The Vatican mentions that Pius XII saved hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives himself or through his representatives.

But the document fails to explain why Pope Pius never took sides during World War Two by speaking out against the holocaust while it was actually taking place.

The slope into extreme religious fundamentalism is an extremely slippery one, particularly for an impoverished country such as the Philippines which is populated by a people desperately scrounging around for symbols of “hope” to latch onto. Religion is renowned for its ability to provide a narrative of “hope” to its adherents through a belief system that promises nothing in life and everything in death. That simple principle which lies at the core of Roman Catholic dogma all but places blanket indemnity over that organisation against any ethical or intellectual accountability over just about any idea it implants in the most vacuous minds among its followers.

If we examine the rhetoric of the most militant Catholic lieutenants in the “laity”, we will find much of the same you-are-either-with-us-or-against-us false dichotomies that characterise that of some of recent history’s most brutal war mongerers and war criminals — Osama Bin Laden, George W Bush, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Benito Mussolini among others.

The three-step process with which these dangerous demagogues hijack common sense in societies that happen to be vulnerable at the time to clever persuasion techniques is quite evidently at work in the Philippines today…

First they define a non-negitiable ideological construct that they pitch as an “absolute truth”…

A part of the homily by Jojo Zerrudo, Diocese of Cubao, was aired on the same morning show, where he asserted that proper respect should be given to the image of Christ.

“…you think an image of Christ is nothing different from the posters of celebrities? Jesus Christ is the son of the Living God, therefore, it is not right to dishonor his face,” said Zerrudo.

Then, they proceed to define a bogeyman — the them in a them-against-us “crusade” that they begin to incite…

“When you say church, tayong lahat [“all of us”], we are a church. Filipinos who are Christians and Catholics must defend their faith,” said [Ang Kapatiran (“The Brotherhood”) party’s Manolo] Dayrit in the same “Unang Hirit” report.

And, third, organise spectacles mounted in full regalia displaying emotionally-charged symbols while demonstrating rituals designed to induce conformity

As an effort to supposedly seek forgiveness from their Creator for what they deem as “blasphemous” art […] more than 200 members of religious and lay groups participated in a reparation mass held Aug. 14, reported “Unang Hirit” on Aug. 15.

[…]

After the mass, the group launched a procession from Roxas Boulevard to CCP featuring relics of the Virgin Mary and the Black Nazarene, significant symbols of the Catholic faith, as reported on “TV Patrol” last Aug. 14.

Clearly, the signs are impossible to ignore. The Philippines has always teetered on the brink not only of economic collapse but catastrophic collapse in its ability to uphold common sensibilities and intelligent regard for the challenges it faces. The Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines is, at best, sitting back and waiting in the same way it did during Hitler’s Holocaust or, at worst, actively facilitating Philippine society’s descent into its own version of the Dark Ages. Both are scary prospects, considering Filipinos’ renowned track record of being such bad copy cats.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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47 Comments on "Roman Catholicism’s promise: Nothing in life and everything in death"

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Lightzout
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Pity, that’s why I never trust religion. Everything went downhill the moment I entered the seminary. We’re just like in a frat, a group you belong to cause you belong to the ‘true’ religion, go away and you’ll be cast out, shunned, and forgot they ever met you.

Until we break off religion, and stupidity, we’ll never be a great nation.

Johnamendall
Guest

Good one, Benigno, particularly after you berated the atheists for wasting their time attacking religious fundies:-)

errin
Guest

no religion can save our souls. it’s so sad that most of us depend on graven images and rules set by mere humans.

Tonyo
Guest
How dare Manolo Dayrit drag the name of Christianity in these talks? Because I haven’t heard any other Christian groups protesting against what Mideo Cruz did. As a Christian (and a former Catholic), those images are an abomination, I wouldn’t even let one enter my house. I can tolerate them “worshipping” their idols, I just can’t when they drag “Christianity” into it. Sa inyo na yang mga paniniwala ninyo, pakiusap lang. The Catholic clergy doesn’t remember history well, do they? Because the reason why the Reformation happened is because of what the Catholic Church was doing then which is what… Read more »
Tonyo
Guest
“When you say church, tayong lahat [“all of us”], we are a church. Filipinos who are Christians and Catholics must defend their faith,” said [Ang Kapatiran (“The Brotherhood”) party’s Manolo] Dayrit in the same “Unang Hirit” report. As far as I can remember having read the whole Bible twice, the only way to defend our faith was through SOUND REASONING, which these people are obviously not doing. Followers are even told not to engage in heated debates because it wouldn’t produce anything good. That is why Christian followers are instructed to be ready, in season or out of season, to… Read more »
Trosp
Guest
“…history’s most brutal war mongerers and war criminals — Osama Bin Laden, George W Bush, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Benito Mussolini among others.” And what are the brutalities of Bush? You are again in disinformation/misinformation mood. Your choice of words against Catholics – taliban and fatwa which have no relation to Catholic teachings anyway you look at their definitions. All I can read from your post is anger to the point that you are in disinforming and misinforming your unsuspecting readers again. “promises nothing in life and everything in death” I am sure you can’t even explain that one… Read more »
jason
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Mideo Cruz is the real Christian as it is written in Exodus 20:3-4 (NIV) “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” Funny how these bigots put great importance to these images as it is clearly written that it is a sin to do such. It is not even the faced of Christ for Christs sake, its the mere interpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci in his last supper painting that these images have been… Read more »
Hyden Toro
Guest
The Vatican looked the other way; while Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany gassed and murdered millions of Jews. After the Nazis were defeated; the Vatican, with the help of the Archbishop of Milan, Italy; issued false passports to fleeing Nazis to South America. The late Argentinian Dictator Juan Peron; grew rich in Nazi loots, by giving refuge to these fleeing Nazis. It is a paradox, for the Catholic Church, to use its efforts on a statue…They don’t even know how Jesus Christ looks like…there were many people, who were tortured and crucified, during the Roman era…Why not minister to those… Read more »
Trosp
Guest
@Hyden Pope Pius XII was criticized for not issuing condemnation (for what he did not say) on the atrocities being committed by the Nazis during WWII. How about on what he did? A snippet from Jewish Virtual Library: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/piusdef1.html “How to Manufacture a Legend: The Controversy over the Alleged Silence of Pope Pius XII in World War II By Robert A. Graham, S.J.” “The full truth of what was happening would become known only later. But enough was known to produce, on the Vatican’s side, innumerable interventions with governments still susceptible to admonitions. At the death of Pius XII, Jewish… Read more »
Hyden Toro
Guest

There was an Austrian Bishop in Vatican named Alois Hudal, aka Luigi Hudal, who was sympathetic to the Nazi cause; and helped, fleeing Nazi war criminals to South America. Pope Pius was also sympathetic to the Nazi cause, fearing the spread of communism. The Roman Catholich Church is not innocent in helping these Nazi war criminals…

tim_m84
Guest
Funny.I have heard this from a filipino-foreigner(He’s Italian-Filipino) friend:I am a Roman Catholic.I have been a stockholder of the Jesuit Education Corporate-conglomerate yet I had never withdrew any shares but neither do I like what they teach,preach and practice.I am my own person.I believe in Christian Fundamentalism and open to secular systems.Religious Extremism is dangerous.Communism and the International Banking Cartel are nothing but Zionist Machines to subjugate Islamic,Buddhist and Christian Gentiles.Roman Catholicism has issues and is in denial with their thorny relations with the Greek Catholics.The problem with Roman Catholics is that they forgot their Christian Fundamentalist or Basic Beliefs… Read more »
charles e. montez
Guest

‘wag nyo naman siraan ang roman catholic dahil di lahat parehas, saka napalakas talaga ni Hitler noong mga panahon na yon…

aed
Guest

Complete rubbish if i may say.

ecaps24
Guest

A country with 80% Catholic and the vatican can only give $150K for the victims?