Carvajal: What went wrong?

Break Point

CORRUPTION and criminality in the country have acquired epidemic proportions. But we are 85 percent baptized Catholics, meaning that 85 percent of corrupt officials are Catholics and 85 percent of criminals and drug lords are Catholics. What then is wrong with the way Catholic bishops and clergy are shepherding their flock?

A clue could be found in the answer to the over-arching question of why international drug cartels, notorious for their criminal activities, are based in Catholic former colonies of Spain in Latin America. The answer must, therefore, lie somewhere in the evangelization method of Spanish friars which bishops and clergy of these countries continue to use un-adapted to current social reality.

The Catholic Church preaches social justice, but why is poverty more prevalent in Catholic countries while countries where Catholics are the minority, like Norway, Japan, take better, as in more equitable, care of their people?

Jesus Christ died on the cross to show us the way, the truth and the life. Why are Catholic countries, among them the Philippines, the most remiss in practicing Christ’s way of love, truth and justice?

Incidentally, Christ was condemned to death by the ruling Judaic Church for blasphemy, for calling himself the Son of God and rebuking Jewish religious leaders of the time as hypocrites or whitened sepulchers. No parallels intended, just saying it for whatever it is worth.

One scene on Good Friday I get utterly disgusted with is when the faithful, after Christ’s death has been liturgically re-enacted, line up to kiss-adore the cross. I like the practice of adoring the cross because Christ redeemed us by carrying it and dying on it. What I dislike of the scene is the presence of a collection basket beside the cross where you, before or after kissing Christ on the cross, are supposed to drop a donation.

It’s justified as voluntary. But begging for money in the most solemn moment of Good Friday and using the image of poor dead Christ for it is so flagrantly irreligious I simply cannot understand why this medieval incongruity is still around. The same practice happens at Christmas using the image of baby Jesus. These are definitely wrong evangelization methods.

It’s Holy Week, the time of year when Catholics, both individuals and institutions, are encouraged to confess and atone for sins. Also in two years we will be celebrating 500 years of Christianity, and talk is rife about re-evangelizing the Philippines.

To do both correctly, the institutional Church has to ask what went wrong with the evangelization methods of the first 500 years that those should produce a vastly poor country of dishonest politicians, murderous drug lords and criminals most of whom are baptized Catholics.


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