by Maria Makiling
The Philippine Catholic Church in its bid to regain its waning political influence, staged the Walk For Life last February 18. In a country where more than 4/5 are Catholic, they were able to gather a measly 10,000 warm bodies. Hakot pa yon since many Catholic schools required their students to attend. Susmio!
The mass mobilization is supposed to condemn EJKs, go against the reimposition of death penalty, is against abortion, and is totally against same sex marriage. The cause is divisive but is respectable considering the freedom of religion and the right to an opinion that are rights respected in the Philippines. But what makes the event a farce is that it was a rally of the ultra conservatives who are quick to judge but has as its guest of honor the poster girl of home wrecking, sexual harassment, and drug coddling, Leila De Lima.
In a predominantly Catholic country that adores Pope Francis, why did this walk not even generate 100,00 people? Simply because the Philippine Catholic Church is full of hypocrisy and double standards. While it is quick to pontificate on moral issues, it fails to clean its ranks of priests who are pedophiles, child molesters, and rapists. The Philippine Church also has priests with children and families. Truth to tell, some are even married but remain priests! Por Dios por santo!
And let us not forget the corrupt and abusive princes of the church who live in luxury in the midst of poverty. To make things worse, in a stupid attempt of public relations suicide, the church has embraced the likes of Leila De Lima while it openly criticized a very popular and reformist president, Duterte.
What then can the Catholic Church do to remain relevant? Stay out of politics and stick to spiritual things.
If the Catholic Church just confines itself to helping the poor and the oppressed; gives away its land and vast properties to the marginalized; stop being beholden to its corrupt and immoral benefactors; and surrender their sexual predators to the justice system and expel all their corrupt princes, then maybe the Filipinos will believe they are real.
But for now, they remain to be pontificating men in long dresses with a dwindling audience. Walk your talk, fathers. Gone are the days of Damaso when Catholics cower in fear of you. Now we see you as you are – sinful, pretentious, and starved for power.