The Roman Catholic Church is, no doubt, one of the wealthiest and most influential foreign-based multinational businesses in the Philippines. Even more outrageous is that they don’t pay taxes. They’ve got a real good racket going on more so because this institution, far more than celebrities like Regine Velasquez and Manny Pacquiao, exert virtual mind control over a huge swathe of the population.
Indeed, the Church’s products and services virtually sell themselves. Filipinos surrender their highest thinking facilities to the Church’s teachings and even pay big bucks to have their kids indoctrinated into a way of thinking — a belief system — that guarantees Rome generations of people hooked on to their “services”.
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How can Filipinos extricate themselves from this fatal addiction to products that can be considered to be at par in terms of levels of dishonesty with those of Big Tobacco and Crooked Mainstream Corporate Media?
Perhaps the first step is to reevaluate the notion of the Church as a conduit for “helping the poor”. Filipinos are emotionally-blackmailed by Catholic teachings into doling out hard-earned cash to the “less fortunate”. And much like they avail of the services of remittance firms like, say, Western Union, Filipinos channel these funds via the Church’s donation boxes and charity work. Unlike Western Union, however, the Church’s financial operations and fund management practices are neither subject to regulatory governance nor made accessible to public scrutiny. As such, forking cash over to the Roman Catholic Church is like “donating” to a criminal syndicate and expecting good things to be done using those funds.
There are lots of better uses for money beyond “helping the poor” through dole outs and, worse, channeling those dole outs through the Catholic Church’s opague “charity” operations. Simply paying the proper taxes, patronising banks, and engaging in capitalist business activities creates far more long-term opportunities for everyone (not just “the poor”) than the Church can ever deliver using their obsolete Medieval ways.
It’s time Filipinos wisen up and recognise the crooked elephant in the room. Great nations were not built on good intentions. They were built on business sense. Real change in Pinoy society will never be achieved through the ‘sacrifice’ of altruistic ‘heroes’. True change will be driven by people who find no shame in expecting a buck for their trouble.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.