3 Things The Local Catholic Church Should Own Up To

mar_leni_catholic_church

Okay, let’s get this tidbit out of the way first:

Yes, I was raised Catholic and I continue to practice my religion to this very day. I do it because I really do believe in a God Who loves His people regardless of who or what they are and has, over the ages, provided them ways to better themselves and those around them. I am not ashamed to say that it is the spirit of morality found in the Bible that forms the core of my moral compass. However, just because I adhere to Catholic doctrine doesn’t mean I abide the injustices committed by those who claim to be “Catholic”.

Truth be told, this is another reason why I am deeply disdainful of Pinoy society. I have always believed that religion is a good thing as it may be a good place to start in order to form one’s sense of morality. Unfortunately, here in the Philippines, just about everything is easily corrupted by our dysfunction. From even the most innocent of intentions to great ideologies, the evil (yes, I’m gonna go ahead and call it that now) in our culture manages to subvert even the kindest of concepts and transforms them into disgusting mockeries of what they should be.

Now, let’s talk about religion, more specifically the Catholic Church. Truth be told, I once held a hefty amount of respect for the religious institution I was once born into. However, over the years, I’ve come to notice a strong discrepancy between the local Catholic Church and their counterparts in other countries. Thing is, I know that the Catholic Church has its own flaws and issues since it is made of human beings who are every bit as fallible as you and me. Unfortunately, here in the Philippines, instead of being spiritual advisers to the common people (as they often are in other countries), they have essentially become a tyrannical institution with delusions of grandeur.

Worse, they like to cover up any evidence of their own failings throughout history. Look, like I said, I’m Catholic as well but I tend to think that the Church shouldn’t cover up its flaws like a teenager struggling to get his pants back on after being caught masturbating. I think it’s time that the local Catholic Church own up to its own issues as even the Bible itself tells us to always stand with the truth.

Anyway, here are three things that I things that I think our local brand of the Catholic Church should own up to:

Child Molestation

This is by far the worst offender so I’m putting it forth first. The thing is, while I still think that there are still a good number of Catholic clergymen who are morally upstanding people, the issue of child molestation among the clergy is starting already a huge issue on a global level. Unfortunately, once again, the Catholic Church and its media allies are quick to expunge any shows that expose the unholy practices of a lot of its major members. You may get one or two, but these tend to be very few and far between.

For one thing, I will say that the TV show May Bukas Pa wasn’t really all that bad and indeed had some merits of its own. Unfortunately, the way they whitewashed the local church was unbelievable. They were portrayed as the ultimate authority of good in the show and were never shown in a negative light.

I was thinking that, since the show was about a child with miraculous powers, why didn’t they make an episode wherein the protagonist would be menaced by a pedophile priest and then use his God-given gifts to bring the corrupt clergyman to justice?

Corruption In The Church

Look, I know that corruption saturates just about everything in our little country and that the Church is pretty much fair game in all of this. Unfortunately, again, the Church just loves to hide from the masses that they too are involved in much of the political and financial corruption happening in the country. I know they’re not perfect people, but why do they have to go to such lengths to hide the more darker aspects of their organization.

Indeed, as mentioned above, the local Catholic Church has essentially become a glorified institution that more often plays a part in politics even when our very own constitution outright states that it shouldn’t. It has a hand in a lot of organizations and activities in the Philippines which it has little to no business in such as birth control, sexual preferences and practices and, of course, political affairs. I often wonder why it’s just so hard for some people to fully understand the meaning of “separation of church and state” or is it because someone is keeping the truth hidden from the common people.

And now, they want to make Cory Aquino a saint huh?

Unbelievable…

History Of Violence

I’m adding this here not because I think Islamist terrorists have a right to attack Christians because of past transgressions. Indeed, I think that we are all responsible and accountable for our present actions and that any form of victimization is not a valid excuse for victimizing others. However, I still think that the local branch of the Catholic Church should still own up for a lot of the crap that was committed all those years ago instead of backpedaling when confronted with historical facts.

I’m only taking the time to mention this because I once heard a sermon wherein the local priest seemed to expound that Christians, or more specifically Catholics, are incapable of violence like the Muslims, Jews and Hindus of the world. This despite the fact that all the ruckus in Northern Ireland does, in fact, involve Catholics.

Yes, we’ve come a long way from the idiotic peasants of Medieval of Christendom (Or have we?) and the Inquisition no longer exists in any form. No, we don’t burn witches at the stake any more either. However, I think the Catholic Church should stop presenting itself as a bastion of moral perfection when it clearly isn’t just as no religion in the world can claim any sort of moral superiority.

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32 Comments on “3 Things The Local Catholic Church Should Own Up To”

  1. what’s up? pnoy keeps on signing laws. what is this DICT? DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY? is this relevant to the FOI mayor Rody promised the Pilipinos to be implemended?

    sounds like the Pilipinos failed again?

  2. Grimwald,

    Do you really believe the Catholic Church will own up to those 3 sins and more? This is why the late Cardinal Jaime Sin had died a sinner? He condoned many of the sins of past politicians–by turning the other cheek–and let them do what they wanted to do to the country. If Juan Ponce Enrile is the “Devil in Disguise” of the Failippine government, then Cardinal Sin was the “scourge” of the country’s Catholic Church. And their legacies continue….

    Aeta

  3. The “idiotic peasants of Medieval Christendom”, hmmm, be careful not to 21st-century-chauvinistically smear people of old, it’s similar to the vacuous “it’s 2016!” “argument”. A little humility goes a long way against both moral and intellectual superiority. Good article, generally! I agree with the first point, no excuses for that! The second point too, yes, there has been evidence of corruption and cover up of the first point, except for the separation of church and state part, which is largely misunderstood, surprisingly even by this article: In a democracy, everyone has a say in political affairs, that includes groups like the CBCP; the non-establishment clause simply means the government shouldn’t have any religious test (favoring one over another) in its application of justice and providing of services, another side to the doctrine of separation is freedom of conscience/thought that the government must never infringe on the religious rights of the people. So let’s not turn it over its head and let’s quit perpetuating the idea that a certain group, influential or not, cannot lobby government in policy-making when that is everyone’s right. The last point seems inadequately explored, I think you need to provide examples of local church violence, if any. “Religious” violence are mostly politically motivated in actual fact, and we don’t judge a worldview by its abuse: A stark difference presents itself when Muslims commit violence in keeping with Muhammad’s commands vis-a-vis when supposed Christians do evil things that goes against the teachings of Christ. I would be happy to add though that (1) the Catholic Church has infringed freedom of speech/expression in the 1950s opposing the Rizal Law under Magsaysay (if I’m not mistaken), they wanted to prevent access to Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and to me that was something bigger than RH law (which can be argued against without resorting to religious discussions), so, it’s good that the state prevailed there, but then again, it was through a legitimate political process. I still think they owe us an apology for that. And (2) historically, the Catholic Church in Spanish Felipinas did not concern itself so much with education as much as its counterparts in Europe and the Americas did, as a result less than 5% of Filipinos spoke Spanish at the turn of the century. Finally, about anything “presenting itself as a bastion of moral perfection… superiority”, it is quite tricky; it has this tendency to fire back at anyone criticizing someone (some group) other than himself, as Rochenfocauld said “the charge of hypocrisy is a compliment vice pays to virtue”. I’m sure you’d agree, we are all fallible human beings as you say in need of grace from The One Who ultimately objectively grounds moral values like nothing else can. So it would be reckless to play down the role of religion in the moral evaluation of human acts as scientist Werner Heisenberg said, and I think he was pretty certain about it, that religion provides the foundation for ethics. Thanks Grim!

  4. of course there is God. the one who created earth and life. but this God don’t talk and write. Mayor Rody is right. religions is politics. our christmas celebrations, the chalice, the holy sacrament, the cross etc, are all paganism.

    the SUN is the God. who created the earth and all living things.

    1. pusoy,

      “…religions is politics. our christmas celebrations, the chalice, the holy sacrament, the cross etc, are all paganism.”

      I like that.

      Aeta

    2. Hey pusoy, God did reveal Himself quite decisively in the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, He communicates with us, as seen in nature and the universe, in Scripture, through people. Not “all religion are paganism”, surely Folk Catholicism made its way into Filipino brand of Christianity, but to say it’s all pagan symbols would be a categorical mistake looking at the surface without delving deep into the semiotics and transformation of meanings behind symbols. Certainly, what separates Judaism, Islam and Christianity (monotheisms) from other religions that paved the way for scientific enquiry is that these treated the universe, including the sun, which is a star, as non-divine contingent material things, not god(s) worthy of any reverence but the creation of a single all-powerful metaphysically necessary being.

    3. Pusoy,
      The Zika-virus is caused by the mosquito. The mosquito infects a pregnant woman and the unborn child is now deformed by microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies in infants born of women infected with the virus.

      And god created both the mosquito and the human being. So what does that tewll you?

  5. The Spanish Inquisition done by the Spanish Roman Catholic Church, was the worst time, when people, were tortured and burned on stake. They are branded as Heretics and Witches.The Italian Scientist: Galileo, who taught people, that the world is round; was subjected to Catholic Church Inquisition. He was nearly burned on the Stake. There were many men of Science and Technology, who were burned on stake. Because, their Scientific findings , were contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church…

    If we read, Dr. Jose Rizal’s novel of : “Noli Me Tangere”. We can understand the misbehavior of the Roman Catholic Church friars, in the Philippines, during his time (Spanish time).

    Child molestation is a valid issue of some Catholic Priest. There are Pedophile priests…I know a Catholic Priest, who has a married woman, as his mistress.

    As Jesus Christ had stated: “They are whitewashed tombs…Beautiful on the outside, but inside, full of dead man’s bones !”…

    Catholic Priests, practice what you preach !

    1. Today is the Death Day of Copernicus. You may remember Copernicus as the guy who said “hey, what if the earth revolved around the sun?”
      To which the Catholic Church replied “hey, what if we burned you at the stake?”

    2. Hey Hyden, I make no excuses for the Spanish Inquisition, it was as you say, “the worst time”. However, I would like for everyone to critically examine the history of Copernicus, Galileo, etc., and the Catholic Church, turns out, it’s not as what pop science history and the media tells us, even a reading of it on wikipedia will tell you it’s not as the popular TV shows and misinformed people online tells us it is. Who were these “many men of Science and Technology, who were burned [at] stake”? Certainly not Copernicus, and neither is Bruno? Because it wasn’t really for his “science and technology”? Nicholas of Cusa, a German theologian, a century ahead of Copernicus, has already hinted at the earth not being the center of the universe, against the Aristotlelian view that pervades much of the church since Aquinas. Had Copernicus read Nicholoas of Cusa’s works, he would’ve been more encouraged to publish his work on the heliocentric model earlier, which was initially well-received by the church by the way, until politics within scientists got involved. The conflict between science and Christianity has been perpetuated over and over again and has become some sort of secular fairy tale; these events weren’t about science per se but about politicization of science and religion. It still happens today, of course, it would be naïve to think otherwise.

      And, I love El Filibusterismo, it is my favorite novel and I agree that it’s not only misbehavior but really oppression and injustice we got at the hands of the friars. Jesus Christ’s warning is for all of us, lest we become like the Pharisees of His day, we all should practice what we preach, granted, of course, that we are fallible human beings, that includes priests, so there is allowance for failing to achieve perfection. Does that mean we should all stop preaching and spreading the Good News of grace, not at all, as Christians, we struggle in this together, we should help each other become better people (Christ-like as they say) and not ignore evil, injustice that stems from immorality, after all we all want a better society/community/Philippines and world, and that starts in ourselves and our neighborhoods. Thanks for your thoughts, 444Hyden007Toro9999.99!

      1. I was just writing what happened to men of Science in the time of inquisition. I do not mean to demean your beloved
        Catholic Church. The same way, as there are convicted pedophile priests today. There are even priests, who keep mistresses.

        The good teachings of Jesus Christ are different from the bad behaviors of some Catholic priests. The influencing of the political system in the Philippines by the Catholic Church is wrong. All religions must stay out of politics.

        The behaviors of the Aquinos, especially , the adulterous behaviors of Kris Aquino were never condemned by the Catholic Church. Feudal Oligarchy was never condemned by the Catholic Church; because they are owners of large tracks of lands, themselves with tenants and serfs.

        Believe what you want; and practice your religion, whatever it may be…however, it must be from the heart; and not to pretend, and show everybody, that you are a good practicing Catholic. In truth, you are not !

        1. Yes, you’re quite right that I’m not… Catholic. 😉 I would like for a real historical treatment of “what happened to men of science at the time of the inquisition” not assertions that arent factual. And son’t you worry bro, I couldn’t care less if you demean any religion at all, hey it’s a free country, but just make sure it’s based on actual facts. The influencing of politics” by any group, religious or otherwise, is part of democracy, so it’s not actually “wrong”. That is the usual misconception on what the doctrine of separation says. I make no excuses for the excesses of the Catholic church just as much as any group who are bedfellas with corrupt politicians. There are ways to ensure these are systemically curbed. Thanks for the engagement, Hyden!

  6. “I am not ashamed to say that it is the spirit of morality found in the Bible that forms the core of my moral compass… I have always believed that religion is a good thing as it may be a good place to start in order to form one’s sense of morality…”

    Grimwald, have you even read that Bible in its entirety? Because if you have, you would know that there is no morality in it whatsoever. History would also tell you that organized religion or religion per se is not a good thing nor is it a good place to start forming one’s sense of morality.

    You do realize how futile your effort is in lampooning the catholic church or any other religion right? All you did was to contradict and make a fool of yourself. You said so yourself, you adhere to their doctrine. By that alone you are, in effect, a part of the problem that plagues this society. How can you free the people’s mind from ignorance when you’re validating it?

    1. “have you even read that Bible in its entirety? Because if you have, you would know that there is no morality in it whatsoever.”

      OK, Grim, I’ll let you answer this largely misinformed claim. 😉

      1. Grimwald,

        Yes, that sense of morality starts somewhere. That somewhere start from within ourselves in our awareness that we all want to be happy and avoid suffering; and that everything we do–good or bad–affect all of us whether we realize it or not.

        You don’t need religion for that. What we all need instead is to become less selfish and be more compassionate toward ourselves, others, and this planet.

        Aeta

      2. And you’re off to a bad start bro. Perhaps try something a little less intrusive in society like Buddhism or Taoism.

        1. Kin,

          And what do you think the tenet of my comment on selflessness and compassion, as well as how we think and behave affect others was all about? That doesn’t sound like you’re run of the mill Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam, does it?

          Aeta

      3. Yes, objective moral values can only exist if God exists. If the material universe is all that there is, as Bertrand Russell said something to the effect, all our actions and behaviors would be ultimately meaningless so it really doesn’t matter in the end whether you have lived a “good” life or not. So Nietzsche advocated we all selfishly pursue what makes us happy and make sure we have less suffering for ourselves regardless of the feelings/experiences of others, why love our neighbor when we can exploit them for our own “good”. Compassion will not make any difference when we all “commit ourselves”, according to Russell, “to the great perhaps”, the eventual heat-death of the universe.

        1. Pepe,
          “objective moral values can only exist if God exists.”
          This can only mean a few things:
          – Atheists dont have moral values; or
          – Atheists can only have subjective moral values.
          (I can live with the latter).

          You use ter word ‘if’, so that means you are not sure or that you are doubtfull?

          Atheists – like me – take the practical approach. What works for me, is fine.

          I only live about 80-90 years. I have to make it in those 80-90 years of which most of those years are about competing in a rat race.
          Graduating from university, find a good job, have a decent income, stay healthy and when being lucky enough, able to travel (vacation). Thats it in a nut shell.

        2. Hey Rob! How are you? Good to see you replying to my comment! The statement “objective moral values can only exist if God exists” certainly does not mean “atheists don’t have moral values”, it would be that in atheism there is no foundation to the existence of objective moral values. So, yeah, I think the statement “atheists can only have subjective moral values” is quite right and that seems to be exactly “what works for me” approach, which may not be what works for someone else. The term “if” is modified by “only” so that’s an “only if”, objective moral values exist only if God exists. So, if one claims to be an atheist, she would have no justification for morality, good and evil are simply subjective preferences, non-binding, non-universal. This is pretty damning for anyone who believes in human rights, for example, because it is ultimately illusory, there is nothing in the universe that imbibes inherent worth in the human organism or any organism for that matter.

        3. Pepe,
          In absolute terms and the way you write it, I do agree. But in the real world it doesn’t happen that way. You make it sound like I can rape every girl, get away with it (hands down) and even feel good about it. I really think that all or most decisions made by atheists are always taken by asking a few questions first. But words like ‘ethics’, ‘morality’ are not part of that equation.
          I don’t want to start to talk about abortion again so I will use another example. Lets suppose you ask my advice and/or my help. I can do a slobby job (in helping you) or I can do it in the best way I can. For me that has nothing to do with ethics and/or morality. First, I can help you and second I will always give my best. Now, in case I was having a bad day then I might not give you my best. So then I will tell you to not help you (If I would help you – despite my mood – the result might be meager, mediocre). So, to help you, is not practical. It is not in my benefit and not in yours to help you when I am in the wrong mood. Unless you are fine with a solution that works for 50% (Are you?).

          Now, if you take the above into consideration then that is how we do things. Is it practical. does it solve anything in an efficient way. So, can I ‘cheat’ you? Yes I can but that is not practical.

        4. Hey Rob! It is quite similar to Quantum mechanics. Just because quantum events seems to defy classical or “real world” events doesn’t make quantum less true nor does it make quantum otherworldly somehow disconnected to reality, but we know that isn’t true. Frankly, if naturalism is true, one can, whether atheist or Christian or what-not, let me juggle your sentence a bit, “rape every girl, and even feel good about it, [if one] gets away with it”. You notice the subtle difference there? In fact that’s what happened to Dr. Joseph Mengele, he didn’t get caught, he died rather peacefully, and until the end he denied he did anything wrong. So are we to believe that? Not really, because what he did was objectively wrong, independent of perspectives, such as practical purposes. You see ethics and morality undergirds our sense of justice and universal fairness especially in dealing with each other and within the human society at large. Once you do not have a universally binding standard in place, whoever just gets away with it, practically just gets away with it. I wouldn’t say it’s absolute, certainly not, because we do have grey areas such as your example above, I’d be more modest in my claim, it is at the very least objective.

        5. Pepe,
          To ‘new’ rape is occuring with the use of condoms. So I dont leave any trails. So I can get away with it. Harsh? Or just fact(s)? And I have to make sure I dont leave any other DNA particles behind on the body of the victim. Now that will be difficult. Or I must wear gloves. So the ‘fun’ is gone and never was there to begin with. Rape is just a power-trip and born out of frustration by the rapist.

          You mention Mengele. What he did was awful and below any dignity.
          But nowadays, we actually do the same. We are looking for the borders, the limits. But now it happens out in the open and transparant. Stem-cell research, freezing ones own egg cells (bec due to radiation as cancer treatment, I can still save my own eggs cells/sperm cells for later use).

          Today we are doing things and we can do things thanks to modern technology. In my country, all the religious political parties (SGP, CU & CDA) are against it bec ‘we’ intervene in god’s plan. And they use words like ethics and moral(ity). For me its clear that those words will hinder progress (esp in the field of research).

          I am quite convinced that – one day – we can MAKE the perfect human being. And that we can and will be able to have eternal life. We just have to find what makes our cells ageing and then stop that process. Is that unethical and immoral? Why yes, why no? For me its simply a question of is it smart and what are down-sides of it.

    2. Blackbriar,
      ‘Truth be told’, the author is also a god-fearing human being. So how can you expect, the author to be critical about his own ‘house’?
      He just might be afraid he might lose some readers/commenters when he starts criticizing his own ‘house’.

  7. Catholic Priests should be allowed to marry so they don’t pick on little kids or impregnate pretty nuns behind the scenes.

    St. Paul wrote about the Catholic clergy…

    1 Timothy 4

    The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry

    —-

    In Noli, María Clara is in fact the illegitimate offspring of Padre Dámaso, a Spanish friar, and Doña Pia, whom he coerced into sexual relations. (wiki)

    People with basic common sense have been exposing these freaks since time immemorial – how come it’s only now people are waking up?

    1. Well, blame it on Pope Gregory the Great. Though ironically, he’s one of the most liberal popes even John Calvin praise him.

      That aside, yeah. The Philippine Catholic Church should catch up with the time, or they’ll just dig a much bigger hole for themselves.

    2. Hey Zaxx, I don’t think it solves everything, after all, we also have Protestant pastors who “pick on little kids and impregnate pretty [women] behind the scenes”, but I’d agree that it’s the right direction and may actually lessen extramarital affairs of Catholic priests. But the paedophile priests such as Paul Shanley, hero of LGBT activists in the 70s, or paedophiles in general (in schools, pediatrics, and other industries that work with children) may have this idea that they were actually “born this way” and have no control/choice in their sexual desires.

  8. I don’t know how you feel, but I’m pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else. The Catholic Church alone could wipe out the national debt if all you did was tax their real estate.

    1. Hi d_forsaken! I see this all the time. I think it is misdirected. We should all be fighting for less to no taxes and not “crabbily” pull down others into the taxation mire. Secondly, why do we have such a yuge national debt to begin with? When we are already being taxed to death? So when the churches and other charitable institutions no longer get tax-exempt status, do you really believe that government will pay this national debt? You seem to trust our politicians too much.

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