Golden Banner News Paper
Column Title: Let’s Think Together
Article Title: A Defence to the Bishops
Columnist: Cleb B. Calimutan
The Church in their most humble acceptance said, that the Church always live with the donations of the members, thus the Bible proclaimed, “But you shall be called the priests of the Lord, men shall speak of you as ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.” (Is.61:6) To accept a gift is one thing and to scandalize the receiver is another, due to the love of the people that they give donations to the Church not because they are compelled to do so like a government tax which is required by every Filipinos.
Former PCSO chairwoman Mrs. Uriarte pronounced that it was a long practice of the government to work hand in hand with the Church and some other religions and NGO’s sometimes through the PCSO. The purpose is good and the way it was given is not illegal for the Church does not permit illegality of means.
Former National Security Advicer Norberto Gonzales in a forum concerning RH Bill held at Cagayan de Oro, cited some projects that Gloria Arroyo work with Bishop Pueblos for some charitable purposes in Agusan area e.g. the education of children from far flung areas whom they brought in a most suitable place to conduct classes. Next the negotiation of the NPA Rebels and some private armies together with the Philippine Armed Forces to maintain peace within the vicinity of the Diocese.
Why Bishop Pueblos? It’s because the rebels and the Government troops both respect religious authorities, when food and medical assistance were given to the remotes areas transported by a government vehicles they experience ambush and some other harassments where the Bishop is spared when he do so. This is the reason why the Bishop needed a vehicle to reach very far areas with rocky and slippery roads which are very dangerous to travel-specially during rainy days.
Now when the vehicles were returned no “Pajero” is seen for they were so much mock and humiliated with the term “Pajero Bishops” the vehicles are usually old models except one, some of it is mark with charitable purposes. The Senators are somehow softened for first nothing illegal was done. The Bishops may had been used by political motives which is sized by some small groups who are against the Catholic Church.
It is not immoral to ask and to receive something for charity, if it cannot be given by the government for some valid reasons the Bishops would accept a “No” answer they would never ask anybody to do some anomaly for their favour. As Meriam Santiago said in the Senators Hearing, “there is no Constitutional violation,” concerning the PCSO assistance for the poor given through the Church.
The Political side: The Bishops being attacked maliciously and arrogantly are those who criticized the present administration. They seem to look some loop holes against the Church in which they are not successful. The Catholic Church would always stand for the truth and the good and cannot be shutted up by any monetary gifts for nothing has taken personally. During the time of King Henry VIII who donated a lot-for the establishment of some Church buildings more than what the Philippine government had been given to the Church; he ask the Church to divorce his wife and threaten the Church by a separation. The Church straightly answered him, “it is better to lose a kingdom than to comprise a single doctrine.” Moreover it is not only the Catholic Bishops who receive something but why they become the center of calumny?
Those who mock the Bishops shall remember that they are attacking the successors of the Apostles of Jesus who is the owner of life and everything. If those people truly look for the truth without any hidden motives then they should raise the issue with respect and not with hatred. For no matter what we do the truth will definitely triumph in the end.