Celebrating his first mass
as Pontiff a day after being elected, 76-year-old Pope Francis told the
assembled cardinals to guard against “the worldliness of the Devil.” Here
was a man who made it an annual practice to celebrate Holy Thursday
by washing the feet of the poor, and the downtrodden of his native
Argentina. Here too was a man who took the bus to and from his work despite
having chauffeured vehicles available to him. He preferred living in a
modest apartment, cooking his own meals despite access to the well staffed
bishop’s mansion in the ritzy the suburb of Olivos where no less than the
Argentine president has his summer residence. He chose the name Francis in
honor of Saint Francis of Assisi who though born into wealth, chose a life
of poverty to live with the helpless and downtrodden.
Compare that to the past
and present Philippine Catholic Church Hierarchy that live in palaces and
mansions scattered throughout the archipelago. They live a life of opulence
behind guarded high walls far removed from the poverty and squalor found in
Philippine cities. These are prelates who consider themselves as part of the
ruling gentry. They hobnob with the rich and powerful at parties and
cocktails; they fly first-class when vacationing to the Americas or Europe;
they wrap themselves in the trappings of power and aristocracy, just as
their Spanish predecessors did going back centuries.
So when Pope Francis tells
his cardinals to guard against “the worldliness of the Devil,” What exactly
are the Philippine bishops and archbishops to make of that statement? In our
opinion, they (beginning with the CBCP—the Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines) should start following his lead. It is about time these
haughty church leaders got down on their knees and washed the feet of
ordinary Filipinos. They can then start moving out of their palaces and
mansions and into apartments on the poor side of town…and take a tricycle or
jeepney to and from that never-ending conference of theirs—instead of asking
for free SUVs (sports utility vehicles) paid for by the cash-strapped
taxpayers of the Philippines.
Should the Philippine
bishops find it impossible to follow Pope Francis’ lead, they still have
another option left open to them. They can follow Pope Benedict XVI’s lead
and resign. Either way, the Philippine Catholic Church will most likely be
better off for it. Published
For much of the last month, my Facebook friends in Metro Manila have been posting comments lamenting their helplessness at being condemned to spend a great portion of what is left of their productive lives stuck in hours of traffic with no hope in sight. They now appreciate why Dan Brown described Manila in his book, Inferno, as “the gates of hell” specifically referring to its “six-hour traffic jams (and) suffocating pollution”.
Since 1620 when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, people the world over
have migrated to America in search of a better life. Filipinos are no
exception. In the '70s and '80s Filipinos who were able to, left for the
U.S. to escape the tyranny of the Marcos regime; today they leave is to
escape the poverty and the lack of opportunity in their homeland.
Whatever the reason, Filipino migrants quickly shed their old habits and
attitudes and embraced American culture.
Both United States and Philippine Governments to Blame for Death of Jeffery "Jennifer" Laude
The United States and Philippine governments share the blame for the tragedy. Two young lives needlessly destroyed: the first, a young Filipino transgender found strangled inside a motel bathroom; the second a teenaged American serviceman now accused of murder.
Death of Filipino Transgender 'Jennifer' Laude Was Totally Preventable
The evening for the young US Marine and his Filipino date "Jennifer" began at the Ambyanz Disco Bar in Subic Bay, Olongapo and ended shortly before midnight at the Celzone Lodge where "Jennifer's" lifeless body was found leaning against the toilet bowl. Jennifer, it turns out was actually not originally a "she" but a "he." A Filipino transgender, Jeffrey Laude, 26, began calling himself "Jennifer" after medical procedures made him look more female than male.
Sorry Mr. President But PNP Chief Alan Purisima Has to Go
What’s with Philippine civil servants these days? It seems that you can stick all their pictures on a wall; throw a dart; and whoever’s photo it land on, that person can be successfully prosecuted for graft. It is unbelievable how pervasive and widespread corruption has become. We go from one corruption scandal to the next and there seems to be no end in sight.
Tear Down the Torre de Manila Building Being Built Behind the Rizal Monument?
According to the developer’s website, “Torre de Manila, DMCI Homes’ newest one-tower condominium, is an exclusive residential community right in the heart of the city.” As of this writing, the 49-story edifice is about halfway complete. But as it continues to rise, so too do the howls of protest from an eclectic collection of groups and individuals who want it torn down. Why? Torre de Manila will permanently mar the skyline behind the Rizal Monument.
How Ferdinand Marcos’s Martial Law Continues Hurting Filipinos to This Day
On the evening of September 23, 1972, two days after it had taken effect, Ferdinand Marcos announced via live television from Malacañang Palace that he had placed the Philippines under Martial Law. It was a calculated move by a devious politician to keep himself in power beyond what the Constitution allowed. A staged ambush attempt against his Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile was the main excuse Marcos (or “Macoy” as he was deridingly referred to back then) used to strip Filipinos of all their constitutional rights. With that, the diminutive Ilocano from the backwaters of Batac, Ilocos Norte became the despotic dictator for over a decade.
Jejomar Binay Should Never Become President of the Philippines
In our July 25th editorial we asked if Vice President Jejomar Binay should be the next president of the Philippines. In this editorial we arrive at the definitive conclusion that that Binay should not be elected president. Since our last editorial, more witnesses have come forward with more allegations against the embattled Vice President. But our decision not to support Binay’s presidential bid is based on irrefutable public acts that in our opinion disqualify him from the presidency.