Thursday, July 06, 2006

Timing and circumstance

The country still seems undecided on what to make of the participation of one bishop in the filing of the impeachment case against GMA. Depending on which side of the political fence one sits in, Bishop Yniquez’ participation is either an act of a) defiance, b) provocation, c) courage, d) just plain rabble rousing or e) all of the above.

I do not actually understand this whole crap about the filing of the impeachment complaint being done in his capacity as a private citizen. Bishops have such a thing as a private persona? At what point in the day do they stop being a bishop? I thought that being a man of the cloth is not just something one does but something that defines who one is.

Having said that, let me also state that I view all these hairsplitting on the roles of the church and the state as just plain rhetorical swashbuckling. It makes for good debate and hysterical headlines, but even if a delineation can actually be made, how do you make those who overstep the bounds accountable for their actions? Besides, it has very little practical application on the everyday lives of Filipinos. The government can’t impose on the church, and the political influence of the Catholic Church among its flock has never been among its stronger suits.

I do not take it against the bishop that he filed the impeachment case. But I do find unsettling the timing and the circumstances around the Bishop’s act.

There are those with more overactive imaginations who float the possibility that all these seemingly separate actions are actually all part of a grand plan or conspiracy, but I really doubt it. My personal gut feel is that Bishop Yniquez did it on his own, which validates a fear gnawing at my heart: despite efforts to dispel the suspicions, it does appear that even the bishops are fragmented and have problems coming to a consensus. Worse, it appears that civility has also been lost even among the bishops.

I found it disappointing that Bishop Yniquez upstaged the other recent noteworthy political event involving the clergy– the appearance of the signatures of more bishops in the position paper of OneVoice. Maybe I am just too idealistic, but I imagine that some kind of mutual respect still exists in this world, particularly among those who preach these things. I imagined (wrongly it now seems) that since the other bishops, who numbered more, have already made a joint separate call, it would be incumbent upon other bishops to at least keep their individual (especially divergent) positions at bay out of respect for colleagues. But like I said, I guess even bishops have lost civility.

The other thing that I found unnerving is the timing of the Bishop’s filing of the impeachment complaint. If he was part of the first citizens’ groups that filed the impeachment, it will still catch my interest, but I would not give it special attention. To my mind, the fact that he filed it as part of the carefully orchestrated serial filing automatically begs the assumption that the good bishop is dancing to another tune.

6 comments:

Chris said...

"At what point in the day do they stop being a bishop?" I think this is quite hilarious.

It is their fault that people don't go to church anymore. I think this Yniguez character is a pompous guy too full of himself that people must hear his say on every bit of our national life.

How can you trust your soul to these people? Where we are supposed to get spiritual and moral refuge, we are treated to a menagerie of overaged characters who's antics range from impeaching a President, and joining an investigative committee in determining a highly technical issue of mining.

I wonder if Jesus will file the impeachment complaint had he been here with us presently.

I.oana said...

It was really nice browsing through your blog and reading your recent posts. I love life and I like learning as much as possible about it, even from others' experience. I am an artist and I would truly appreciate it if you gave me your opinion about my creatsions. Thank you

BongA said...

chris, unfortunately we won't know the answer to your last question unless the ones who claim to be on first name basis with God read this blog and obliges us. I half agree with your views about priests and bishops being the reason why many people do not go to church anymore.

BOng

I. oana, thanks for dropping by. will try to check your blog. thanks

Bong

cvj said...

Sometimes even positive values come into conflict with each other and we have to choose between them. While i value civility and mutual respect, these should not get in the way of truth and justice. For example, Jesus was not exactly being civil when he called the Pharisees 'hypocrites'. There is no conflict between supporting 'One Voice' and the impeachment complaint. The former is an agreement about 'means' (i.e. change through democratic processes) while the other is to an advocacy for a certain 'end' (i.e. the impeachment of a President). Other members of One voice may not agree, but as long as the means does not violate their group's stated principles, then they should respect that.

Anonymous said...

Ah, these meddlesome bishops and their seemingly warped and misplaced sense of morality. I am justified in skipping church for I do not care to hear sermons that would stray into politics. If the good men of the cloth wish to indulge in politics then perhaps they should pay taxes on their properties and income just like the rest of us mere mortals? In the realm of politics I object to such religious personalities purporting to represent me or the majority. They do not. We have had enough of a sorry history of mixing religion and politics. And there is no such thing as a Catholic vote in this fragmented society of ours. I think the Church is overestimating and overconfident about its sway or hold on the faithful. Ugh.

acidboy said...

when the next priest is seen in his favorite quezon avenue massage parlor (oh, dont be so coy! these things happen and we all know it!) then at least he can just say he was doing this as a private citizen and not a member of the clergy! guffaw!