The killer quake and the churches-A A +A
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
THE earthquake that struck the Visayas Tuesday did two awful things we won't soon forget: it damaged 10 iconic churches in Bohol and Cebu and it killed 120 people, nine of them Cebuanos.
"These are old churches that are important to the culture of our people and our faith," said Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso.
Catholics may have a bit of that faith shaken: why God hadn't spared the churches when they were built in His name.
Cebuanos have always taken pride and comfort about being protected by Sto. Niño. They may have to revise that line. The Little Child still protected them by locating the quake's epicenter elsewhere and inflicting less death and destruction in Cebu.
They wouldn't be like the Japanese warlord Hideyoshi who ordered a huge statue of Buddha for a shrine that took 50,000 men and five years to build. When the work was about to be finished, the story says, an earthquake sent the roof crashing down and reduced the statue to rubble.
Enraged, Hideyoshi shot an arrow at the Buddha, ranting:
"I put you here at great expense and you can't even look after your own temple?"
Sto. Niño basilica's belfry collapsed and its main structure bore cracks. Does it look like Cebu's Savior wasn't minding His church during the quake?
But if the Lord is making a wake-up call, as a priest theorized, who're being roused from lethargy and sin: flock or priests?
Churches need to restore the bells for them to ring again, not just against pork barrel but for devotees and clergy who may have strayed and "chased after wind."
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2013.