The (moral) empire strikes back

The President’s courtship of the country’s influential bishops is all for nought, if the polite but powerful pastoral statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, released today under the name of the conference president, is any gauge.

Despite the diplomatese (the use of questions instead of assertions, for example), Archbishop Angel Lagdameo’s letter on the signature campaign for Charter change packs a wallop. 

We view with alarm, however, the present signature campaign endorsed by the government. Signatures are apparently collected without adequate information, discussion and education. The manner in which these signatures are supposedly collected, including door to door campaigns, are not conducive to the kind of informed participation that such fundamental changes demand. The changes that are being proposed for signatures of citizens are dangerously unclear and open to manipulation by groups with self-serving interests. The complexities and variations of the parliamentary system are not adequately explained and have not been sufficiently discussed by our people.

And yet again:

This lack of clarity on how the changes will truly benefit our nation raises disturbing questions about who will truly benefit from these changes. It seems that the changes as they are being proposed now will benefit mainly those who already hold positions of power and privilege in the current political system. This raises questions as to the authenticity of this signature campaign and the motives of those who promote it. Is this truly a "people’s initiative" or the initiative of self-seeking political players wanting to entrench themselves in power? We might further ask the question of the source of funding for this entire operation.

The conclusion is a call to Christian arms:

We invite you then to reflect and pray over what we have presented in this statement. If, before God speaking in your conscience, you agree, we call upon you to discern the appropriate actions. As Christians, we cannot be complacent and inactive in the face of this present issue of charter change, which is so crucial to the future of our country and people. Vigilance, education, principled opposition may be necessary steps to take.

4 Comments

Filed under Readings in Politics, Readings in Religion

4 responses to “The (moral) empire strikes back

  1. jumper

    i wait with bated breath what malacanang is going to say this time.

  2. exie

    “Vigilance, education, principled opposition may be necessary steps to take.”

    Oooh! The power of understatement. Don’t you just love the use of “may”?

  3. “This lack of clarity on how the changes will truly benefit our nation raises disturbing questions about who will truly benefit from these changes. It seems that the changes as they are being proposed now will benefit mainly those who already hold positions of power and privilege in the current political system. This raises questions as to the authenticity of this signature campaign and the motives of those who promote it. Is this truly a “people’s initiative” or the initiative of self-seeking political players wanting to entrench themselves in power? We might further ask the question of the source of funding for this entire operation.”

    —I say the people better put a stop on this charter change immediately before the situation gets worst. I think the administration is not really after CHANGE but rather after CONTROL. They want to control the nation, the people for their own interests.

  4. Joey

    What is the CBCP so alarmed about & why only now do they get so alarmed?
    In this almost a year that has passed so many alarming events have happened.
    Is it not alarming the methods & means being used by “others” who obviously have “self-interest” to push forward? Has the CBCP ever come up w/ a “pastoral editorial” reminding those in the “shawdows” manipulating events & people?
    Is the CBCP saying that only those in the administration have “self-interest”?
    How about the “self-interest” of those outside of the administration?
    I hope that the CBCP be capable to speak in clear terms & not act as a “trying hard” moralist by virtue of the clothes that they wear.
    Why does not the CBCP say something about the “self-interest” of ambitious senators?
    What can be more alarming?
    Do the supposed to be holy spirit inspired CBCP want to say that there is no hurry in wanting to get out & fight for reform in the present system.
    Or are the supposed to be inspired CBCP just saying so many hallow words that at the end of the day does not really mean anything!
    I think the CBCP should act w/ prudence & let not power get into their heads.For they will be not any different from those same people they are trying to moralize after.
    Because as a citizen, I too have reason to be alarmed on seeing how the church has failed in what it is supposed to be compitent in, in looking after incalcating “moral values” in their flock!
    What has the church been doing all the while?
    On what authority is the “divided” church trying to moralize?
    Or is the church more interested in acting as just another “politica” force w/ supernatural powers?
    How will the church fill if the civilian authority poke their nose into their business?
    Perhaps the church is trying hard to be relevant in the present society but due to they themselves being divided they don’t seem to be able to come out w/ the right things to say & insted are just playing partisan politics w/c makes them neither moral authorities nor politicians.
    So, what is the church really pretending to be?

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