Poverty not a Problem, says Bishop

Lack_of_faithGet Real Philippines has always seen poverty as one of the biggest problems of the country. That’s why we would usually recoil when someone says poverty is not a problem. Well, at least I did.

Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the archdiocese of Daet made a statement to oppose the recently signed Reproductive Health or RH Law, one that the Catholic church opposed aggressively. What I consider the highlights of his statements are, as taken from the Inquirer article (edit: if he was quoted accurately):

‘The huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to aging nations whose populations had become stagnant.”‘

‘Many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.’

‘When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance.’

‘He said that the overpopulation that breeds poverty was not a problem because poverty itself was not a problem.’

These are the very things I shot down in my previous article about some Catholic arguments against the then-RH Bill. I am not a fan or supporter of the RH Law, but some opponents have used the wrong arguments against it. While some are alarmed with the bishop saying something like “overpopulation is good,” that itself may not be the problem. His statement on poverty is the most disturbing one. One’s attitude towards some issues is often influenced by how they see connected problems.

What the bishop says of course angers those who say that having more children than you can feed is irresponsible and wrong. It angers those who say that Filipinos should have jobs at home and OFWism has a high social cost (does he know of the OFWs who take other wives or husbands even if they have spouses in the Ph, or OFWs with spouses who philander at home, abuses by employers, the pain of separated family members, the hassle of being an OFW, etc.?). It also angers those who are against giving off your daughters to foreigners (so their descendants will live elsewhere and may cease becoming Filipinos). Many of us also know that there are poor people who do not try to help themselves, but wait instead for dole outs from programs like the Conditional Cash Transfer.

But the most tragic issue is that poverty is not a problem for him.

Perhaps the bishop was trying to use perspective as a way of de-problemizing something. He probably tried to follow the lines of “positive thinking,” wherein, if you try to stop seeing something as a problem, it will cease to become a problem. But the thing is, reality doesn’t always work that way, and de-problemizing something may actually do more harm than help. For example, I doubt one can easily de-problemize their child dying of starvation.

Bishop Garcera
Bishop Garcera

In some way, it looks like the bishop is encouraging something that we bloggers in GRP have long recognized as a problem: denial. Bishop Garcera seems to have attempted to deny a problem and say “nothing’s happening here.” It would seem that the bishop’s statement shows a severe disconnect from reality, and an attitude of trying to come up with any argument, no matter how flawed and failed, to defend one’s stubborn and unchangeable stance.

From my own faith, I would argue that poverty is something God hates. The Bible has continually portrayed poverty as a problem, something that Bishop Garcera seems to miss. That’s why the Bible commands us to help the poor; we must do something to help people out of poverty. Poverty causes people to suffer and it destroys the creation of God that bears his image. Bishop Garcera on the other hand seems to agree with keeping a problem unsolved because it reportedly “brings people closer to God.”

I wonder how many people have the same opinion as this bishop. GRP blogger have said before that a country’s leaders, even religious leaders, reflect the people themselves. Perhaps we need to encourage more people to individually dissent from their “leaders,” since that freedom is after all a God-given right.

EDIT: Some people have warned me that the Inquirer article may have misquoted Garcera. Let me make it clear: whether or not Garcera said it, the issue is that “poverty is not a problem” is wrong for me. Since it’s in the article, someone may agree with it. But I never will.

print

About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

116 Comments on “Poverty not a Problem, says Bishop”

  1. The reason why he, and a lot of others who feel the exact same way, is that they dont CURRENTLY feel FIRSTHAND the effects of.poverty. Period. Its easy to deny poverty when you dress in cool red costumes with big hats, not have to worry about the little things like..
    Oh, food? and people kissing your rings.

      1. Priests are supposed do live under a vow of poverty, but for them it is a choice. However, to the poor, who ACTUALLY LIVE in poverty and NOT by their choice, it’s a different story altogether.

        The catholic church is totally out of sync with the realities of the people they serve. It is time they do some soul-searching, REAL soul-searching (not the “let’s preserve the status quo” kind of reflection) for themselves. Or they might find themselves slowly becoming irrelevant to many of of their flock.

      2. I’m not into defending the priests, but a common misconception is that all priests take a vow of poverty- this is simply not the case.

  2. ‘Turn the women into trafficked slaves’, so their pimp husbands/families can drink and gamble on the money sent back home! Mmmm

    Apart from the corruption, the philippines ranks alongside india in archaic thinking, barbarism, gender inequality, and the low value placed on human life.

    The church is a modern day irrelevance whose only expertise is the abuse of little boys, so hardly surprising that they mouth such stupidity.

    they are just worried that their cash rich business will suffer with less paying customers.

  3. From the Inquirer article: “He said poverty even brought people “closer” to God and was instrumental in realizing God’s plan for Filipinos to take care of other nationalities by inducing migration and working abroad.”

    By this logic, then the Catholic Church is among the farthest away from God because of their massive estates and huge amounts of money. Seventeen billion in stocks, anyone?

  4. @ChinoF,

    can you please elaborate more on this part of your Blog:
    “That’s why the Bible commands us to help the poor; we must do something to help people out of poverty.”

    Are you giving me fish or are you teaching me how to fish? The former/first wont let me get out of my own poverty; the latter may contribute to take care of myself. But what if the pond is empty?

    I think its better to establish the reasons and causes why so many Filipinos are poor, only then we might have an opening to solve it, little by little, and step by step.

    Pls give actions how to help others to get them out of poverty. To state it is one thing, to come up with solutions and how is another. I am missing the solutions in your Blog. Of course I can share my wealth and riches with my next door – poor – Filipinos but that itself doesnt solve a thing. It may even contribute to their more stupid behavior and keep on doing that stupid behavior. By giving them my money, I become a supporter (sponsor) of their poverty and by doing that I am rewarding their stupidity.

    1. I think you know the answer already. Teaching how to fish is obviously the answer we’ll agree on. That helps the poor better than making them dependent on a dole-out that will make he dole-outer even poorer.

      I think there are ministers and missionaries in poor communities already trying to teach people livelihood and doing other “how to fish” programs. Perhaps we can support these.

      1. @ChinoF,

        Of course, I do agree on the “how to fish” program. But I have seen too many Filipinos (male & female) that lack creativity to come up with other ways of how to fish when the “pond” is empty.

        Arent ministers and missionaries part of “that” church? Is it not possible to have a program without any biased party?

        An unbiased party that just informs, explains, teaches poor people how to get a better, less poor (financially and mentally) life without any influence of “that” other party.

        1. I’m talking about some ministers and missionaries of Protestant churches. I believe some Catholic priests and people do it too. But as a whole, it is disappointing that the Catholic Church, or the CBCP at least, do not seem to promote the idea of “teaching to fish.”

  5. I may not agree with the good bishop too. But I don’t agree either with this author – making a big argument to something which might just be true. Why not discuss the bad effects – like complications of the artificial contraceptives on women; billions of pesos for the implementation of the program which is actually a redundant program…using tax money even from those opposing the bill that will benefit those who do not care for themselves and for the country’s well-being. By and large, I think the Church as a whole has more relevant and well-meaning projects. And the good Bishop’s idea is just his own manifestation…

    1. I did say the bishop, and not the church as a whole, was wrong here. And on those other things you raised, other authors on GRP have discussed it well enough. Just look for them.

    2. I’ll add, Bishop Garcera’s statements will actually hurt RH opponents’ efforts, since he will be associated with them and it will give the impression that the RH opponents turn a blind eye to the problems of the Philippines. It’s like shooting oneself in the foot.

  6. ‘The huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to aging nations whose populations had become stagnant.”‘

    ‘Many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.’

    ‘When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance.’

    ‘He said that the overpopulation that breeds poverty was not a problem because poverty itself was not a problem.’
    ——————————————-

    as stupid as it gets. can’t believe bishops would say these words.

    1. The guy sounds more of a money-grubber in this case than that of a “bishop”.

      If this guy spouted out such things after he was taught in the seminary, became a priest and then became a bishop. I have the right to say, the Catholic Church is teaching the wrong doctrines and blatant.

      Worse is, that misinterpreting the Scriptures is something I am very appalled against!

  7. Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the archdiocese of Daet said “poverty itself is not a problem.” Definitely, the church has succeeded in indoctrinating most poor that being in the state of poverty is a virtue. So, they don’t worry, God provides their needs.

    That’s why you see poor Filipinos won’t strive hard to get out of their bondage of being poor. They are in fact contented!

  8. And I was like “LOL a holy man sees Filipina as a cum dumpster”? (Pardon the profanity. D: )

    I get a feeling that this is how they vent their sexual frustrations with. What ever that bishops says, it is wrong to see that overpopulation is not a problem (in NCR, at least) and any BS he said about Filipino women.

    I still wonder what’s he’s smoking, though.

  9. The Bishop started his remarks off with;:”Maybe it is God’s plan”,yeah,and Maybe it isn’t,and Maybe pigs fly too.BUT Wow,this guy is not the sharpest tool in the box if he thinks poverty is not a problem in a 3rd world country like the Philippines.Idiocy at its most ignorant and it bothers me to say that about a Catholic Church leader as I am a Catholic.This guy just does not seem to have a grasp on reality,and in a country like the Philippines,is it any wonder?
    If poverty is not a problem in the Filippines,well then hot-diggity-dam my name is Uncle Sam!!!! Wowo,whatta genius that guy,huh? looks like a J@&%@$$ in that hat too,just sayin!!!!

  10. OK,I am just going to say it: The ROOT CAUSE of almost all problems in the world is MONEY/DINERO/SCRATCH,got the Sir Bishop?
    I would also offer up that POVERTY OR lack of MONEY is the single biggest problem in the Philippines which,btw,should not be a poor dilapidated,tuberculosis ridden flop-house of a country.Since 1965,when Marcos started pilfering Biliions of $$$,the country and its people have been cheated out of its potential prosperity by the corruption that grips this country by its short n curlies!!! Dare I say there are some arcane/inane institutions that bolster that corruption and make it possible for it to thrive?
    Should I dare say it? Well,I just did.

  11. If the Catholic Church wants to help in the issues of poverty and population, they should really go full head-on campaigning with their natural family planning. Anything else to protest by the RCC, especially with regards to the taxpayers who are burdened with subsidizing contraceptives and other provisions through the government : the really inadequate education and healthcare systems.

    1. If the article does quote Garcera properly, that poverty is not a problem, you can say that the root of one’s wrong action is wrong beliefs.

  12. And that only prove to Filipinos that Priest and such are not experiencing first hand what poverty really is. How would they know if there’s always food on the table, clothes are always pressed, maids are everywhere and money is just a slip away.
    Btw, I worked in a catholic church before. Didn’t like the way they treat people, especially priest.

  13. ChinoF

    The PDI article (Dec. 29) you are referring to is actually an interview with Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera of Daet conducted by a certain Jonas Cabiles Soltes who also wrote the piece. I thought all along before I got to read your blog that the quotations you cited were taken from a speech that the Bishop had delivered.

    Anyway, I counted at most only ten lines in the 520 word PDI article that were enclosed in quotation marks, which, of course, means that the article — “Overpopulation good for Filipinos, says Bishop” – may have been simply the paraphrasing of what the author thought was what the Bishop meant or said.

    In any case, following are two equally significant statements in the article that you failed to include in the box of quotations:

    –“… poor people were more willing to help compared to the rich. Hence, a poor person was not a problem, he said.
    “We should stop looking at poor people as a problem, he added.”

    –“He said the problem in the country was neither overpopulation nor poverty but corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth.”

    Viewed in this light (and since the interview was mainly about the Bishop’s reaction to the recent approval of the RH Bill), I think that what the Bishop was trying to underscore was simply this:

    It is “corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth” that should be looked at as THE problem, and not “overpopulation nor poverty” that the RH Bill was principally crafted to reduce or, perhaps, hopefully control.

    Hence, I think that what the Bishop meant to impart was that “corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth” were the far more insidious problems that the country is facing rather than (or in relation to, or in comparison with) “overpopulation and poverty” – since, and to quote the Bishop, “poor people are more willing to help compared to the rich.”

    NOTE: Bio data of Bishop of Daet Gilbert A. Garcera, D.D.
    http://cbcponline.net/v2/?p=972

    1. Thank you. I knew there was something else that the bishop tried to say. I know he meant well, but he said other things he shouldn’t have, and those are what I disagreed with. He should have stuck to saying corruption was the problem. But if you ask me, saying poverty is not a problem is just plain wrong.

      1. ChinoF,

        The bishop should have framed his statement in the proper context. If he wanted to highlight the problem of misgovernance and corruption, he should have said so. As it happens, Domingo Arong’s interpretation of the bishop’s statements are just that — Domingo’s interpretation. It would be better if we had the bishop to confirm what he meant in the interview. Otherwise it will be open to any number of alternative points of view.

        That being said, the Catholic Church is not exactly known for promoting business and economic development to improve the financial standing of the less fortunate. It has always encouraged a “socialized” approach to social and political problems. Charity and alms giving will receive a thumbs up while entrepreneurship has always been looked down on and generally condemned without giving the business owner the benefit of the doubt. And yet, the Catholic Church has never failed to accept donations from these selfsame “evil” and “corrupt” businessmen and politicians whenever the local parish needs a face-lift. Nor does the Church fail to endorse known thieves and adulterers for public office when it has an agenda that it wants to advance. The Church will threaten excommunication for the schmuck on the street for wearing clothes it deems inappropriate but priests won’t bat an eyelid when the young woman from an exclusive subdivision in Quezon City walks up to communion wearing a mini-dress two sizes too small, the hem eight inches above the knee and Belo-enhanced breasts struggling to stay in place.

        The church has always preached an uncompromising position when it comes to issues like the debate over reproductive health but it WILL compromise its principles when it involves maintaining temporal power and influence in a secular world. Furthermore, the church actively undermines attempts to solve the political and social problems it claims to be campaigning against.

        It’s this inconsistency that undermines the church hierarchy. It makes them appear out of touch with reality. Just another bunch of fools in outlandish costumes and silly hats.

        1. Johnny Saint

          The freedom of religion — or “the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship” — certainly does not carry with it the freedom to bash, ridicule and make fun of the teachings and rituals of a recognized religion.

          Would it be too much to ask a citizen of this Republic during this yuletide to extend to the Roman Catholic Church, and to ALL other recognized religions for that matter, the respect and reverence religious organizations deserve to be treated under the constitutional framework of this country?

          HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL …

        2. Domingo,

          It’s interesting to note that the Catholic Church and its “supporters” never fail to cry foul or beat their chests over imagined persecution whenever criticism (fair or not) is leveled at them. Often in front of media who cannot wait to sensationalize the issue with biased commentary. And yet the church and its “supporters” find it fair to lie, cheat, obfuscate, and threaten in order to advance its agenda.

          Am I unfair in my criticism? Harsh perhaps. But certainly not inaccurate. Nor is it inaccurate to say that the church looks foolish by contradicting itself — vehemently preaching from the pulpit and on television one point of view while compromising its principles in the same venue. By undermining itself, the church hierarchy loses the authority to represent the Almighty. Without that authority, church leaders become nothing more than men in funny outfits. I would imagine that Catholics need to be more concerned about how church leaders have compromised their values by behaving in an UN-CHRISTIAN manner than comments about what garments are unfashionable when celebrating the Eucharist.

          By the way, if you’re going to come up with a rejoinder, try to get the facts right. The issue is the freedom of EXPRESSION NOT, I repeat NOT, the freedom of religion.

          Section Four of the Bill of Rights states:

          “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

          Lifted almost verbatim from the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states:

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

          The scope and limitations to this right have been largely determined by the Supreme Court. For the record, by any reasonable standard, none of my comments meet the criteria for gratuitously “bashing” the Catholic faith. The Catholic Church should be strong enough to withstand dissenting opinion as it has maintained itself for two thousand years.

        3. Johnny Saint

          PART ONE (U.S. Constitution)

          Take careful note that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution deals with TWO freedoms: (1) Expression; and (2) Religion, and these two parts, as discussed in findlaw, are:

          — “Madison’s original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ‘The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.’”
          http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/01.html#2

          — “Madison’s version of the speech and press clauses, introduced in the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, provided: ‘The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.’” http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/06.html#1

          Findlaw ends the discussion by telling us that these TWO separate proposals were “combined”:

          “Subsequently, the religion clauses and these clauses [speech and press clauses] were combined by the Senate. The final language was agreed upon in conference.”

          Hence, the final COMBINED clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution you quoted proclaims these TWO separate and distinct freedoms:

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
          http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/

          PART TWO (Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, 1987)

          On the other hand, drafters of Philippine Constitutions separated the freedoms of expression and religion into TWO distinct clauses:

          Hence, the Section 4 of Article III (Bill of Rights), 1987 Constitution, you cited guarantees ONLY the cluster of freedoms of speech, expression, press, assembly and petition clause,.

          “Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” http://www.chanrobles.com/article3.htm#.UODREqzNOCM

          While a Section 5 of the same Article III (which you might have missed) guarantees the companion freedom — the freedom of religion:

          “Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.”

          In other words, although the phraseology is somewhat similar, Filipinos who drafted our Constitutions opted NOT to combine the freedoms of expression and religion but decided to SEPARATE these freedoms into TWO different clauses.

          In fact, drafters of earlier constitutions similarly provided for TWO separate clauses –

          1935 – http://www.chanrobles.com/1935constitutionofthephilippines.htm#.UODOP6zNOCM
          1973 – http://www.chanrobles.com/1973constitutionofthephilippines.htm#.UODO_qzNOCM

          The Bill of Rights, of course, serves to protect the natural rights the people as sovereign RESERVE and RETAIN and do not relinquish to a government they created under a Constitution they ordained.

          However, concerning the extent to which these rights are to be exercised, I must confess that I do not possess the competence to discuss this issue.

        4. So…just to be clear, we agree that both the Philippine constitution and the US constitution uphold the rights of the individual (under a Bill of Rights) to free speech and the freedom to practice religion without discrimination or preference for any religion.

          Nowhere in the articles you cited does it specify that the individual’s right to express an opinion concerning religious practice or criticism of religious leaders may be curtailed on behalf of one religion or another. In fact, the articles indicate that your response

          “The freedom of religion — or ‘the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship’ — certainly does not carry with it the freedom to bash, ridicule and make fun of the teachings and rituals of a recognized religion.”

          infringes on the individual right to free speech — a clear violation of both constitutions.

          Why did I cite Section Four of the Bill of Rights? It is obvious that what you were alluding to was the article regarding what a citizen of the Philippines is allowed to say or do under the constitution — Section Four. There was NO ridicule or “bashing” of religious ritual or teaching; it was always commentary about the contradictory behavior and conduct of the Catholic hierarchy.

          If you want to determine if commentary oversteps the bounds of propriety, use this benchmark: The speech must have been used as a painful, gratuitous and (often) prejudicial attack on a person, group or subject. In many cases, the verbal or critical assault is motivated by bigotry; often the argument is made against the person rather than their argument. It may include blatant lies and wild exaggeration. In all cases the speech must be deemed unacceptable.

          For example — it would be inappropriate to perpetuate the idea that the Eucharist or Holy Communion in the Catholic Mass is a form of cannibalism. This was designed to denigrate a sophisticated Christian practice by juxtaposing it with what is perceived to be a primitive culture. The notion has been around since the Roman Empire and was revived by atheists in the 20th century.

        5. J. Saint

          You’ve commented –

          “The bishop should have framed his statement in the proper context. If he wanted to highlight the problem of misgovernance and corruption, he should have said so. As it happens, Domingo Arong’s interpretation of the bishop’s statements are just that — Domingo’s interpretation. It would be better if we had the bishop to confirm what he meant in the interview. Otherwise it will be open to any number of alternative points of view.”

          Let’s have what is in that news where the blogger based his post.

          The PDI byliner’s indirect quotations from the bishop:

          1) Contrary to the aims of the reproductive health (RH) bill, Garcera said the huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to ageing nations whose populations had become stagnant.”

          2) “Filipinos have a big mission to the world. Every Filipino child born is a blessing to the world. Let’s look at the increase in our population in a more comprehensive sense,” the 53-year-old prelate told the Inquirer in an interview at an orphanage in this city that he visited on Thursday.”

          3) “Filipinos have a duty to take care of them,” he said.

          4) “When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.

          5) “We should stop looking at poor people as a problem,” he added.

          6) “There was this story of a babysitter in Dubai who started singing the Ama Namin (Our Father) as a lullaby to the Arab baby she was caring for. The Islamic parents of the child found the song too good that they started learning it, without knowing that it was a Christian prayer,” he said.

          The PDI byliner’s direct quotations from the bishop:

          1) He also said many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.

          2) Garcera said many countries such as Germany and the United States had a stable but ageing population that would need people to take care of them, and that purpose could be served by Filipinos.

          3) In light of the Christian faith, Garcera said, the big number of Filipinos should not be seen as a problem but as an opportunity to help other people in the world.

          4) He said that the overpopulation that breeds poverty was not a problem because poverty itself was not a problem.

          5) He said poverty even brought people “closer” to God and was instrumental in realizing God’s plan for Filipinos to take care of other nationalities by inducing migration and working abroad.

          5) Economically, he said, the country also benefits from the “mission” because the migrants and overseas Filipino workers send back money from working as caregivers.

          5) In fact, he said, poor people were more willing to help compared to the rich. Hence, a poor person was not a problem, he said.

          6) He said there would come a time when nations that have decreasing populations would rely on the care of Filipinos.

          7) He said the problem in the country was neither overpopulation nor poverty but corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth.

          8) He admitted though that not all provisions of the RH bill were bad, but he also believed there were some proponents and supporters of the bill who “were against human nature and against what God wants.”

          The way I see it, since you commented the bishop should have framed his statement in the proper context, then, you have an obligation to tell us what are his statements that have to be in a proper context.

          And this one from you –

          “And yet the church and its “supporters” find it fair to lie, cheat, obfuscate, and threaten in order to advance its agenda.”

          “But certainly not inaccurate. Nor is it inaccurate to say that the church looks foolish by contradicting itself — vehemently preaching from the pulpit and on television one point of view while compromising its principles in the same venue.”

          Jeez, you, accurate…

          He he he…

          Let’s revisit your accuracy –

          ” “Quite frankly it sounds more like “sour grapes” if you take ALL the statements of ALL the priests and bishops in the article. Poor losers who can’t accept the loss, trying DESPERATELY to convince people that they’re on the winning side..”

          My rejoinder to you is “Can you point to me as to where sour graping have been the statements of all those Church leaders. How they’re poor losers to you, by your criteria of course”

          So far you can’t even defend that claim and you’re accurate, heh.

      2. ChinoF,

        The bishop did not make any claim in that interview that poverty is not a problem.

        Can you cite his direct quotation on that one.

        Otherwise, your blog post is nothing but intellectual dishonesty.

        1. ChinoF,

          I’ve already cited the PDI byliner’s direct and indirect quotations in my previous comment.

          (Correction in my previous comment – indirect and direct were interchanged).

          Allegedly, according to the byliner, the bishop made this statement:

          “7) He said the problem in the country was neither overpopulation nor poverty but corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth.”

          I’m just wondering why he did not directly quote the bishop on that one. Take note that he directly quoted the bishop on his other comments.

          That’s why I’m asking you if he was directly quoted for that comment.

          At any rate, my stand is overpopulation as cause of poverty is a myth. It’s the misgovernance.

          Overpopulation is always the plausible excuse of politicians in misgoverning their territories.

        2. I am not attacking the overpopulation statement. I am attacking the idea that “poverty is not a problem.” My real beef is with that statement. It so riled me up. If the good bishop never said that, I would never have written this article. He could have said everything else without saying this one.

          Oh, but saying more Filipino women could be given off to husbands abroad is also bad.

        3. Yes, I suppose you want to say that an Inquirer reporter cannot be trusted. But let us give this reporter the benefit of the doubt, since I see no sign yet that this may be a misquote. And we’ll see later if Bishop Garcena will release a statement later on that he is misquoted. Or not.

        4. ChinoF

          “And besides, it does sound like something some priests would actually say.”

          Jeez…

          And it sound to me as something an agenda based blogger would not hesitate to comment.

        5. My only “agenda” is to correct a view that I believe wrong, that poverty is not a problem. Poverty will always be a problem, no matter how anyone sees it. Thus I hope to convince other people to agree and protect them from wrong beliefs through my article. Even if the bishop himself did not mean it, I think the article mentioning him at least raised the issue.

        6. ChinoF

          The way I see it, you’re a total incoherent every time you want to make yourself to look fair or shall we say without agenda.

          I can cite a lot from your post but I don’t want to be redundant.

          Let’s just take your last comment –

          “Poverty will ALWAYS be a problem, NO MATTER HOW ANYONE SEES IT.”

          A straw man’s argument.

          And what did the bishop’s comment –

          “When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,”

          If I may add, one may see poverty as something that will inspire an individual to be a successful in life (I won’t be like them) or just to be a complete mediocre (they can survive, don’t they?).

          To rephrase, poverty is something that will not always be a problem, no matter how anyone sees it.

        7. I guess it’s your belief that poverty will not always be a problem. But I believe poverty itself is not the reason why some people trying to overcome it. If people overcome or do something to try and overcome it, it is because of their traits and not because of poverty itself. In other words, they chose to believe that it is a problem to be solved, and acted upon it. But there are people who will not act to solve a problem. Perhaps they do not see poverty as a problem, and so they do nothing to bring themselves out of it. Or do things they wrong way. It’s not true that people will always help themselves. There are poor people willing to stay poor – and that can affect society around them.

          Perhaps it’s this way: you may call it agenda, I call it a strong opinion.

          Good day.

  14. Johnny, frankly, my personal take on this matter which, by the way, prompted me to caution against PUBLICLY employing certain forms of expression concerning a religion is that — what a speaker may honestly regard as an altogether innocent remark may sometimes ignite hatred and provoke violence.

    Those offended have coined a term for this — “Hate Speech.” In Wiki “Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics. Examples include but are not limited to: color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.”

    Actually, the way I see it, the problem here is that these instances are often decided, not by the religion or group itself as an organization; but by, sadly, just one particular raging individual — a mere member of the vilified group — who felt personally offended and provoked by the remark, resulting in violence later.

    And we saw this vividly portrayed in the bloody assault on the American Consulate in Egypt only recently brought about by a short video produced thousands of miles away.

    You can, of course, disagree, but that’s how I look at it. So, allow me to resort to what is referred to as the thought terminating cliché– “let’s just agree to disagree.”

    Here’s wishing you a great year ahead!

    1. “Those offended have coined a term for this — “Hate Speech.” In Wiki “Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics. Examples include but are not limited to: color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.”

      Doms, my rejoinder –

      “What most people don’t understand that hate speech as defined in the Constitution does not include merely hurtful speech or speech that is insulting or upsetting. Calling someone the K word or calling a woman a bitch is nasty and bad mannered, but it ain’t hate speech.

      What is required, first, is for the speech to “advocate hatred”. The bad mouthing must therefore be for the purpose not merely of insulting someone but of wanting others in society to hate the person and the group he or she belongs to.

      Second it must constitute incitement to cause harm. It need not have the intention but must have the effect of causing other people to want to harm the person or group under attack. But the harm, says the HRC, does not have to be physical harm and can also include severe emotional harm.”

      http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/hate-speech-versus-free-speech/

    2. Domingo Arong, you said “And we saw this vividly portrayed in the bloody assault on the American Consulate in Egypt only recently brought about by a short video produced thousands of miles away.”

      You seem to be very confused with your information. There was no bloody assault on the Consulate in Egypt. Demonstrators threw stones and tore-up the American flag.

      The “bloody assault” was in Libya. The US Consulate in Benghazi was attacked with automatic rifles, mortars and RPG’s which killed Ambassador Stevens and technology specialist Sean Smith. Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at the CIA annex not far from the consulate by a mortar shell related to the attack.

      The assault in Benghazi had nothing to do with the video nor hate speech, inspite of Ambassador Susan Rice’s TV appearance explanations, Hillary Clinton’s press cons and Obama’s speeches. They were all wrong. The attack in Benghazi was not a spontaneous reaction to the video. It was a targeted attack against the US mission in Benghazi.

      Happy New Year.

      1. Jack, yes, I confused the two. Thanks for the welcome correction.

        As to whether the attack was “spontaneous” or not, the loudest voices always seem at times to be the more credible.

        Here’s wishing you a year filled with new hope too!

  15. Curiously enough, nowhere does it say in the Bible that Jesus wanted people to be materially poor; he often emphasized the richness of the KINGDOM of God.

    Unfortunately, that specific bishop skewed Jesus’s message about being “poor in spirit.”

    1. And the verse that said, “Those who refuse to work will not eat,” gave me the idea that laziness can make people poor. And it would be their fault.

    2. “Unfortunately, that specific bishop skewed Jesus’s message about being “poor in spirit.””

      Below are the PDI direct and indirect quotation from that byline about being poor –

      “”When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.”

      ““We should stop looking at poor people as a problem,” he added.”

      “He said that the overpopulation that breeds poverty was not a problem because poverty itself was not a problem.”

      “In fact, he said, poor people were more willing to help compared to the rich. Hence, a poor person was not a problem, he said.”

      I didn’t read anything about poor in spirit in the bishop’s comment. Would you care to help me on that?

      Or you’re the one who is skewing the bishop’s comment.

      1. FallenAngel’s latest article said it simply: The Catholic Church is teaching that it is a blessing to be poor. Which I believe is contrary to the teaching and spirit of the Bible and the Christian faith. Perhaps it came from the priest’s interpretation of the Beatitudes, where it said “blessed are the poor in spirit (in Luke, ‘in spirit’ in missing).” But I believe the beatitude did not mean that it is better to be poor. It says that God looks with mercy upon the poor, because poverty is an evil that they are suffering.

        And by saying “poverty is not a problem,” didn’t the bishop somehow approve of people being poor, which in fact, does not look with mercy upon them? In other words, it actually opposed the meaning of the beatitude and the real Christian message of mercy.

        1. ChinoF

          “And by saying “poverty is not a problem,” didn’t the bishop somehow approve of people being poor, which in fact, does not look with mercy upon them? In other words, it actually opposed the meaning of the beatitude and the real Christian message of mercy.”

          It’s very clear as to what the bishop was quoted –

          “When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.”

        2. Against which I commented in the article:
          “Many of us also know that there are poor people who do not try to help themselves, but wait instead for dole outs from programs like the Conditional Cash Transfer.”

          Are you trying to say that the bishop never said poverty was not a problem?

        3. ChinoF

          Read again –

          “When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.”

          Poverty, for me, is always a problem. But to what extent? It’s always relative.

          I don’t see anything wrong with the bishop’s comment.

  16. Now, I dont want to be the party pooper but I think I need some back ground information on the word poverty (in the Philippines).

    Is there a loose or scientific definition of that word or do we have to make it more specific and is it only per house hold circumstances applicable?

    I can label myself as a poor sod when I am only able to pay all my monthly bills (rent, water, electricity, gaz (for heating the house), daily errands/groceries, clothing, commuting). And not having (enough) money to have a hobby, for leisurely things, for repairs on TV/washing machine etc. In such circumstances I can still live (or is that called surviving?). I would only ask my self: How did I get into this mess of only being able to “survive” and not being able to earn a higher salary or being able to cut cost (more).

    Now in case there is an house hold of 2 parents with 5 kids and having a total income of say PHP 2000 per month then I know where to cut cost and I know who to blame. But is that the complete picture?

      1. If/When people do not have enough (money) for their needs, then that is today’s fact. Then we have to ask ourselves what was the cause they got there in the first place bec there lies the answer to change/alter the situation and get it better. By doing nothing, nothing will change. So pls explore, search for answers and change your circumstances. We like to use the next phrase very often in cases like this: “Only the sun will rise for free”.

        1. That’s my worry when someone says “poverty is not a problem.” That may give reason for others to do nothing, since there is no problem, for them.

  17. I stopped reading when I found out the source was inquirer. It’s practically bs’ personal propaganda machine.

    My beef with the rh law is that it is not needed, and it just opens up more opportunities for corruption. I have no desire to pay for the safe and satisfying sex of others. The money is better used to develop the countryside so people will not leave to migrate to congested urban areas. So more than any religion, that law, to me, is more irrelevant.

    The priests are just standing up for what they believe in. There are a lot of bad apples, and idiots (didn’t a number of them support our ‘dear leader’?), among them but unless we are willing to bad mouth ka erdie and Muslim leaders (fatwa anybody?) as well, let’s just say they are just exercising their right to free speech. For them to do otherwise would indeed make them ‘irrelevant’. They are hardly the ‘talibans’ they are being labelled here.

    Ika nag eh, walang basagan ng trip. 😉

    1. Perhaps you are right, since Inquirer so far is the only one saying Garcera said this. But I am not here to undo Garcera. I am here to challenge the idea that “poverty is not a problem.” Yes, those who bear ideas I hate have free speech. But so do we who disagree, and we have the right to express our challenge to their ideas.

  18. Hmm, interesting… while looking for more mention of Bishop Garcera’s quote, I found this in a search result:

    Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth (Macky Garcera)

    Search string: garcera poverty

    Interesting.

    1. ChinoF

      I think the only way to resolve this is to email or call Bishop Garcera and discuss this with him personally. Below is how he can be contacted (data taken from the CBCP site). HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

      His Excellency
      MOST REV. GILBERT A. GARCERA, D.D.
      Bishop of Daet
      Diocesan House, Diocesan Complex, Brgy. Gahonon, Daet,
      Camarines Norte 4600, Philippines
      Tels. (054) 721-1431/721-1625 Fax: (054) 440-1474
      e-mail: gilbertgarcera@ymail.com

      1. But I’ll admit, no matter who says it, I will always have a beef with the statement, “poverty is not a problem.” There’s really something wrong with it.

      2. Domingo,

        I agree completely. I also agree wholeheartedly with your concerns that any form of speech taken out of context can be misconstrued as “bashing” or worse “hate mongering.” That is why I specified that there must be criteria for how we measure the words we use in a discussion.

        As I pointed out previously, commentary becomes “bashing” (and unacceptable) when the words used are “a painful, gratuitous and (often) prejudicial attack on a person, group or subject. In many cases, the verbal or critical assault is motivated by bigotry; often the argument is made against the person rather than their argument. It may include blatant lies and wild exaggeration.” And as Trosp pointed out, any form of expression that not only “vilifies a person or a group” based on “color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation,” but also advocates and INCITES its audience to cause physical and/or emotional harm to its target, is considered HATE (SPEECH).

        My concern is, as it has always been, the two points we’ve been discussing: First, that the Catholic Church hierarchy in the Philippines has been inconsistent in its pronouncements vis-à-vis its Christian teachings, especially when it interjects itself in politics. Second, that criticism of that behavior in church leaders should be seen for what it is — frank dissent born out of concern for the state of the church — rather than contemptible hate speech that should be suppressed.

        For the record, my first comment was to ChinoF’s original blog post about the statement from Bishop Garcera that “poverty is not a problem” and your response that the bishop actually wanted to draw attention to prevailing “misgovernance and corruption.” Without context, the phrase is open to various interpretations. Worse, if that is exactly what the bishop meant, his pronouncement will be perceived as a “disconnect from reality.”

        That is why I brought up the rather un-Christian behavior of Catholic church leaders. Like the bishop’s statement, it shows a disturbing pattern. Things like the lying and obfuscation about the content of the Reproductive Health bill on abortion — insisting that the law promotes the act — to frighten people against its passing. Endorsing politicians like Tito Sotto, who was involved in protecting his brother Vic Sotto, as well as Joey de Leon and Richie d’ Horsey when they were accused of molestation by the late Pepsi Paloma, because he sided with the church’s agenda on the RH bill. Accepting the Estradas in church after condemning them for being thieves. Failing to move forward on threats of excommunication after the RH bill was signed into law. Failing to implement the more personal aspects of Catholic life such as the church dress code. The church’s preoccupation with political influence since prominent Catholic leaders were tasked to assist in the drafting of the 1987 constitution. The unqualified condemnation of affluence and material success in homilies. Cumulatively, all these things undermine the Catholic Church’s moral authority. They destroy the church’s credibility to offer spiritual guidance when the people see its leaders becoming more concerned with temporal power and political maneuvering rather than matters of faith.

        These are matters which should not be suppressed for fear of being branded a bigot or out of a (misguided) sense of “respect and reverence.” To do so blindly will only result in one thing — tyranny.

        1. In other words, some commenters were trying to draw the discussion away from the real content of my article, isn’t it?

        2. Johnny Saint

          Like any other society of organization, the Roman Catholic Church is guided by certain rules. And, like the Civil Code, Criminal Code and Administrative Code of the Republic, the Church also has its own code — the Code of Canon Law.

          One of the “Obligations and Rights of all the Christian Faithful” in this Code is “Christian obedience”:

          “Can. 212 (2) Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.”

          And there is further provided in the Code what the Church refers to as the “religious submission” of the Faithful:

          “Can. 752. Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

          “Can. 753 Although the bishops who are in communion with the head and members of the college, whether individually or joined together in conferences of bishops or in particular councils, do not possess infallibility in teaching, they are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the Christian faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind to the authentic magisterium of their bishops.”

          Those who willfully opt not to follow and practice these Canon Law teachings are free to LEAVE the Church anytime — the sooner the better for the Church; for no one is compelled to be a Catholic against the dictates of their conscience. And this is clearly provided in —

          “Can. 748 (2) No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against their conscience.”

          So, to your concluding claim that Catholics who “do so blindly will only result in one thing — tyranny” may not necessary follow. For, to repeat, NO ONE IS COMPELLED TO BE A CATHOLIC. Those who disagree and openly disobey can LEAVE, defect and join another religion of their choice. Why stay any longer?

          Regarding the actuations of Church leaders that you narrated above, I think this should be a matter of personal judgment, since religion as we all know is a personal matter. And it is in this regard that I turn to Rule 13 of the Rules for Thinking with the Church by St. Ignatius Loyola:

          “13. To be eager to commend the decrees, mandates, traditions, rites and customs of the Fathers in the Faith or our superiors. As to their conduct; although there may not always be the uprightness of conduct that there ought to be, yet to attack or revile them in private or in public tends to scandal and disorder. Such attacks set the people against their princes and pastors; we must avoid such reproaches and never attack superiors before inferiors. The best course is to make private approach to those who have power to remedy the evil.”

          In fine, there still is a “remedy” to the “evils” you narrated, to the extent that one can freely leave unmolested anytime. So, how can there be “tyranny”?

      3. Doms,

        I made the inquiry and his office’s reply after 5 hours –

        “Dear Pen,

        Thank you for your kind words of inquiry. To answer your question, you may want to read the analysis of a journalist entitled

        Did Anti-RH Bishop Garcera Actually Use the Word “Overpopulation”?

        Happy New Year Pen.”

        His office possibly is referring to this link –

        http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/did-anti-rh-bishop-garcera-actually-use-the-word-overpopulation/

        1. ChinoF

          So, what’s funny with it?

          Generally, Catholics are not mocking atheist.

          If the blogger is an atheist, does that mean his analysis is wrong?

          We may also put it this way – it’s funny, the blogger, an atheist, is defending a (Catholic) bishop.

        2. You’re a blog poster here and I can assume you’ve access to the email address of the commenters. You may email me as to where I can send the bishop’s office reply to me.

          Or you may send me a note to my FB account.

        1. When I read your blog, I have more questions than information. So, I wanted to engage in the dialogue, but your exchanges with Trosp substantially covered my concerns. I do not wish to add on it.

          However, I find your article (with your comments below) biased against the Catholic church [not merely on what the bishop said–or not said] and lack of in-depth analysis [e.g. the problem of poverty]. Only a folly insists on his erroneous interpretation when his ideas are rationally challenged.

  19. It seems to me it’s unfair to mischaracterize the Catholic of being liars etc. without citing direct quotations from whoever who said that in Catholic leaderships.

    Huwag nating gawing pakyawan!

  20. Hey guys,

    I am getting confused here. Now what is the real issue here?

    Is it something about what a bishop allegedly have said?

    Or:
    If poverty is a problem then what is the problem exactly?
    If poverty is a problem then for/to whom is it a problem?
    And if poverty is a problem then shouldnt we be looking for real practical solutions instead of keep on talking about it?

    We can look at poverty from different angles.

    On a micro scale – per individual poor household – and ask the bread winner (family) if they have a problem with their own poverty?
    If all (or the majority) members of a specific poor household say they dont have a problem with being poor then it is not a problem. And as long as they dont bother me (as hypothetical neighbour of them) with them being poor than that poor household is no problem and no threat for me.

    On a macro scale – all poor households together – and estimate/”investigate”/survey if being poor is bad for the economy, for crime, for tourism, for progress, for the church, for growth etc etc.

    1. 🙂

      Hi Robert.

      Originally this thread was to discuss the statement of Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the archdiocese of Daet, made in the aftermath of the RH bill being signed into law, that “poverty…was not a problem.” Now it has mutated into a debate over what constitutes free speech and the duties of a Catholic to the church and its representatives. It has gotten a bit out of hand. For that I apologize to ChinoF for the turn this discussion has taken.

      1. Hi John,

        I do the same more often than I like. De-touring the original Blog issue to another issue. So I am guilty as charged.

        Personally I think its not that important what someone said. We can find common ground about what he said is right and true or not and then move on to solve it or move on to the next issue. Dont make a statement a person made too important. Use it to get to the point and solve it. Otherwise we still will be here next year (January 2014) discussing whether it is YES or NO he said it or not. Discriminate/Distinguish/Seperate real issues from far less important issues. The Philippines have a job to do if they want to progress, evolve and improve. Be pro-active, re-active or passive.

        Thats why all this made me so confused. And I am just a foreigner who happened to have a Philippine partner.

        1. Who are those who hate what you say?

          Are you that onion skinned?

          Hate means to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward.

          Who could that be that person(s) who intensely and passionately dislike what you say?

    2. Understanding a problem or issue starts with a clear definition of the key elements of said problem. Thus I propose we can start with what my personal definition of poverty is:

      Poverty is the outcome of a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently unable to honour.

      Thus the issue can then be broken down into two parts:

      (1) Why is poverty endemic in the Philippines? (Implies an effort to understand Filipinos’ habitual behaviours that exacerbate and deepen their impoverishment)

      (2) Why is poverty chronic in the Philippines? (Implies an effort to understand Filipinos’ inherent lack of collective ability to prosper)

      Teach a man to fish… 😉

        1. Yes, it is always a problem. That’s my point. To say that even for a while that is not a problem can encourage more people to desire becoming poor and being a social burden.

      1. There was a report published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) entitled “Poverty in the Philippines: Causes, Constraints and Opportunities” (December 2009).

        http://www.adb.org/publications/poverty-philippines-causes-constraints-and-opportunities

        It provides some excellent insights into the effects of poverty in the country.

        So…Is poverty and/or (over)population the cause of the Philippines’ problems? NO. Poverty is NOT THE ROOT CAUSE of our country’s problems. The growing population of the Philippines, and our failure to manage it, as well as the growing number of Filipino poor are SYMPTOMS of a wider, endemic problem of inefficiency and misgovernance coupled with persistent sociopolitical instability and conflict.

        Is poverty a problem in and of itself? That’s a resounding YES. Having a large number of people living below the poverty line has a significant impact on economic growth and development.

      2. Indeed, using my brilliant definition, we see poverty for what it is — not an ideological construct but a basic resource management issue. Poverty is a symptom rather than the root cause of a society’s most fundamental problems.

        Anemia (an impoverishment of the substance of one’s blood) does not necessarily mean a deficit in essential minerals needed for production of key blood components. It could be a symptom of a body’s inability to process said minerals even when these minerals are present in abundance within said body.

        That’s analogous to the Philippine condition over most of its history. Despite the Philippines being host to abundant natural resources, and now, an abundant supply of people, the society as a whole lacks a collective ability to process these resources into any sort of valuable economic output of consequence.

        Thus the Philippines remains impoverished.

      3. @Benign0,

        So is it fair to say that there is no connection whatsoever between:
        – amount of the salary (Philippine rewarding system of wages)
        – cost of living
        – good, quality education (or lack thereof)
        – (over)population
        – creating more quality jobs by either the government or private sector
        – quality of – in demand – export products and/or services
        – lack of modern utilities/technology
        – quality of available transportation (distribution and also for the commuting of personell)

  21. it is your god’s will that filipinos reproduce and become indentured servants of other countries.

    some poverty is inborn, inherited from parents so that is a different category

    1. Sendonggirl,

      “it is your god’s will that filipinos reproduce”
      But in normal situations and circumstances the people have their own free will to go against what god’s will is/may be.

      “some poverty is inborn, inherited from parents so that is a different category”

      How on this God’s green earth can poverty be inborn and inherited by parents?
      If and when my parents are poor I will accept that as a temporarily fact. But if they wont do anything to get out of it then they will have a big problem with me.
      As kid of poor parents, I will be just even more motivated not ending up in the same situation and circumstances. By doing everything I can to get a better life.
      If – because of my parents being poor – they cant afford paying tuition for me, I may consider commiting suicide although it is much better to teach them a lesson why they procreated in the first place knowing they cant give anything to me (their kids).

      Back to square 1: The people dont use their brain cells when the church is preaching about procreation (and preaching about other things). They just listen and do obediently. Probably poverty equals low intelligence; poverty equals no mind of their own; poverty equals not thinking & not listening critically.

      1. “The people dont use their brain cells when the church is preaching about procreation (and preaching about other things). They just listen and do obediently.”

        So, Robert, because you stop listening to what the Church is preaching about procreation (and preaching about other things), you can be considered a person who is using his brain cell.

        Ugh! Give me a break.

        1. If I am poor then my circumstances are so bad that procreating is the stupidiest thing to do. Will a bigger family make me richer in terms of money, wealth and circumstances?
          We always first look at our circumstances before we will decide to “have sex for procreational purposes”. If we are housed too little then we will NOT procreate. We will first look for a bigger house. If we earn too little a salary, we will first look for a job that pays better before we “have sex for procreational purposes”.
          That is using one’s brain. We will not let us dictate what to do when we cant “afford” it. That would be stupid to do and not beneficial for all of the family members (current and future members).
          You wanna live in a 2 room apartment with 2 adults and 5 kids? Wow. Where is the privacy? Can I have my own bed room? Where is the quality of life?

        2. Robert,

          See what I mean.

          Read again your counter-comment to my comment.

          That, by your definition, is using your brain cell in making an argument?

          Give us a break with your using the brain cell thing.

          If your brain would be for sale, I would buy it right away!

        3. Robert,

          “Why buy MY brain if you have enough brain cells yourself?”

          I want to buy your brain because it’s still unused.

      2. poor parents will sometimes not send their children to school. they will also try to rape or pimp them, or force them to work at early age. based on experience this is

        1. In my country there is a governmental agency that has only one “job” and that is to protect the kids from situations like you described. The parents will lose custody and parenthood over their own kids and the kids will be put in protective custody. What will happen with the parents? I am not sure but for sure they will be the disgrace and embarrassment/humilitation of the street, barangay, village and what not.

          We also have an agency “inspection for the education”. They will visit all parents of which kids did not report to school. So if a kid is not in class, it will be filed/reported to that inspection agency.

    1. @ed

      Let’s see who’s stupid.

      That bishop claimed that poverty is not a problem and because of that, according to you he’s stupid.

      And you’re not.

      If we’re going to go with the cause and effect principle, poverty is not the cause. It’s the effect. Not the problem.

      Can you tell me how poverty is a problem?

      1. I don’t see any poverty here in the Philippines. what do we have here are injustices seen in the abuses of power. Let us set aside the problem of poverty in our country. Let us take first the realities within us as individuals and the prevailing attitude of the Filipinos especially those who are in power. 1. We are not used to have equal, just and fair treatment. Second, it is always our attitude to be always on top and make advances how to put others even to the worst condition. We seem to feel better while looking a others with nothing and feel so much proud of ourselves having much. Third, We called ourselves Christians but we fail to realize its deeper meaning. We can even make greater things for our brothers and sister by the virtue of being Christians. Fourth, something wrong with our behavior, with our mentality, even the church people, the cardinals, bishops, priests, and nuns sometimes fell short in their practice of genuine charity. Always the self is the first being taken care of. Ordinary people what I mean those not in the special vocation are much more vulnerable. Sorry, there is no actually poverty in the Philippines what we really have here in the Philippines are the selfish motives when given a chance to hold office and power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.