A MISLEADING feature article gets published July 10 2018, one day AFTER the meeting between Du30 and the CBCP president, Archbishop Valles last Monday, July 9, 2018. To quote, “Catholic Bishops on Monday called for a day of prayer and three days of fasting for people who had blasphemed God and murdered others ‘AHEAD’ of a dialogue with President Duterte who called God ‘stupid’.”
Next day, Inquirer’s July 10 headline was “LET’S PRAY FOR KILLERS, BLASPHEMERS-CBCP,” after the meeting between CBCP Head Archbishop Valles and Du30. This Inquirer headline seems out of tune and its timing could be considered by many as seemingly “malicious” in nature, destroying the essence of a dialogue for peace between the Catholic Church and the RP President. Du30 had agreed to stop his statements against the Catholic Church during that important dialogue.
To have this headlined ONE day after the dialogue between Du30 and the CBCP, sadly and unfortunately, created an impression that the dialogue was not at all successful, nor were the parties to this dialogue in good faith. This headline seemingly showed that the CBCP was in bad faith, because its declarations against Du30 were published only one day after the dialogue. Du30’s statements after this were supposedly in answer to this headline! The impression of many people seems to be that the two who dialogued were in bad faith. Oh my God!
Journalism is such a dignified and beautiful art in the hands of true artists and journalists. Truth is the essence of journalism and news writing or any writing about others for that matter. However, truth is sometimes not treated right. It gets distorted according to the time it gets published, the place, and amidst what significant and related happenings are currently bugging and bashing the persons concerned.
A writer can cause the distortion of truth without realizing it, nor without doing this on purpose. Sad but true. How many people will be confused and will suffer from this journalistic malady? How many “talks and dialogues” will fail because of misleading news or headlines?
Journalism warns of misleading titles and headlines so journalists have to be very careful indeed.
The Philippine nation holds on to peace and expects a true promise of separation of church and state. Stop bashing one another. After all, the internet has millions of truths already delivered globally. We know the truths and the wrongs each church and each government may have done. We keep peace in our hearts, hoping and praying that the true goodness of God’s creation comes out in each of us.
When we demand understanding or respect for our religious leaders, so too should we follow the same for our government officials especially if they have been elected by the majority of our nation. We say “...the voice of the people is the voice of God.” We also say “...a priest is a priest forever whatever he may have done for or against humanity.”
Forgiveness is taught by our churches. Do we find this truly practised or do we step out of line and place in our hands the justice that government has to give?
Baguio, forgive...I love you!