Play the words

AFTER nearly destroying the moral ascendancy of the Roman Catholic Church because of the intransigence of its leaders, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines finally apologized to the flock it is supposed to serve “for the pain and sadness” that the controversies in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office caused.

Without directly admitting any immoral act, the CBCP said their actions caused confusion because of the “apparent inconsistency of our actions with our pastoral teachings.”

“We assure you that the bishops concerned are ready to accept responsibility for their action and to face the consequences if it would be proven unlawful, anomalous, and unconstitutional. We assure you that their action was done without malice,” the CBCP said.

The one page CBCP statement was signed by outgoing CBCP President Nereo Odchimar who earlier defended the actions of some of bishops who solicited and received expensive sports utility vehicles from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Worse, the bishops received their emoluments from Arroyo via the PCSO, the country’s biggest gambling operator making their position against jueteng, the poor man’s numbers game, untenable and hypocritical.

Arroyo badly needed the Roman Catholic Church by her side throughout her tumultuous scandal-wracked reign.

It now seems to me now that it is not a coincidence that the CBCP refused to call for Arroyo’s resignation despite the mounting reports of human rights violations, cases of rampant corruption and allegations of vote-buying against her rule.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee recently began investigating the possibility of some irregularities in the PCSO operation after it was reported that it was ran to the ground by the Arroyo regime.

Among the actions being probed is the PCSO’s expensive “gifts” to a number of bishops, including Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos who recently asked President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to resign the presidency.

According to the records submitted by the PCSO to the Senate, De Dios Pueblos wrote Arroyo on the eve of his 66th birthday in 2009 asking for a 4X4 vehicle as a gift to be used for “spiritual and social services.”

De Dios Pueblos, in the same letter, expressed his wholehearted support for Arroyo hence it was no surprise to people close to the bishop that he recently asked Aquino to resign.

I am giving some space to the statement of the CBCP so my readers could form their own conclusion on the matter.

***

Our dear People of God, Our Mother Church has been deeply wounded by the controversies in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office that have erupted in the past two weeks.

Some members of the Church believe in the innocence of the bishops involved in the issue, while others do not.

There is no doubt that everywhere in the Church there is great sorrow. We your pastors are one with you.

As shepherds struggling to love you like Jesus the Good Shepherd, we are sorry for the pain and sadness that these events have brought upon you.

We are saddened that many of you, especially the youth, the poor, our Basic Ecclesial Communities, have been confused because of the apparent inconsistency of our actions with our pastoral preaching.

As we express our sadness, we also ask you to be slow in judgment and to cons-cientiously seek the whole truth behind the controversy.

Let us seek the truth always in charity.

We assure you that the bishops concerned are ready to accept responsibility for their action and to face the consequences if it would be proven unlawful, anomalous, and unconstitutional.

We assure you that their action was done without malice. (To be continued)

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