At last! Roman Catholic Church taken to task for keeping Filipinos poor

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The Philippines’ once-powerful Roman Catholic Church has finally met its match. For starters, it chose to be on the wrong side of history during the campaign in the lead up to the May 2016 elections. Back on the 1st of May this year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a statement condemning then candidate Rodrigo Duterte as a propagator of “morally reprehensible” positions on the Philippines’ many social challenges.

The CBCP statement adds…

The desire for change is understandable. Our people have suffered from incompetence and indifference. But this cannot take the form of supporting a candidate whose speech and actions, whose plans and projects show scant regard for the rights of all, who has openly declared indifference if not dislike and disregard for the Church specially her moral teachings…

Unfortunately for the CBCP, Duterte is now president. Not only did he decisively bury the Church’s preferred candidate — the prayerful Liberal Party candidate Mar Roxas — in a massive landslide vote, he is reportedly quickly gaining ground taking effective control of the House of Representatives as alliances consolidate around his leadership. Indeed, the Duterte victory, I wrote earlier, was a vote against the dysfunctional status quo presided over by outgoing President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. And, as he now calls it, it is evidently also a referendum against the once-lofty moral ascendancy of the Philippines’ Roman Catholic Church.

Like the Aquino administration, the Church did not do itself any PR favours over the last 30 years. It had zealously blocked the passage of much-needed population control measures, effectively making it complicit to the scourge of the enormous population the Philippines suffers today. Worse, it had, as an organisation, behaved no differently to any of the other oligarchic and feudal clans that dominate Philippine politics. Back in 2011, the Church was embroiled in an explosive scandal surrounding the way Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos successfully solicited the purchase of a brand-new Mitsubishi Montero from then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2009. Bishop de Dios reportedly wrote a letter to then President Arroyo soliciting “donations” to buy him a nice sport utility vehicle (SUV) for his birthday…

MANILA, Philippines – Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos wrote a letter to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in February 2009 to ask for a brand new car for his 66th birthday.

He said he will use the vehicle to reach far-flung areas in the Caraga region.

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

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

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

The Roman Catholic Church once styled itself as the Philippines’ pre-eminent king-maker having used its vast nation-wide network of church buildings and parish priests as a sharp tool of mass communication through which it issues “pastoral letters” denouncing politicians it is against and propping up its preferred candidates. Duterte now boasts of how the 2016 elections proved to be a “public referendum” between him and the CBCP. Given his strong mandate to institute reform, he has vowed to out the Catholic Church’s “sins” and expose it for what it is, a “hypocritical institution” that has “a long history of wrongdoing” (the latter quoting the words of the author of the ABS-CBN News report cited).

Like it or not, the fact is, the Philippines’ Roman Catholic Church is a key part of that dysfunctional status quo under which the Philippines languished as a society for centuries. Its focus on lionising poverty, embedding a deep victim mentality in the psyches of its followers, and promising to them nothing in life and everything in death is a big part of the reason sustainable prosperity eludes the majority of Filipinos today.

It’s high time that Catholic Filipinos start regarding their faith through the harsh lens of reality and modern critical analysis. Only then can real change happen.

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59 Comments on “At last! Roman Catholic Church taken to task for keeping Filipinos poor”

  1. I almost tend to believe that the Church was a political party! Well, I also thought that it is enshrined in our Constitution of the separation of the state and the church? Am I wrong here? Anyway, the commentaries deserve reflection esp. by the Church as to where it should really be esp. when in comes to politics or governance of the land. I thought the Bible (Mark 12:6) is clear enough of the role of the Churches – “And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s”. Church could not say, this is a coin minted by us, hence, the legal tender. Church of course will say, “this is the Bible, the truth and Word of God!”. This is minted by God Almighty, and stands forever until the end of time. Without the separation of the state and Church, the tendency is to blame the Church for whatever ills or retrogression a country is experiencing, so it is better for the Chuch to be “NON-PARTISAN” and avoid POLITICS.

      1. Why should Cory enforce that law? She’s the biggest beneficiary of Catholic Church’s mingling and direct participation for the EDSA 1 uprising and whatever political manipulations

      2. Separation of C and S means…
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” – US constitution

        As long as the state does not force people to take on a specific faith, it’s fine. It doesn’t necessarily mean priests and politicians can’t have get togethers, interact, or voice their opinions about each other.

        However, for a given religious sect to force its people to vote for a specific politician is a gray area. The element of twisting people’s arm is there, but it could also be a religious group’s belief in unity.

        In pure Islam, the government and religion are integrated. The Vatican City is another special case. In PH, as long as no one is forcing you there’s no need to cry foul. Du30 and the bishops can beat each other up – let’s all enjoy the show.

        1. Zaxx,
          I am sure you copied that definition correctly but it feels not right to me.

          My definition would be that:
          no government, parliament can favor a religious group in law-making that is disadvantageous for any other group in the same society.

          (sensitive) example:
          Making abortion legal can never be disadvantageous for religious groups. They just dont (have to) use it. And since there is no government money involved, it should be okay for all parties.

          By your definition the US government seems very on the hand of religious parties. Which by itself means there is a clear connection between those 2.
          The religiuous lobby in USA is much stronger and much more powerful in USA than in Europe. In Europe a religious lobby is teethless.

          Hence, we do have a strict and absolute seperation of state and religion (church).

        2. Under Obama’s time, a law was enacted wherein all religious organizations ( including Catholics christians) were obliged to pay benefits to employees which would include abortion….the Catholic church was not spared even if they remain pro life….so this is one example that the gov’t is mandating religious groups wrongly…

        3. Robert,
          That’s a good point there. I assume you have no religion. But actually you do; it’s just that you haven’t labeled it. A religion is simply a belief system that serves as the basis of your behavior/morality, your foundation for defining right & wrong. Note: Bing-bang/Evolution is a religion; in fact it requires enormous faith to believe “everything came from nothing – and progressed without any aid of an intelligent mind.”

          If you are of the belief that sex for humans should be confined to within/among humans; then what if the State passes a law that legalizes sex between humans and animals? You will likely lobby against it since it goes against your belief system, despite the fact that it is within your power to NOT avail of it. You may be worried people you love (who belong to your religion) will fall for the trap of practicing human-animal intercourse just because it is made available (liberty) and they would lose your respect, or harm themselves in the process.

          In other words, your religion brings you to meddle with the affairs of the State.

          The same thing here with the Catholic church and government. The church fears its adherents will go on a downward spiral against what it teaches. In other words, they can’t trust the effectiveness of their teachings or the commitment of the followers – which is valid given the propensity of Pinoys to abuse any form of liberty they gain access to.

        4. Zaxx,
          (I am not here to fight you or any official religion/belief-system. I hope that is clear).

          I belief in myself (without stating that I am perfect); I dont need a book (bible quran) to tell me how to live and I dont need a building (church, mosque) to hear every sunday the same line of words.

          My government and every government should and must make rules, regulations and laws which makes it possible for every single individual to have a good life. A life that he/she likes. It must never discriminate an indivual or favors an individual.

          In my country an individual can be strict religious and lives his/her life the way he/she wants and
          In my country an individual can be strict atheistic and lives his/her life the way he/she wants.
          And that is what I like about my country.

          Bestiality
          I know it happens. Its nothing for me. Not even in my wildests dreams nor in my wildest fantasies. A animal, any animal should be and must be protected from such acts. Why? Because no animal can vent its free will in a language that we do understand. And because most animals are helpless against the ‘force’ of a human being.
          (Side note: we actually do have a national political party that comes up for the rights and protection of animals; its called the PvdD; pls dont confuse that name with 2 other political parties – the PVV and/or PvdA).

          I dont have any numbers/cases in which bestiality does happen and bec it is not daily news in the media, it will not be a top priority for any PP (= political party).

          One final thing, bec we dont live in a ‘police state’, its impossible to find out what my neighbour does in his/her own home. So even if there are specific laws against bestiality we can never rule it out happening.
          Now the same applies for abortion. So why not legalize abortion. For you its a crime (killing an unborn human being) for another person its a solution. I will never deny a person a possible solution for a possible problem.

          Maybe we can try to let people NOT get in a situation where an abortion is needed?
          How about some serious sex-ed?

          Well, sex-ed doesnt cover the ‘stupid’ mistakes of having sex where there is/was no intent to get pregnant but where it was the result. So to solve this unwanted, unplanned pregnancy, abortion is a solution.

          And sex-ed also doesnt cover pregnancies where the unborn has abnormalities (Zika virus etc, Down-syndrome).

          So, I see myself as pragmatic. In the end my pragmatic view is beneficial for all and for a better society.
          And bottomline, for those who are against abortion: fine. Dont use it. But dont deny others that opportunity.

        5. Zaxx,
          (just to add a few things).

          I am very grateful and thankfull that I live in the country that I live in. It has very ‘liberal’ laws. And you can see that it doesnt result in chaos.

          Maybe people like me (being an atheist) dont have any ethics and no morals. When you read all my comments, I never use those words.

          For me it very clear that when I have to make a decision and have to think about what a church/religion is telling me what to do, it hinders me to allow others options in my DM (decision making). So listening to a religion/book is not practical for me.

          And even more in/for poor countries its even more catastrophic to listen to what a priest preaches.

          (the following may hurt a few people)
          I am convinced that the Vatican’s core business is only to dominate the world with their religiuous virtues/doctrine and they dont have an eye for real solutions. Pls look around: which countries are the poorest? It are all countries with a predominant overwhelming religious status. And in most of those there are no individual human rights protected and other freedoms are not protected (freedom of speach, freedom of press)

        6. Robert, It’s like growing up. You are entrusted with more liberties and roles as you move from being a toddler to a college student and to a professional. Filipinos are still in “3rd grade”. You cannot give them the same liberties advanced Europeans enjoy.

          However, in the principle of separation of C&S, the State will allow you to practice any religion as long as it does not harm anybody. Even atheists (agnostics) have a religion or belief system (though not based on any of the traditional holy books). The morality is based on practical common sense and personal conscience.

          The problem with lobbying for abortion (atheist’s religious belief) is that it violates the general rule that “religion must not harm anybody”. Abortion (or pro-choice) is a euphemism for murdering babies. It harms (=murders) somebody (=the innocent baby).

          Don’t you find it strange Robert that you have a murderer-soft (anti capital punishment) yet innocent-murdering (pro- abortion) religious worldview?

          Why I gravitated towards the Bible is because I search for the truth. A genuine search for the origin of life will not lead you probability-based cellular evolution. Instead it will lead you to the fact that by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, any enclosed system will not progress from disorder to order within it’s subsystems unless there was an intelligence (a mind) involved to guide it and a machine (made by a mind) that could effect the evolution. Cities evolve because there are minds (urban planners); without them, cities degrade. So a mind was behind the DNA. The question is “Whose Mind was it?”

          Then on the afterlife. Why is it that almost every NDE account by atheists turns the person into a Christian? I myself am convinced we are not this body we live in. This is more like an avatar. The real me will be hovering above my death scene – just as any other NDE survivor will attest.

          Then there’s the very real possibility of an eternal hell (which Jesus himself describes). What if that was true? Are you willing to bet your eternal soul that it isn’t? -which is why I would rather believe in former-atheist Howard Storm than teachers or priests alive today who think they know it all / have all the answers.

        7. Zaxx,
          I do hear you and in a way I also agree with you (3rd graders). But then I am thinking: “hey wait a minute. In and within my country we have internet access. The Philippines may be a 3rd world country, but they too do have internet access”.

          Well before the internet era we already had (and still have) foreign TV channels, foreign radio stations and foreign newspapers and magazines. I would make myself look terrible stupid, if and when I say/said “Wow, really. Is that true?” (indicating I would have lived in a cave for the last 4 decades).

          Basically this non-use of the internet, results – I guess – in Filipinos still behaving and thinking like its the 1950s.
          And believe me, this gap will only become bigger.

          In my neck of the woods, we have the freedom of religion. That means that every individual can choose its own religion and the (Dutch) law will protect that individual. We cant impossible abolish that freedom bec that will result in discrimination (It may eventually lead to the same as what Hitler did with the Jews during WW2. Or atheists may become the new Jews or Catholics).

          Because of this freedom of religion, the Dutch government cant favor one group over another group. At the same time, the Dutch government knows damn well that progress can only be achieved not by looking at religious dogma. Hence, same sex marriage, hence IVF, hence abortion (to name just a few things).

          I must admit, I know nothing about abortion technically/medically. But I am sure that the point (time) till when abortion is still legal is chosen for specific reasons. If I am not mistaken its because that time frame is a decisive point where the foetus can not (before 24 weeks) live outside the womb on its own.

          I understand that you will say that from the moment of conception a human being is there and therefor it is killing a person.
          Probably all Dutch doctors and professors have a different view about that.
          For me its just a practical ‘tool’ to come up with a solution: an unwanted pregnancy, an unplanned pregnancy or just out of rape.

          Here we reach a point where I say: a religion is not flexible enough to get my vote. No religion gives me practical solutions (plural). It only gives me one solution and if I dont take that one, I will end up in hell. Well we will see about that.

          “Don’t you find it strange Robert that you have a murderer-soft (anti capital punishment) yet innocent-murdering (pro- abortion) religious worldview?”
          I understand your point here. I dont have any numbers, but I guess that most abortions happen among the lower Q (low educated, lower income brackets) of the Dutch population. They (but also other Dutch individuals) are insured for this through the health insurance policy.

          Life
          I myself am still puzzled how (and when) the first person got here on this planet earth. At the same time, I cant occupy my mind too much with that question. I know how I got here (through a sperm cell and an egg cell).

          Death
          I have heard about NDE but I never read anything about it (not from a scientific POV, nor empirical POV).
          I rather wish I could have eternal life on earth (or another planet for that matter) as living human being. I just dont wanna die. I enjoy it too much still.

          Hell and heaven
          The problem with both entities is that we will never know if both exist. Personally, I dont even care. Based on my previous 5 decades and compared to biblical laws, for sure I will end up in hell. So be it.
          From a practical point of view, I think heaven is impossible to exist. It must be even more crowded there than the total global population today.

          Like I said, Zaxx, to use biblical words, I sinned basically my entire life. So I will end up in hell. What was/is my worst sin? pre-marital sex, not believing in a god or allah (not god-fearing), using contraceptives. My problem is I dont feel guilty.

          My final words:
          Religion, any religion limits progress. Religion is not flexible. Can I bend the rules without breaking them? In tax laws, I can, bec there are loop holes in the income tax book and in the corporate tax books.
          And I find most or even all religions to be women-unfriendly.
          If they want my vote, they have to work harder and better.

          It really saddens me what I see in my FB news feed: memes posted by pinays stating
          – “Dear god, thank you for waking me up”
          – “Dear god, thank you for giving me another day”

          I am sorry but that really looks stupid (to me). But those pinays do have kids out of wedlock. Two-faced, hypocritical or just plain ignorant and idiotic? You tell me.

        8. Zaxx,

          PS: You know what strikes me as odd?
          Since I started coming here, I cant remember reading one article written by Benign0, Ilda and Kate that was so intrinsically about religion and writing very poitive about it. I think not one of their articles was solely written about the Philippine Roman catholic religion in a positive way.
          But Chino, Add, Grimmy and you defend that religion wholeheartedly.
          I can imagine, that some readers will get dizzy bec they may not know who to ‘follow’ and who to believe. While all of you share the same goal/objective for the Philippine as nation and as country.

  2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CATHOLIC VOTE.
    IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THE CBCP GUIDELINES BUT FOLLOW YOUR CONSCIENCE, YOU DON’T SIN.

    “…Strictly speaking, the CBCP is not the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church is not the CBCP. The former is the collective leadership of the Church (i.e. the local hierarchy), while the latter is the bigger whole (i.e. local Church under the said leadership). Furthermore, the CBCP is the collegial body of bishops belonging to the Catholic Church in the Philippines; thus it is not “the” (universal) Church insofar as “composition” is concerned. Secondly, though the CBCP is not “the” Church but the collective body of bishops who are shepherds of the people, it still represents the Philippine Church…”

    Source: (Rhoderick John S. Abellanosa, The CBCP and Philippine Politics: 2005 and After, Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 8:1 (2008), pp. 73-88).

    This statement is good, BUT THEY NEED TO BE UNITED WITH THE POPE, and with regards to politics the CBCP has moral authority but CANNOT DICTATE against the conscience of each of the faithful, which needs to consider all the aspects, i.e., moral, material, etc.

  3. Catholicism not only keeps the country poor, but also brainwashes the people into their blind faith that prayers and hopes alone will save the country from tyranny and oppression; the same goes for the Protestantism and Islam. These three self-rigtheous religions do nothing but validate their followers in who they are, and what they stand for, and justify what they do–which is stroke their individual egos.

    1. The CBCP needs to end. It does not represent either the Holy See or the Philippine nation in any real light whatsoever. Catholicism doesn’t keep the country in poverty, Filipinos do. It does not matter what religion, ideology, or philosophy you give them. The richest country in the world by GDP per capita is Qatar, a Islamic country. Second is Luxembourg, a predominantly Catholic country, followed by Singapore which is mostly Buddhist. Notice what these countries have in common: they’re not run by Filipinos.

      1. Staser,

        So basically what you said is the same thing I’ve said. Religion (Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam) has no place in the Failippines. So why are the useless Fliptards still entertaining these useless religion?

        I can only come up with two reasons. First, to stroke their egos. Second, to justify what they do—right or wrong, ethical or unethical, and legal or illegal.

        Aeta

        1. To AETA: I am Filipino and a Catholic , my parents and whole family. We worked our way up thru education and belief in our faith. I believe I have every right of whatever I deeply believe in. I respect all peoples, work honestly and fairly, and there are a lot of us who work to be comfortable and not to be dependent on anybody. And please….. the poor or working class or rich… deserve all respect in any place in this world. It has to start from each and everyone of us, nobody is useless if given the right opportunity

      2. Staser
        I agree with you, it is the people who make up the country and not the church that makes a country poor. There are a lot of poor Filipinos who succeeded because of hard work and perseverance. And there are a lot of Filipinos who are poor and are still poor because of pure laziness, plain indifference and not having any discipline and will to succeed.

  4. Religion cannot save the Failippines; only Fliptards can save their own country by being less concerned about their egos and individualism.

  5. from marcos to pnoy, The cardinals and bishops are under their influence. There is one thing that the Catholic Church did – they helped kick out the Filthy, corrupt, power hungry
    Marcosses out of power but to be replaced only by the oligarchs – but at least ppl were freed from the tyranical rule of Marcos and that despicable evil
    bitch Imelda. However, the marcos apologists and the ilocanos are up and arms in revising history. To them, Marcos should be canonized as the patron saint of thieves, lol

  6. let’s legalize same sex marriage, divorce & death penalty into our country! Those Damaso clones should not involve on politics or make friends with politicians or else they should pay their taxes if they do that.

  7. By the way, did I read it right, a Mitsubishi Montero for that Butuan Bishop? And we all know that kind of vehicle have an issue on SUA (Sudden Unintended Acceleration) lately? And hopefully he’s one of the victim of the SUA incident of Montero & taste his own karma thing.

    P.S.
    I’m so sorry about this post but this news is really gonna piss me off!

  8. I remember back in 1986 or 1987 it came out that the Catholic Bishop of Manila had (at that time) PRIVATE holdings worth 5 BILLION pesos.

    It was in the news exactly ONE DAY, then no one ever talked about it again.

  9. Jim DiGriz,

    “ANY organized religion should be heavily taxed!”

    It works the opposite direction in the Failippines. The disorganized masses are the ones that’s heavily taxed, in the forms of draining their brains and emptying their pockets.

    Aeta

  10. “in the forms of draining their brains”
    You are implying that there are brain cells …

    Pls rephrase it with
    “in the forms of draining their skulls”

    1. Robert Haighton,

      Ah…it was a figure of speech to make a point. It wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

      Aeta

    2. Robert Haighton,

      Are we at it again? You trying to correct my grammar and me trying to correct your lack of common sense?

      Aeta

    3. Robert Haighton,

      Are we at it again: you trying to correct my grammar and me trying to correct your lack of common sense?

      Aeta

  11. There must be a separation of Church and the Philippine government.

    The Roman Catholic Church is a Haciendero. It owns many tenanted farm lands; that must be Land Reform. Bishops and Priests have no business in election.

    All religion must confine their works on : preaching; explaining their religions to their followers; interpreting their “holy Books”; and follow what they preach.

    They have no business, in endorsing political candidates. It is the decisions of the voters, to elect whom, they want to elect.

  12. Capital punishment was meted out on the founder of Christianity for speaking out against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his day – self-righteous men who were dressed in elegant robes and busy accumulating wealth and robbing from widows. I guess not much has changed.

    Let’s hope Du30 does not get nailed to the cross on Holy Week for calling out these priests on the hypocrisy and greed they live in.

    If you are giving money to some organized religion, you are equally responsible for ensuring that that money goes to genuinely charitable and meaningful causes, and not just lining the pockets of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Might as well spend your money directly for the beneficiaries you want to help – like buying groceries for a poor family, or giving allowance to a poor hard-working student.

    Christianity was never about building edifices. What is happening now is that anyone who wants to be exempted from tax starts his own religious group. Think about it – religion is the only legalized business where the investment is just saliva, you get windfall profits in the form of donations, and the government can’t even tax you.

    e.g. INC is raking in tons of ROI on their mega- colloseum: Philippine Arena. It’s really BIG BUSINESS! Is this the Christianity that Paul and Peter (persecuted like fugitives at the dawn of this love-centric turth-loving family) had in mind?

    It sure is good to have a little boy crying out “the emperor has NO clothes!” once in a while. Finally, we are snapping out of the spell cast by this matrix we have all come to accept as “reality”.

  13. There are sins and sinful people in the Catholic Church. But it is the truth that the the Catholic Church in the Philippines is the institution that takes care of the poor, the sick, the abandoned children, the elderly, those in prison and deprved of justice and to many times of calamities where the government and its agencies and neglectful and inutile. If close our eyes to the realities of the contribution of the Catholic Church we are more than hypocrites.

    1. I have yet to see the aftermath of a disaster with the church being present and really helping people. Give me a break, it’s all shallow and cosmetic.

  14. I know a prest even, Fr. Que, in Manila, who gained as spiritual adviser from a businesswoman in Paco, several condo units and cars in his name, that is excluding the lavish parties and the cash allowances and cash gifts given to him and his account. Plenty of priests and church hierarchy has been abusive of their authority. They never was there in the church for God but something else. The bishop and monsignor of Sorsogon alone supports their individual political candidates and receives donations in turn. God said it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than rich man to go to heaven, yet most of these priests and church leaders are rich. They are like the whore who sits in the dragon.

    1. Is this Msgr. Noly Que of St. Peter you are referring to? I go to church there. Do you have proof of this? I would like to bring this up with the church people. Do you know if he is getting from the church too?

      1. I tell you what, He has big built, chinese looking guy, the family he is involved has buildings there in Paco. The one with the BDO, Branch at Plaza Dilao., that is all I can give you as to the extent of what I know, as for proof you have to find out yourself, I’m not going to be your source. Otherwise I would have had written the whole name in here. My purpose is only to show that there indeed the undeniable existence of this kind of people in the church, for that purpose, that a kernel is divulge, as to the whole info it’s up for the church to investigate and research.

        1. I know this Que priest. May pagka extravagant at maluho nga ang pare na to. Totoo yan there are a lot of priest na katulad niya, hindi dapat i-trust.

    1. Or make a law on whoever religious leader(s) that will speak and/or express about their political ideas or joining on politics should either be imprisoned or pay his/her annual income tax or so called religion tax. That’s make a good idea.

  15. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.

    All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

  16. Its a shame that there’s so much ignorance shown by the replies on this article. Ignorance comes from not knowing your his-story, it’s his story, the story of how Christ brought civility in an uncivilized world. The bishops or popes are not infallible in terms of their human actions but where the Pope, under the guidance of God’s spirit shows infallibility is in the doctrines of the church, these are the teachings concerning the moral code of a nation. There will always be bishops and popes that will be corrupt because as fallen creatures, we all have a corrupt nature, and we keep this nature in check with our conscience, a conscience that came from the teachings of Christ which are passed on, through an apostolic authority stemming from the apostle Peter. The world we see it were not always civilized, murder and theft were rampant along with many other crimes. Now ask yourself the question, how can a culture that was persecuted meaning killed for 300 years because of their belief manage to change the minds-cape of the entire world. A progressive culture is not judged by its increase in material assets but in the way it changes its minds-cape, a metanoia the Greek word for repent means a change of mind. What gives you culture is your history, we Catholics were the first Christians, for 300 years we were hunted down by the Romans and fed to the lions in front of roaring crowds in the coliseum. Their blood and faith is my inheritance not the corrupt actions of past bishops or popes but the blood of martyrs that laid down the pillars and foundations of the Catholic Church. People that have culture have strength, because they know the stories of the great people that helped build their character, they are solid and are not taken up by the latest fads online or by commercial media. They are just like the ancient tribes who retold the same stories of great warriors from generation to generation, we Christians have the blessed Saints and Martyrs as our warriors. The Vatican was built on top of the catacombs, the tombs of the dead. My ancestors worshiped in this temple of the dead because the Romans were afraid of these places and it was the only place they could get together safely. The spirit in me is cultured by my past and it didn’t begin or end with the Spaniards, it began with the death and Resurrection of Christ. Ask yourself would I rather be the lonely Christian in the middle of that coliseum or are you the guy screaming in the crowd hysterically wanting to see death. Your civility begins with a choice.

    1. Christians also burned suspected “witches” at the stake and launched their own jihads to capture so-called “holy cities”. Spanish “missionaries” along with roughneck conquistadores also massacred millions of native Americans “in the name of the Lord” while waving the banners of Christianity. Hundreds of thousands of “heretics” were tried by the Inquisition in their kangaroo courts and hanged, burned alive, and had their skins boiled off for their “crimes”. The Pope himself stood by while Nazi Germany slaughtered millions of Jews.

      See, it comes down to who is in power and what they do with their power once there. Christians can be as bloodthisty as any other “barbarian” tribe or nation.

      1. While I agree that Christians have been historically capable of barbarism, you still have history totally distorted and exaggerated. Where do you get this idea that Spaniards arrived in the New World and murdered millions purely out of their faith? Most natives willingly converted and teamed up with the Spaniards against the elite rulers who were capturing people for sacrifice. Most perished from foreign disease. And then you say “hundreds of thousands” were killed in the Inquisition, when in fact it was about 3,000 executions over a period of 200 years. None of the executions were even directed by the Church. You have obviously been reading too much Black Legend propaganda. And the idea that “millions of Jews” were slaughtered by Germany has already been debunked by numerous scholars as myths propagated primarily by Elie Wiesel. The leading Jewish historian Rabbi Jacob Rader Marcus even stated in the 1950s that Jews died “in the thousands” during the Second World War. As for the Crusades, if it wasn’t for them all of Europe would have been taken over by Islam and there would be no Western civilization as we know it. Christianity has had a bloody history, but not like the kind of myths you were saying.

        1. Cuba used to be the land of American Indians. But now ask any Cuban citizen why non of their population speaks ancient American Indian language. You know why, because Spanish priest and conquistadores exterminate them !

      2. @staser: The exaggeration was meant to highlight the bigger point I was trying to make — that religion is only as good as the organisation through which its ideas are channeled. Any ideology or belief system could be perverted to any ends and much can be achieved by wielding it as an effective tool for organising large armies and social structures.

        Indeed, religion seems to have evolved in human society primarily for that purpose — as a means to organise and get individuals to move in lockstep to effect collective behaviours that achieve big outcomes that only large-scale human communities could deliver.

        The real myth here is religion itself as being a force in and of itself. It isn’t. It is just a construct of culture used to organise and mobilise large numbers of individuals.

  17. The Pope is one of the wealthiest man in the world who travels to Africa and other poor countries in the world preaching to help the poor despite not using his own richness. And continuously promising the poorest of the poor that they will be the richest in heaven.

  18. It’s the best time to leave and abandon the Roman Catholic Church and join the LUTHERAN CHURCH IN THE PHILIPPINES. President Duterte is like the modern-day Martin Luther.

  19. It is true that corruption exists in the Catholic church….among church leaders and its own long history of it. Pres Duterte had openly struck criticism of all insensitivity of the church to poverty and population problem…pero it does not mean the whole Catholic church has not done anything. We do have respectable clergy or priests that are true to their calling and pastoral services, we should not forget also that the Catholic church has the most charitable and missionary missions in the country. We have to openly voice and complain to the Vatican on those bad and scandalous clergymen, they have to be investigated. The Vatican has created and formulated ( and it is going on) procedures on erring and scandalous priests. I am a cradle Roman Catholic and I practice my faith religiously…I agree with President Duterte’s comments on undesirable priests, sana matanggal yan sila lahat sa pagkapari at leave those who are really doing their priestly work. Mother Teresa and St Pope John Paul ll are the greatest saints of this century… they are saints of great faith in the Catholic Church…they showed great humility, compassion, love and service of the poor, encouraged forgiveness, and others…..and above all love God Almighty and honor the Blessed Mother Mary.

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