Mar 7, 2009

The Church needs courage not compromise, fortitude not political savvy.

The late Ferdinand Marcos was having lunch with the late Cardinal Sin. He started small talk to the Prelate by saying, "You should admire the Americans. Hours after the election, they already know who won." The Cardinal nonchalantly responded, "You need to admire your people more. Even before the election, they already know who won." Sin had kept normal relations with Marcos even if the latter's regime has been accused of murder, corruption and fraud. He did not withhold Holy Communion from Ferdinand probably because none of the accusations stuck. I do know that Sin ended his Masses saying, "We are not afraid to face the firing squad..." His courage was contagious. When the opposition barricaded themselves in a fort & were about to be massacred by government's troops, the cardinal called on the faithful to form a human shield and separate the combatants. More than a million stood in harms way - kneeling on the streets, praying the Rosary, holding the Bible and singing Christian hymns.

Courage is a basic habit of moral or decent men - just like justice, prudence & temperance. The word comes from"cor" or heart - the common metaphor for the source of love. Love makes one brave. Consider a mother charging into a burning building when she sees her child in there. Another word for it is fortitude, which comes from "fortis" meaning strength. To have fortitude is not to be a push over, is to be immovable or relentless.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a recession of love nowadays and because of that there is little courage. The unborn are now more than ever so easily murdered with all the legal protections and funded by the American taxpayers. Doctors are forced to murder at the risk of being sued. And since these babies cannot vote and are unwanted by their very own mothers, then they are summarily condemned by the choice of their mothers.

However, there is One who continues to love them and that is their Creator. And that is why God's people struggle to protect them. A few bishops discipline politicians who support abortion. But there are others who remain silent.

But I would not be surprised because there were US bishops who simply relocated pedophile priests who then continued to rape, sodomize or sexually molest children. So, if they did not care for the children then, why would they care for infants now? I hate to bring that up, but the lesson from that tragedy is that bishops and priests need to be watched, reported and corrected by the laity. If they do not fulfill their responsibilities, they need to be replaced just like any officer in an organization.

The laity are confirmed to be prophets, priests and kings. The bishops and priests minister to the layman through the sacraments, teaching and leadership. If the clergy fail to do their jobs, the laity need to do something for the sake of the Church - the Mystical Body of Christ otherwise, they’re just as culpable. They can submit petitions, emails or simply phone the clergy. Then they can stop donating to their diocese. If there is still no reform, then one can finally report them to the Vatican for possible replacement. One can get a young and holy priest who is not yet jaded and cynical, more importantly who is not yet compromised to the world and its powers.

Here’s the contact info:

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

00120 Vatican City Sate, Europe

E-mail: benedettoxvi@vatican.va

(For issue with bishops)

Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re

Prefect, Congregation for Bishops

Piazza Pio XII, 10

00193 Vatican City Sate, Europe

Phone: (011) 39-6-6988-4217

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