Editorial: Disturbing words of disbelief-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
IT CAME as a comment attached to a photo of Pope Francis when he was yet just a cardinal in Buenos Aires, showing him inside a commuter train, shared on Facebook. The photo has been shared around, along with other photos showing the new Pope in various public transport, but it was the comment shared with the photo that was disturbing. But since it was Facebook, and you don’t really believe everything you read on Facebook, we looked around to verify.
Thus, we saw the snippet of that comment in a news article on Sun.Star Superbalita Cebu where it quoted Cebu Archdiocese spokesman Msgr. Achilles Dakay as saying, “Di ko motuo ana... tungod lang kay kamao siya moluto, moluto na siya sa iyang pagkaon. Mosakay siyag bus di sab ko motuo ana nga kadaghanan sa higayon mosakay siya og bus...Tingale duna lang gyud siyay laing puluy-anan (I don’t believe that story. Just because he knows how to cook doesn’t mean he will cook for himself. I also don’t believe he rides buses regularly… [with regards not living in the Cardinal’s Palace] Maybe he just has another house where he goes to).” [“Nasurprisa sa pagkapili ni Pope Francis” by Sheila C. Gravinez, Thursday, March 14, 2013]
That made us scrutinize the shared photo some more and realized that while it was shared by a friend, it was a post by DYLA, a radio station in Cebu, which interviewed the monsignor himself. As the DYLA quoted Dakay as further saying in that interview, “Duna siyay palasyo, di siya mopuyo didto… tingale duna lang gyud siyay laing puluy-anan kung mag R and R siya. Di ko motuo uy nga ang taga Buenos Aires di maikog nga mopasakay niya og bus, duna na silay awto. Kana sab luto, kamao siya moluto pero kung siyay moluto sa iyang pagkaon, di ko motuo ana uy (He has a palace and he doesn’t live in it? Maybe he just has another house where he goes to for rest and recreation. I also don’t believe that someone from Buenos Aires will not be ashamed to ride public buses. They have cars. About his cooking, maybe he knows how to cook, but I don’t believe that he cooks for himself).”
The monsignor continued, “Sobra ra sab na kaayo nga pasakyon na lang mi tanan og Ceres, di na sab mao. Ang palasyo diri di na lang gyud ni puy-an, di na sab na mao. Kamao lang siya mopuyo gawas sa palasyo, kamao siya mosakay kung maabiriya iyang awto, kamao siya moluto kung way laing moluto, ana ba (That’s too much if you ask us all to ride passenger buses. To not live in our palaces? That’s too much, too. Let’s just say the pope as a cardinal went in and out of his palace and knows how to ride a bus when his vehicle conks out, and knows how to cook when no one else is there to cook. That’s how I see it).”
The disbelief is understandable. We were all in awe when we started reading about Pope Francis' simple ways. But the disdain attached to the disbelief underlines the one trait of the clergy that has been rankling the nerves of many a Filipino Catholic. The pompous way they choose to preach and live has created this great divide between them and the more critical believers.
We thus welcome with grateful hearts the election of Pope Francis as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church in that off-chance hope that the clergy who chose extravagance and abundance at the expense of the people, instead of Christ-like service to mankind, will see the light.
Pope Francis may indeed only be a transition pope, being just two years younger than when Pope Benedict XVI was given the Papacy, but within us is the hope that this transition period will be enough for the Church to truly grasp what real service to mankind, as Jesus Christ personified, is all about.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 16, 2013.