Monday, March 17, 2008

Cardinal Vidal: Lozada not Welcome in Cebu?

The recent statement by Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal on Jun Lozada shows how far astray from truth and justice the shepherds of the Catholic flock have gone.

Jun Lozada is not welcome in Cebu? With due respect to the Cardinal, he does not speak for, and in behalf of, the entire Cebuano populace.

According to Cardinal Vidal, Cebuanos are intelligent enough to understand Lozada's side of the story. True, but intelligence is of the mind and discernment is of the spirit. And we, Cebuanos, are more than intelligence. Far from it, we discern (and also engage in affirmative actions) because the church, as an institution, has been strongly influencing us to form our soundest judgments and profound discernment so that we would become a collective oasis of strength to those who risk their lives in the name of TRUTH.

And for the church to remain an important institution that preaches the HIGHER TRUTH and the good news of salvation, it must be keep its fidelity to its core teachings of justice, truth and fairness.

Is it fair & just to spurn Jun Lozada, extend special invitation to a "recollection" to an administration spinmeister like Mr. Cerge Remonde and refer to it as a way of "exactly knowing the truth"? The truth and Mr. Remonde is like white and black.

The clergy recollection is not the proper forum to ferret out the truth with only government's side "clarifying" the version of truth. For the head of priests to allow "his" priestly flock to hear only one side is akin to putting blinders on them. The tragedy in this is these very same priests with blinders on have monopoly of the pulpits and, through these, churchgoers trying to find their moral anchor. We ask then, how can the blind lead the blind?

Lozada is not welcome in Cebu? Cebuanos are interested to know the truth as well. What sets us apart from the Cardinal's quest for truth is that we are not only concerned with just knowing the truth, we also need an encounter with the source of the truth. This is intelligence with discernment.

And who is making Jun Lozada a hero? If the Cardinal does not realize it, the issue at hand is already beyond Lozada. The crux of the issue now is the systemic corruption and greed that haunts this country; the flagrant decadence of moral values and the defeat of righteousness against the evils of society. And whoever risks his life in the battle against evil is necessarily a HERO; he doesn't have to be declared one nor be created by the people who are in solidarity with his noble cause.

In the face of this crisis of institutions, may our observance of the Lenten Season find deeper meaning. Lent is a time of prayer and penance as a way to focus on God's grace. This is the best time to take off our righteous robes and to come before God with a new humility, willing to confess our inadequacies. To kneel down with all humbleness before Him and strip ourselves of all pretenses and hypocrisies. By doing so, this might put us in a position to hear God in ways that we have not heard Him in a long time. In this, we may find the beginning of a healing for ourselves and for our country.

O Lord, begin with them. Here. Now.


Akbayan Citizens Action Party • Alliance of Progressive Labor • Bukluran sa Ikauunlad ng Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa • Center for Participatory Governance • Movement for the Advancement of Student Power

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