Bishop’s Statement A Call for Discernment
October 31, 2008 § 1 Comment
Five prelates of the monolithic Roman Catholic church issued a statement calling on the people to act against the prevailing order of the times. Iloilo Archbishop and CBCP Head Angel Lagdameo made that call last Tuesday. Aside from merely lambasting the Arroyo administration for its seeming role in the perpetuation of graft and corruption, Lagdameo called upon the `liberators’ of the Motherland to put an end to this cycle of shame and start building a new government.
Question–is it wrong for the archbishops to do this kind of thing now that there’s a pending bill called “Reproductive Health bill” waiting either the signature of Arroyo or her veto? Some sectors speculate that the RCC is just “muscle flexing”, telling Arroyo that the Church is still a force to reckon with. Showing signs of insecurity? Maybe. Or a reflection of inadequate moral discernment?
It could also be a sign that leading proponents of the RH-bill are winning the debate. Two large religious organisations, the Iglesia Ni Cristo and the Jesus is Lord Movement (JIL) are also working silently behind the corridors of power, lobbying for the passage of this bill. Not to mention the US government, and foreign pro-choice lobbyists exerting tremendous PR pressure for Arroyo to make that historic act.
Though the statement really echoes the sentiments of the majority, few believe that a move to oust Gloria could really muster enough support from a so-called “desensitized” military and a throng of trapos intent on earning millions in 2010. This belief stems from earlier models of change where the people’s movement relied on the security forces of the state to effect leadership change. With an unworthy successor (yet popular one) to Arroyo, few welcome radical change simply because doing the right thing now might further cause damage.
Having said that, I think that proponents of change should simply alter their boxed formula for revolts and entertain the idea that calls for new forces leading the charge. Simply put, newer paradigms do not need a withdrawal of support to effect change. Catalysts for change should disabuse the minds of the people and establish this paradigm that simply calls on a Council of State to administer the affairs of the State during the period of transition. The message should be as simple as: to avoid greater confusion, chaos and violence in 2010, the People’s Movement is asking Gloria Arroyo to step down before the elections and make that sacrifice. With her spotty record, Arroyo should be made to resign immediately to avoid a further slide down south of the economy and political system.