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Don’t Throw the Baby with the Bathwater

9 Jul

In a span of 3 days, I’ve already encountered so much hate for the Church because of the behavior of its members — ‘leaders’ even.

First, is the video of a priest giving a sermon to a teenage mother who was having his child baptized. Second, a story of how a parish clerk seemed to have power-tripped on a soon-to-be-wed woman, who happens to be a schoolmate, with a typographical error on her baptismal certificate.

These two incidents have caused much damage to the Church because they have turned not only the people directly involved in these incidents away from the Her but also those who have seen and read their stories. Helen wrote in her article that she already has “stopped attending Mass.”

If only the clerk knew how his actions and the priest’s words turned someone away from the greatest sacrament we have in the Church. Because of these individuals, the entire Church is hurt as it sees people move farther from Her.

But, see, her reaction to this single event is causing more harm to herself than good. Probably media has already conditioned her how hypocritical the Church is or how the mass-goers are. We have this knee-jerk reaction because we actually don’t know what we are missing out on. We throw the baby with the bathwater because the water’s dirty. Why do we do this so often?

If I could only sit down and talk with Helen, perhaps it would be clearer — her misconceptions, misinterpretations, and obvious lack of Catechesis (I say ‘obvious’ because if she really knew what the Mass is really about, I doubt that she would stop attending!). From there, we could move on and hope to correct what needs to be corrected, punish who needs to be punished, without sacrificing and moving away from Christ and His Bride.

CBCP vs. “My Husband’s Lover”

27 Jun

I have a couple of questions. And thoughts that I can’t seem to organize yet, regarding the matter of the CBCP’s criticism of the TV Series “My Husband’s Lover” as reported on Rappler.

Why do people think of the CBCP (and REAL Catholics) to be homophobic bigots? Where’s the argument in that? Besides, Catholicism is not homophobic. As explained in Catholic Answers:

“The term homophobic refers to fear of homosexuality. This term often is used by homosexual activists to end rational discussion of the issue by accusing their opponents of having an irrational fear. This is unjust. One can disagree with and be critical of a behavior without having a fear of it. When the charge of “homophobia” is made, it signifies that those making the accusation do not have reasoned responses to their critics, so they switch to portraying their critics as irrational rather than responding to their arguments.”

Those who say that CBCP and the Catholic Church is homophobic are either mistaken, misguided, or who do not simply understand what the Church teaches. The Church doesn’t have an irrational argument against the lifestyle. If only people take the time to read what the Catechism teaches! Once again, from Catholic Answers:

We have to remember that all people are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated as such, no matter what their behavior. We make a distinction between person and behavior, sometimes expressed as “hate the sin, love the sinner.” The Catechism describes homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered”: “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

How is this irrational?

What the CBCP-ECY hints at is that people need to be aware first of the real score with this kind of theme on television. My problem with the reporting-style of Rappler is that they seem to intentionally leave-out things that don’t paint the picture that they want of the CBCP and Catholics. Note that in the original post on Radyo Veritas, the last statement states:

“Aminado naman si Fr. Garganta na mayroong demokrasya o kalayaan ang lahat ng tao na dapat namang gamitin ng tema hindi lamang ang hangaring kumita.”

So, is the Church and CBCP abusive in exercising its right to remind people of sensitive moral issues? Are they asking for the show to be shot down?

This isn’t the first extra-marital affair-themed thing in showbiz. There were a plethora of bomba/TF/bold films in the past decades. My guess is that since TV Series are more open-ended, the CBCP are watchful of the possible twists and turns the plot might take. A movie is relatively easier to review if it concerns moral themes such as extra-marital affairs because it has a definite conclusion after the 2 hours you watched it. TV Series are trickier. Heck, a movie about a gay brother got better reviews than this movie about heterosexual extra-marital affairs and you think CBCP is homophobic? Can’t people stop and think first before any knee-jerk reaction to a group’s actions and recommendations?

My other real problem, I’ve already expressed in my previous posts — how media is a force that is pushing people away from the Church, and how people are now so gullible to believe outrageous things about the Church that it somehow shows their predisposed hatred for it.

What I look forward to is a good argument between these things. Not just the name-calling on the comments section of the news article on Rappler. As Fr. Robert Barron comments on one of his articles:

“Any preacher or writer who ventures to make a moral argument [against gay marriage] is automatically condemned as a purveyor of โ€œhate speechโ€ or excoriated as a bigot, and in extreme cases, he can be subject to legal sanction. This visceral, violent reaction is a consequence of the breakdown of the rational framework for moral discourse that MacIntyre so lamented.”

 

Thank You Pope Benedict XVI!

28 Feb

popespeaking

It’s about time I posted something again. I know I should’ve posted about Pope Benedict’s resignation but circumstances couldn’t allow me to. Now that I finally have time, I will be posting some thoughts:

1. The Pope’s resignation is not a sign of weakness nor abandonment but a recognition of the needs of the Church that are entrusted to the care of the Supreme Pontiff.

2. It greatly separates Catholicism from Buddhism’s Dalai Lama. The Pope is not a reincarnation of the Holy Spirit or of Peter but an office held by a man.

3. We are not scandalized by a resignation because it has happened before. We are not left scrambling in the dark because we know what to do because of our deep history.

4. We must not underestimate the value of prayer and monastic life. While the secular world trumpets visible good works as the ONLY means to be useful to society, the Pope teaches us that even in prayer, through the supernatural and divine, we affect the world.

and perhaps, finally, as the Pope of my reversion to Catholicism, I am thankful to him for showing the beauty of our liturgy through history — ad orientem worship and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

A Small Discussion on Celdran’s Conviction

30 Jan

Update: my friend found this post and has somewhat taken offense for having said “that was too low for him.” and has apparently taken it personally. If this was misunderstood, then I apologize deeply. However, to clarify, I would never get into personal attacks. As Fulton Sheen said, “Intolerance applies to principles, never to persons.” and I would like to keep it this way. I was only pertaining to the mention of the ‘cover-ups’ and the Inquisition which are not concerned with the topic, hence the words, “Such a pity.” since I feel for my friend whom I have high regard for because of his wide thinking and voracious appetite for reading. Again, if any of this is misinterpreted at any point, I apologize and clarify that I will not get into personal attacks.

My friend, a Born Again Christian, is an ally of Carlos Celdran and of the RH-groups. I tried to respond to his objections to the decision handed to Celdran and how he explains that this does not merit jail time. But as a Catholic, I understand why he does not get it.

1. I cite, as an example, the Eucharist or rather The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To a Protestant, it is nothing more than just a piece of bread. But to a Catholic, it is Jesus Himself! Should a Protestant throw away a piece of consecrated host, it means nothing to them. But to a Catholic, it would be sacrilege.

2. Saying that he does not intend to do such a thing, (I didn’t say he would. I’m merely illustrating the situation in a different way.) he tells me that my example is misplaced. So I give another example: me slapping two women where one woman is his mother. Naturally, he reacts violently against this but insists that this is even more far-off than the first example. My only point in the example is if you put yourself in the shoes of a good Catholic who recognizes that something, say a church (or his mother, in my example), is sacred or important to you, then desecrating it (or slapping her/insulting her) is a “notoriously offensive” act. Again, this doesn’t seem to be clear to him. I somehow understand why since this isn’t in his culture or set of beliefs as a Protestant.

3. He continually notes jurisprudence in the case of People vs. Baes in 1939 and shares the dissenting opinions of Laurel and Imperial which questions what is “notoriously offensive” to a religious group. Be that as it may, the explanation in the same case notes the testimony of Baes where he felt the “grave profanation of the place.” A place consecrated for holy things is set apart. That is why we have a parish hall for meetings and programs and the liturgy inside the church itself — precisely because we do not want to desecrate what is sacred ground!

In this light, I would like to illustrate this with Moses’ encounter with God through the burning bush. If you believe in the sacredness of the land on which you stand, you will do as Moses did. If you do not believe in it, you would find it without difficulty to stand up and put up a sign saying DAMASO! in front of Moses himself.

4. In the end, there cannot be blame on my friend for not understanding how this is offensive to a Catholic. A REAL CATHOLIC. Not a Cafeteria Catholic. It is such a pity how one can be so passionately against strawmen. He also continually mentions the ‘cover-up’ of sex abuse by priests and even mentions, in passing, the Inquisition. I really thought that was too low for him. Reminds me of an article by Robert Hutchinson I read how atheists simply revert to their one-liner attacks. This is what I saw in my friend. Such a pity.

Mass: Not For Your Personal Entertainment

30 Sep

Image

I Love this Pope. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tapal

22 Aug

The best tapal I’ve ever seen! I might even shed a tear or two because of joy! Errr… maybe except for “through the mouth”… “on the tongue” would be the better version.

I know someone who would be happy to see this! ๐Ÿ™‚

Relativism is a virus for Christians

14 Aug

Been in a mini-‘exchange of ideas’ because of a friend’s post. I simply chimed in because it talked about his conversion into Christianity — meaning the Protestant faith. I said to him, through a comment on his post, “you say that as if Catholics aren’t Christians” with a smiley at the end. ๐Ÿ™‚ Some other friends commented and then a little exchange ensued. Not an ugly one, though. There was a question of “who are real Christians?” and how I think that Christians should also have a relationship with Christ through His body — the Church. And then the question “which Church?” came in. After some more exchanges, we finally ended up with Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide (actually, the 5 non-negotiables of Calvin but I only chose the two 2).

Everything was pretty civil and intellectual until finally, the owner of the post chimed in:

This reminded me of the 70s hippie crowd… love and peace for everyone! ๐Ÿ˜›

He, obviously, comes from the “it’s not religion, but a relationship with Christ, that’s important” group of Protestants.

He claimed that this was, in any way, going to resort to bashing of any religion. He corrected his title to “my journey towards being a born-again Christian” (like so many other people title their journey) to be more specific and, true enough, he didn’t say anything against Catholicism or Catholics explicitly. The only problem I had — the apparent exclusion of Catholics from Christians — was already resolved. The comments are the only things that kind of ‘set-up’ the situation for me to ask deeper questions of faith.

Things weren’t really getting out of hand. I don’t know if I was pressing the wrong buttons but the final comment he posted somehow stunned me. And led me to question if I had been actually evangelizing uncharitably, and have I gone too far in ‘defending’ my faith? Have I, instead of bringing one closer to God and His Church, turned others away?

After getting over the initial shock, I found some comfort (no matter how small) when I reviewed his comment and took note of the words I underlined. Relativism really is something that we need to combat, as Pope Benedict XVI says. It’s a pity how this ‘disease’ has affected one of my Christian friends. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” in John 14:6. And my friend has answered it himself through his post — that his own Jesus (truth) is what’s important. Never mind if other people have different Jesus’. What’s important is that you believe in your own truth. Such is the dilemma of Christians who think that they worship one God but do not realize that they only worship themselves because they create their own truths and ultimately their own god.

Another conclusion I have come to realize is that, perhaps, my approach was too direct for him. That my style of evangelization through challenge of thoughts and ideas is not his way of accepting things. He admits in his post, “as you can see, i am so much into the details and emotions and whatnot.” so witnessing through emotions might have been the better approach. I will confess, though, that this way (emotional approach) isn’t very convincing for me as I am more into the intellectual deduction of things. Emotions are volatile and easily misinterpreted. Remember that feeling of ‘love’ in high school? then in college? then at work when you found “The One” #1, “The One” #2, and so on? Yep, that’s right… those feelings.