Carlos Celdran stepped into Manila Cathedral, and in protest for the passage of Reproductive Health Bill, earned the wrath of the Catholic Church. Much has already been said of Carlos Celdran’s case. As a Catholic, I am not at least offended by Mr. Celdran’s action.
We live in a democracy, and in a democracy we all have the right to free speech, and often the price of democracy is that we offend someone. That doesn’t stop me from being disappointed. Disappointed that Mr. Celdran’s opposition to another’s position could have been expressed differently. Carlos Celdran has, apologized, and for me, that is enough. His action, while disappointing doesn’t seem to scale to epic proportions. Put it another way, the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime. So I am appalled by the verdict, and by the very existence of such a law. I am even more appalled by how the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have acted. It makes them appear like bullies because the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. It would seem that letting bygones be bygones would have done the CBCP much more good. If only to practice what Jesus teaches us.
Give the other cheek!
I am Catholic, and it would seem to me that my church leaders are not walking the talk. How then are the rest of us mere mortals suppose to act? Didn’t Jesus teach us about God’s mercy?
As a Catholic should I be disgusted when my priest seem ill prepared for a sermon?
The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines too reserve the right to freedom of speech. They are after all, Filipinos themselves and have the right to speak. And they were permitted that right to voice out in opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill in spite of people thinking they seemingly have “gone off the reservation.” It didn’t matter if their opinion irk, baffled, nor offended many of us, least of which was our intelligence at the arguments. Never mind too that perhaps, democracy, was shortchanged by the CBCP’s drawing of lines. That no deep debate transpired to ensure that the RH Bill is the absolute best version of the law we could come up with.
As a Catholic should I expect the clergy to talk sense? To have that element of moral compass? “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.”
I am a member of the Church, and it offends me that my Church leaders have done something repulsive. It offends me that instead of bringing God’s love into the world, we are sowing quite the opposite. It offends me that a lot of people don’t know the difference between the CBCP and the Church, because I am part of that Church. I am Catholic, and stay Catholic not because I am good, nor better, or I think there are better places to find God, but because, I am a sinner.
Once upon a time, during the darkest moment of my life, a nun told me, “Jesus loves you”. She was sincere enough, I thought. I didn’t believe her then. I believed in her sincerity, and people’s good intentions, and I think it came from their deep devotion to faith.
Growing up, I learned this from the Brothers of the Christian Schools. At the end of every prayer, we would utter, “Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.” While, I must admit that there have been many days those words seem hollow to me, as a Catholic, this is what I hope, and pray for our Church leaders. That Jesus would live in their hearts. Forever.