Liberalized faith

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Thursday, May 15, 2014


MANY things seem to be changing in our modernizing world, all of them seemingly being pushed by the will of a power beyond the human will.

I am not trying to be deep believer of the faith that many generations of my family have steadfastly been members of. But let us just say that I am a loyal follower of their religious beliefs. For who am I to dare to betray my blood line?

But really, that is not what I am going to do in this space today. It just happened that I have made it a point to read Sun.Star Cebu the first thing in the morning. I do not know about the others, but I always feel at ease when I am assured that not a thing in the world when I went to sleep had been destroyed, moved around, or altered when I wake up. Or that everything has somehow been left by the Lord as it has been.

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However, I should accept the fact that nothing in our world remains permanent, even in our faith. When I was a kid in knee pants, my parents and grandparents, being deeply religious, made me understand that things may change to most things in our life, except with our religion.

Catholicism is a religion that has been with us long before we were even born. And its practices are fixed, such as baptism, weddings, confirmation, etc.

At any rate, this piece I am doing is a reaction to what Pope Francis said in Rome last Monday. At the Vatican, he reportedly “declared that everyone has the right to be baptized, even aliens should they come knocking on the church’s door.”

Such idea, had it been presented by an ordinary mortal, would have subjected that mortal to excommunication for heresy. I recall that in ancient days, people would laugh or frown among themselves or deride those who would say such things.

Many religious practices and beliefs we held before may soon go, such as not attending the wake of another dead until one or the other was already buried, considering what our Pope has been doing so far.

And then, of course, there were many precautions taken by the living kin left behind by the dead, such as close relatives not taking a bath during the wake, or them not coming close to children when they have just come from the cemetery, unless he has done the “palina” or the cleansing ritual.

Whatever practices we were forced to do before, it seems that Pope Francis is trying to review them. He has shown that our Church should look at our faith with more “contemporary” eyes.

Recently, in a meeting with United Nations (UN) secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the Vatican along with heads of UN agencies, he urged that governments should redistribute wealth to the poor “in a new spirit of generosity” to help curb what he considers as an “economy of exclusion” taking hold of our world.

Indeed, Pope Francis appears to be opening up the Papacy to a modern view of one global faith in the near future.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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