Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle should just shut up about the Yolanda victims

Recall the monstrous earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan back in 2011 causing untold death and suffering there. The stoicism and quiet grace with which the Japanese greeted the unimaginable destruction and loss of life, mobilised its forces to assess and respond, and reached out to the global community to receive assistance speaks volumes of the magnificence of Japanese society. Japan’s prayers are different from our prayers. Being a predominantly Shinto and Buddhist society, Japanese prayers generally express a profound respect for nature and an acute mindfulness for one’s surroundings. Emphasis is on a life led in harmony with nature and recognition that one is but a part in a vast ecosystem.

In contrast, Catholics see nature as subject to man, and man subject to the “mysterious” whims of their wrathful and all-controlling God. As such, a Catholic’s prayers put emphasis on their subjection to the will of God (to explain adversity) and their being showered with his graces (to explain good times). For Catholic Filipinos, prayer is surrender, while for the Japanese, prayer is expressed as reverence for a system of which one is but a mere part. A Catholic’s prayer is about deliverance from the physical world, while that of the average Japanese is about embrace of the physical world.

After-the-fact reflection is clearly evident in how the Roman Catholic Church is pitching its case for relevance in the aftermath of the disaster wrought by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Former Church media spokesman Monsignor Ramon Aguilos reportedly quoted Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in a mass he officiated last week, thus:

“The eyes of the world and the universal Church are on you, people of Tacloban and Leyte. Instead of me consoling you, it’s you who are consoling me. Your resilience, your steadfast, deep-seated vow inspire the world community and the universal Church,” Tagle said in his homily, as quoted by Aguilos.

Tagle also urged the faithful to not be afraid to ask God why they were suffering due to Yolanda. He said that like a child, they had the right to ask this question from their parent.

“This is an opportunity for God to listen to His people,” Tagle said.

We should “not be afraid to ask God why [we] suffer[…]”;

An “opportinity for God to listen to His people”…

All sounds nice and peachy, doesn’t it? That is, if you manage to suspend your higher thinking faculties indefinitely. But try latching on to such words when the proverbial brown stuff remains scattered all over the place since it hit the proverbial fan a couple of weeks ago and doing so will feel more like trying to hang on to a greasy pole. It’s all so nebulous. You can’t grasp it or harvest any real meaning out of words like these. All you really get is a temporary emotional fix. Try and apply these words to the real work that needs to be done in the coming months? Well, good luck with that. God listens, perhaps. But chances are, you will have to rely on a really colourful imagination to work out what his answer is.

yolanda_victims

You wonder how not just a handful of people but an entire global organisation can get away with routinely issuing virtually meaningless words like these. On what basis, exactly, does Tagle say with this sort of perception of certainty that the plight of the people of Tacloban “inspire the world community”? What is the precise nature of this “inspiration”? Which specific sectors in this “world community” are being inspired? What exactly is the logical and tangible earthly relief being offered here? Ask the right questions and you will get shut down, unfortunately.

The Church does not really promise much to the living. As far as religious “faith” is concerned, the real party happens after you die. So no problemo, man. All you get in the world of the living is a God who “listens”. Oh yeah, and watches too.

Perhaps what we need more of in the future is a different form of “prayer”. And here, when I say “prayer”, I don’t mean the sorts of prayer we are encouraged to chant to ourselves to give ourselves some sort of nebulous assurance that our future is taken cared of by an omnipotent and omnipresent being. What we can do better is pay attention to the abundance of real knowledge that modern technology allows us unprecedented access to that we can learn from. A start would be applying a more serious effort to studying the way that other disaster-prone country anticipates adversity and copes with its aftermath when it does visit — Japan.

Unlike our prayers, which are generally uttered after the fact of a tragedy, the Japanese people, in a manner of speaking, “pray” before the fact. The vast and carefully thought-out measures they had put in place to anticipate and mitigate the risk of a disaster such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is Japan’s “prayer” for its dead and suffering in the aftermath. Such a sort of prayer, in my opinion, is far superior to the Catholic’s prayer. Being done before the fact, it frees minds to focus on acting with clarity of purpose when adversity strikes, rather than imprisoning minds with questions about and surrender to a god’s “purpose” as the case would be for after the fact prayers.

And that is what true resilience is and where real inspiration comes from — when there are convincing results rather than unsubstantiable hope, and where there is clear evidence of self-reliance rather than protracted neediness.

While the loss of life in Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 monster earthquake is staggering, it cannot be said to be one that resulted from any form of reckless neglect. Because the Japanese had done all it can in life to respect the living it has little need for prayers — only a focus on action and learning and the tangible support coming from nations that are, themselves, possessing of characters consistent with an ethic underpinned by respect for human dignity in life.

[Photo courtesy The Guadian UK.]

print

Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

Leave a Reply

87 Comments on "Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle should just shut up about the Yolanda victims"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Paulo
Guest

I beg to disagree. True catholics embrace the physical realities of the world. Maybe you only know a few of them?

MidwayHaven
Guest

Unfortunately, “true Catholics” apparently don’t exist in the Philippines, given the intimacy of the Church-State dichotomy here.

Paulo
Guest

Then you are clearly delusional. I think it’s you who needs to “get real.”

MidwayHaven
Guest

^ citation needed

joeld
Guest

@ paulo

How many people declare themselves as catholics? This is shown by how many people attend church on sundays. And out of this huge number of catholics do you suppose really practice what is preached? Because as far as I see it, catholics go to church on a sunday but get drunk on friday and saturday or get a whore. Or catholic spouses who go to church but have child/children out of the marriage or even an affair.

You must really be clueless on the realities of life.

Paulo
Guest

Believers, Catholics for example, are not perfect. They sin like other none-Catholics. It’s easy to see their mistakes since they are dominant here in the Philippines. If they were perfect, or rather, if they think they are perfect, then don’t need faith. Anyway, I think your straying away from the main point here.

joeld
Guest
Nope, you were the one who said “True catholics embrace the physical realities of the world”, I cited real situations in which they seemed to be living the opposite of what is preached by the church, thus, reinforcing the statement by MH that “true catholics” don’t exist. You can always give the excuse of “nobody is perfect”, but the bottom line is, nobody is even trying. Coupled by the “flowery words” of Tagle which really doesn’t mean anything to the typical catholic (which is majority), then this country can sink deeper in this sh__ole. The catholic church has failed big… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

You obviously haven’t met the better Catholics, Joeld. There aren’t so many of them, but I can assure you there are.

ranliv
Guest

Catholics don’t even claimed to be outright saints in the first place like others do. Tell me what religion is exempted from the sins above? I can even say some Locals here in the middle east are having live-in partners, have engage in pre-marital sex, Alchohol and drugs inspite of penatly of lashing with imprisonment. They also have the oldest profession here.

Paulo
Guest

The Catholic church is doing its job, at least, of reminding us about the realities of this world – that amidst the pains and trails, we can still find hope and peace. I think you should address your rants to the government instead. They should be doing their job of finding proactive solutions.

FrancisV
Guest

The PH government should be the one being reminded to do its job.
The Catholic Church is doing a great job and has greatly influenced the Japanese mind and religion.

Jacques Coeur
Guest
Catholicism actually has a huge body of social teachings that are pretty clear that action must accompany prayer (Populorum Progressio is my favorite). I respectfully submit that you took Tagle’s words out of context and ignored the fact that they’re not incompatible with your point–that action must accompany prayer and that idle hope is useless. That said, I agree that in practice most Catholics do not grasp the need to be proactive in this life.But for the record, that is NOT an accurate representation of Catholic belief. And do not get the wrong idea–I have many issues with the Church… Read more »
joeld
Guest

Then he should just have avoided “flowery words” which can be easily misinterpreted by the filipino mind.

Paulo
Guest

Flowery words you say? What about the words of the government officials? That’s flowery for me. Talk, but no walk. So, don’t say that Tagle is flowery. Can you blame him for having a way with his words? Even writers play with poetry to catch the attention of their readers.

joeld
Guest

All I am saying is he could be more effective in conveying his intended message if he went direct to the point and explained what he meant. Go ask your typical juan and pedro if they got his message correctly. This will only strengthen my argument that the catholic church has failed big time with the spiritual and moral aspects of the filipino people.

Nelson
Guest

why not gather the people yourself and preach your beliefs to them if you think yours are better than tagle’s and we’ll see if you will have a following…

waterdragon
Guest
First of all, God hates the idolatrous CAtholics who bow and kneel and pray before idols of wood, stone, resins, metal, gold, silver and even ivory that are taken from thousands/millions of elephants murdered by traders to supply the tusks to CAtholic bishops. Catholic nations in the world are plunge into deep poverty, and Catholic people are given to elect officials who plunder and rob and impose more and more taxes to rob leaving not much enough to help people rise from poverty. Open your eyes, the Philippines is among the poorest (no. 2 or 3) in Asia, and THE… Read more »
jorrel.valdez
Guest

You’ve raised several good points, amigo. But I do have to clarify that the President’s religion may have very little to do with his train wreck of an administration. It doesn’t matter whether he is an “idolatrous” catholic, or a “supremacist” INC or “warmongering” muslim. It is his lack of a rational, realistic and relevant economic platform, coupled with the masa’s natural aversion to self-empowerment, that further plunges our nation into poverty. Let’s focus on the issues at hand amigo.

waterdragon
Guest

you are ‘right’ amigo, but not really. the issue here is the sweet-talking pulpit-preachy filipino catholic bishop, isn’t it?

i’m discussing the president’s religion because as bad as he is as a catholic has he become a bad president.

if he were a ‘good’ catholic, if indeed there are, then maybe he would not be as bad and as corrupt as he is now.

JT Jerzy
Guest

God hates? WTF? God LOVES!!! get a clue, seems like you need one, BADLY!

Chrissie
Guest
Very well-written piece yet again, benign0. You really have a way with words, but I’d like to share my perspective on this matter as a Catholic who looks to God as a true friend and father, if I understood your piece correctly. “Tagle also urged the faithful to not be afraid to ask God why they were suffering due to Yolanda. He said that like a child, they had the right to ask this question from their parent. ‘This is an opportunity for God to listen to His people,’ Tagle said.” I can’t speak for Cardinal Tagle, but if I… Read more »
MidwayHaven
Guest

What bothers me is the contradictory statements of the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines.

Pope Francis mentioned that (at least on a spiritual level) Haiyan’s destruction can’t be explained. However, the CBCP’s bishops have already gone on record saying that the RH Law was the cause of Haiyan.

It’s ultimately the CBCP that needs to watch what it says, because all it does is to keep Filipino Catholics gullible.

Chrissie
Guest
I won’t contest that, MidwayHaven. I embrace the Catholic faith as I can personally attest to how God is present in my life and how my faith has helped and is helping me have a deep personal relationship with Him, which is the only thing that’s enabling me to continue to survive in this maddening world, but I don’t have any illusions about my fellow Catholics, and I know that the Church hierarchy is composed of human beings who are certainly not infallible. (I know that they’re guided by and receive special graces from God considering their immensely important role,… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest
Lest I be misinterpreted here, I, too, don’t embrace the RH Law because after humbling myself and seriously considering the Church’s stand on it and its full reasons for such, I understood and came to believe it with all my mind and heart. I’m not convinced, though, that it’s the cause of Haiyan because what I know is that God is a good God and will not directly inflict harm on His people. He said in the bible that even if there’s only one good and prayerful person remaining in the community, He will not destroy it no matter how… Read more »
joeld
Guest

The catholic church has failed the Philippines, because if it succeeded then we would have in place, God-fearing, morally upright government leaders, not corrupt and self serving idiots. Oh yeah, sure, they go to a catholic churches …. they are catholics in every way….. on paper.

Chrissie
Guest
I agree that the Catholic Church may have failed, but certainly not without trying as an organization that’s not infallible, made up as it is of human beings. We should also consider, of course, that God gifted us with freedom because He loves us so much and does not want to impose Himself on us, and that therefore, it is our decision to embrace or not to embrace the faith. I agree, though, that the Catholic Church could have taught the Filipinos the faith in a better and deeper way because, really, it’s a beautiful faith, but very few really… Read more »
joeld
Guest

@ chrissie

I am a christian (protestant) since birth, and I assure you the difference in teachings of the christian church and the catholic church is night and day. I am not saying one is better than the other but, hey, majority of the filipinos are catholics, and failure to somehow “influence” the people with the “right” wisdom, which I believe is the real purpose of the church in a society, then the result is filipnos from the top down with broken moral compasses.

Chrissie
Guest
I don’t know how the issue of the difference between the Catholic and Christian Churches found its way here, Joeld. The U.S. is predominantly Protestant, but its society is certainly not highly morally upright. This just goes to show that the Church (Christian, Protestant, or any other) cannot single-handedly influence the people to lead moral lives, especially considering that there are so many counter-influences that exist in the society at present (media, etc.), and that many people are increasingly becoming secular or are veering away from the influence of any Church and want to live completely autonomous lives, free of… Read more »
Krystal
Guest
Very well said Chrissie. You got the real point and explanation on the possible thought in the mind of His Eminence Cardinal Tagle. Other than the material/physical supports that the Catholic Church is doing now (which is the primary responsibility of the government), another major role of the Catholic Church is to continue to inspire the people (most especially those that are grievously affected by various calamities in the country), not to loss Hope and Faith in God. That God is one with them, and in them in those sufferings and most struggling moments of their life. They could always… Read more »
libertas
Guest

These c@ck sucking, child abusing, suv driving, alcohol loving catholic priests should shut the fcuk up and seek their own redemption, if that is possible.
They are proof god doesn’t exist, but that the papal mafia does.

Chrissie
Guest

Be careful what you say or you just might realize when it’s too late that there’s a God after all….

waterdragon
Guest

Yes there is a God, but the God as we should know is not being held in faith by Catholics as God wanted Him held and He is angry.

Filipinos Catholics in the world were taught wrongly by sword-wielding rosary-swirling territory and wealth hungry Spaniards who earlier had their lessons of faith from Church in Rome which is in itself infested with pagan beliefs, traditions and rituals.

A santol tree cannot bear an apple, or the local mango fruit.

ranliv
Guest

If not for the Spaniard, you are now bowing 5x a day in the direction of Mecca.

ranliv
Guest

I really hate it when people criticize the church out of ignorance. Sola scriptura? Bible Alone? Where is that in the Bible? Who gave you the authority to declare yourself Pope using an incomplete version of the Bible.

joeld
Guest

What is wrong with that? As I have said, religion has nothing to do with it. At the end of the day (or your life), it is still between you and your God (or non God) if you have made each day (or your lifetime) just a bit better when you started it.

joeld
Guest

that was for ranliv

ranliv
Guest

re·li·gion
riˈlijən/Submit
noun
noun: religion
1.
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
“ideas about the relationship between science and religion”
synonyms: faith, belief, worship, creed; More
a particular system of faith and worship.
plural noun: religions
“the world’s great religions”
a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
“consumerism is the new religion”

Religion has everything to do with it. Your Faith, Belief, Practices like prayer and service is part of your Religion.

joeld
Guest

@ranliv

What I am saying is , is there something wrong with bowing 5 times a day in the direction of Mecca?

Is that really that important whether you are a catholic (BTW the right term is christian), muslim, bhuddist, taoist, etc, if you have your moral compass pointing on the right direction? If you ask me, some muslims stick more to what is right than most catholics I know.

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

@ranliv

I really hate it when people criticize the church out of ignorance. Sola scriptura? Bible Alone? Where is that in the Bible? Who gave you the authority to declare yourself Pope using an incomplete version of the Bible.

Ever heard of the Berean Jew scrutinizing what apostle Paul said? I can’t say if the author took Cardinal Talge’s word out of context or not, but it does not mean Talge is exempted from examination.

Chrissie
Guest
I agree that the Spanish friars could have taught us the Catholic faith better but they didn’t (they emphasized rituals) because they mainly used it as a tool to keep us in a state of ignorance and subjection. But past is past, and studying the faith really well and deeply with the help of truly pious, learned, and well-meaning people will enable us to understand it well. “A santol tree cannot bear an apple, or the local mango fruit.” If by this you mean that a wounded Catholic Church hierarchy cannot produce good Catholics, then I beg to differ. It… Read more »
libertas
Guest

right, and his son is apollo quiboloy!

heaven help us!!

Yawn
Guest

Way to go. Spot on Libertas

If the Catholic Church still think Mary is a virgin then it is fairly obvious they are not into women.

ranliv
Guest

Church Fathers from at least the fourth century spoke of Mary as having remained a virgin throughout her life:

Athanasius (Alexandria, 293-373);
Epiphanius (Palestine, 315?-403);
Jerome (Stridon, present day Yugoslavia, 345?-419);
Augustine (Numidia, now Algeria, 354-430);
Cyril (Alexandria, 376-444);
and others.

http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/maryc2.htm

Final Note: And our doctrine will forever be like that and not subject to any personal interpretation and bias.

Chrissie
Guest

Do you mean to say, Yawn, that all women, past and present, are necessarily promiscuous or can’t do without sex? If that’s what you think, then you’re seriously mistaken.

yawn
Guest

Chrissie
Did i say that? would you like to read what i wrote and tell me where did i write all women are promiscuous and cant do without sex?

I was replying to Libertas post and referring to Catholic priest being a bunch of pedophiles.

So next time before you past judgement might help if you read understand and digest what people are actually talking about before criticizing.

Chrissie
Guest

That’s why I asked if that’s what you meant to say (read my reply again). Even my second sentence was in the “if, then” form, meaning I wasn’t sure that’s what you meant but if that’s what you meant, this was my answer. If that’s not what you meant, then what did you mean?

Myles Delfin
Guest
I love it when people talk tough on the internet, it’s all very exciting in a “Call of Duty” kind of way. I met these, your words, “c@ck sucking, child abusing, suv driving, alcohol loving catholic priests” in Leyte walking barefoot among the survivors doing all that they can to help people find food, water, and shelter. Funny, I didn’t see you there. This is proof that the relevance of your opinion does not exist except in your own foul-mouthed imagination of yourself. If you’re so concerned, I will be in a UN tent at the edge of the runway… Read more »
Myles Delfin
Guest

@libertas

ranliv
Guest

People’s bias will always make them say something bad to others even when a good deed was done. You can always look at Cardinal Tagle’s message on a different point of view but a lot of people who likes to criticize other without looking at themselves in the mirror.

@Libertas, so I presume you spot on sinnless.

MidwayHaven
Guest

So it seems that your argument ultimately boils down to not giving criticisms because the majority doesn’t see anything bad going wrong.

Typical Pinoy mindset.

ranliv
Guest

It only boils down to, there was nothing wrong with what cardinal tagle said in his sermon. As Christ said during Crucifixion, we too can say, Aba why has thou forsaken me.

sancho alconce
Guest

“Prayer: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.” – Ambrose Bierce

Chrissie
Guest

And God may grant it because He loves each of us so much. A human being may not understand it, which only goes to show he’s not God.

ORly?
Guest

“Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle should just shut up about the Yolanda victims”
Anyone is free to say anything he wants. Just any “journalist” or “writer” or commenter (anonymous or not) can say anything he/she wants.

victor c
Guest

Sometimes what they think is inspirational has no relevance at all to the actual happening. How they can keep on spouting ludicrous meaningless gibberish is beyond me. Just close your ears, give your share of your alms, and spread the gospel your way during the week. That’s it.

Sea Bee
Guest

Filipinos see themselves as hapless victims. It is only through sheer luck that the wave hit someone else instead. Luck is the god who must be placated and often in ways that predate Christianity. Many filipinos believe in “encantos” and other assorted fairies and ghosts of aboriginal tribesmen who occupy the world of darkness. Trees, rock formations and other phenomenon have powers to sicken one who lingers too long in its presence.

Myles Delfin
Guest
I worked in Leyte days after the storm to help survivors get in touch with their families and to deliver relief and medical supplies. I rode my bicycle to isolated villages and towns meeting survivors and talking about their experience during the typhoon. Most of them are afraid to the point of trauma. The typhoon was an experience that many of them will not be able to cope with for some time. The people I met have had to live through experiences that many of us will find unimaginable. Parents have had to watch their children drown in the surge… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Thank God for people like you, Myles. May God bless your good soul.

ChinoF
Member

What this seems to tell me is that Filipino culture’s core values and beliefs are antiquated. We are holding onto beliefs that seem to date from the 15th century, and even the Vatican itself seems to have abandoned most of them. But it is here we hold on to them… as if someone trying to make the Philippines the last bastion of backwardness in the world. It really feels that way.

Hyden Toro
Guest

Prayer is just talking to God. Whatever way you know him/her to be.
There are many ways, to prayer: prostrating to Mecca, Saudi Arabia; facing and kneeling before an altar; incantations; whirling yourself to get
high to the heavenly realm; sit crosslegged and concentrate with your mind; etc…I don’t care how you do it. If god listen to you

Hyden Toro
Guest

Sorry, somebody is messing with my blog…another YellowTard again on the lose. I believe in a God, who created all things. But, not a God; who is concerned in you marrying a pretty girl. Sometimes, our asking to God, is senseless. Religious faith differs. One is not superior to the other. The Uniqueness of each religious faith; makes our sense of beliefs interesting…Hey, Yellowtards, you are just wasting your time on me.Mangagsitigil na kayo!!!

Nelson
Guest

Jesus embraced the cross and commended his spirit to the Father. In three days after his death, he resurrected and shamed those who crucified him for he destroyed death and restored life. So what better hope is there for any suffering soul than to believe in the risen Christ? Tagle’s just served the truth of faith in contrast to benignO’s factual mind that cannot understand what the eyes of faith can see.

Paolo
Guest

great piece Benigno, keep it up, this is what makes it interesting, your types put balance in its place. 🙂

i can’t agree more.

j f
Guest

balance?

TotoroKujo
Guest

there are times that a prayer is useless.. especially when urgency is concerned. In the end, it’s up to us to rise up from the ashes.

Chrissie
Guest

You can pray while trying to rise up from the ashes. Believe me, it’ll be easier to rise up from the ashes if there’s an all-knowing, all-powerful, and supremely good being who’s helping you because you asked Him to.

Jaime Veridune
Guest

I have yet to hear a sermon from a priest that tells people that God has already given us strength/knowledge/wisdom so that we may do better come adversities. It’s always asking, not awakening.

What if there is already something in us but is being held back?

ChinoF
Member

I think this is the problem. Some priests may be teaching the people, “if you’re poorer, then you’re entitled to make the richer people give to you.” The problem is, some people already middle class will believe, since they are poorer than the rich, they should also receive hand-outs. This encourages the false sense of entitlement that Filipinos have, and makes people prepare less for things like storms and disasters. Thus, we do not use the God-given wisdom and knowledge for prevention instead of cure.

Jaime Veridune
Guest

Probably there is something lacking with the Church teachers on the “preferential option for the poor”, or many among the lay may have misconstrued it.

Richard
Guest

Religion in general should be banned from the Planet Earth. Most of the Worlds problems today are due to Religion. You believe in God. DO IT PRIVATELY!!! The Philippines is especially fucked up due to Catholicism and the whole Christianity thing in general. It goes away and maybe the Country has a chance of being a real first World country instead of the disaster it is.

JT Jerzy
Guest

Not really, for it happens that religion is just the mechanism used to keep certain reins on the population. if not Catholicism then something else will be used. Like crack cocaine in the west? it is not the methodology, but its underlying causes and root of what the problems are: Greed, and the corruption it causes.

wpDiscuz