President replaces Nuncio

While Ricky Carandang thinks Cha-Cha is dead, because the President’s ultimate objective is to wangle some kind of assurance that she can retire comfortably and safely in 2010, statements to the effect that the Pope has blessed constitutional amendments, and that the President has now replaced the Apostolic Nuncio as conduit of papal instructions to the Philippine hierarchy, makes me wonder if Carandang should be so confident.

The President claims the Papal Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, is an injunction against “meddling in politics.” Was she, or those interpreting her interpretation of the Pope, right?

Read the text of Deus Caritas Est, which seems to me an injunction for lay Catholics not to keep relying on their bishops to do their fighting for them. The Pope does spell out, in the following passages, his views on the role of the Catholic Church in politics. It is clear, and makes some cardinal distinctions while insisting, properly, that laymen should take the lead in applying Christian values to political life:

a) The just ordering of society and the State is a central responsibility of politics. As Augustine once said, a State which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves:… Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt 22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere.[19] The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.

Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics. Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life: its origin and its goal are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now. But this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice? The problem is one of practical reason; but if reason is to be exercised properly, it must undergo constant purification, since it can never be completely free of the danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.

Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. …

The Church’s social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church’s responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. As a political task, this cannot be the Church’s immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically.

The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply…

29. We can now determine more precisely, in the life of the Church, the relationship between commitment to the just ordering of the State and society on the one hand, and organized charitable activity on the other. We have seen that the formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason. The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run.

The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. So they cannot relinquish their participation “in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas, which are intended to promote organically and institutionally the common good.” [21] The mission of the lay faithful is therefore to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competences and fulfilling their own responsibility.[22] Even if the specific expressions of ecclesial charity can never be confused with the activity of the State, it still remains true that charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as “social charity”…

The President’s statements, as amplified by the Palace, seriously distorts the substance and even particulars of the papal letter. As this explanation of the encyclical is in Wikipedia puts it, “Summary on justice and charity, and the Church’s role. The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply… The Church’s charitable organizations, on the other hand, constitute an opus proprium, a task agreeable to her, in which she does not cooperate collaterally, but acts as a subject with direct responsibility, doing what corresponds to her nature. (§28-29, italics added).” Therefore, the recent CBCP statement on Charter Change, which indeed quotes this encyclical, demonstrated complete fealty to papal policy.

Anyway after waiting half an hour, the President got promises from the PM of Italy and she now gets to enjoy 2 days at Santiago de Compostela talking to Spanish businessmen.

Defensor: President was bamboozled into apologizing.

In case you were wondering, an announcement: rebellious officers might be punished. Maybe. Perhaps.

In case you wondered if he was still alive, former President Ramos says he has an opinion on insurgency.

NEDA says the 25 peso wage increase compensates for the erosion to spending power due to last month’s inflation. There are too many air conditioners at the National Book Development Board.

Update on events in Thailand. Kuala Lumpur worried over being portrayed as unfriendly (and seen as officially extravagant).

My Arab News column for this week is, One Voice Wants to Expand Democracy, Not Restrict It (this might answer some questions raised by Julio Rey B. Hidalgo). Incidentally, One Voice is prepared to challenge the so-called “people’s initiative” before the Comelec and the courts.

The Inquirer editorial points out impeachment should be easier to achieve by one vote. Amando Doronila reiterates his belief the original impeachment should have reached the senate, and says the present impeachment is doomed. Conrado de Quiros on assuming leaders recognize the same limits as their peers.

A fascinating column by Bong Austero on matching what schools teach and what job markets want.

Greg Macabenta says Filipinos overseas have political clout -if only they exercised it.

Cocktales reveals that if the Manila Daily Bulletin’s published earnings are any guide, Philippine broadsheets are decreasing in profits.

Iloilo City Boy takes a look at the Arroyos. I think in this case, his view of how thinks work does not reflect how people really decide how to fight issues.

baratillo@cubao helps rip media a new asshole in bare naked media.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

13 thoughts on “President replaces Nuncio

  1. you give too much credit to wikipedia, which is not even a refereed reference material. for all we know, the next day, wikipedia might just pick up pgma’s interpretation.

  2. GMA wasn’t content with the blasphemous “God put me here” now she’s using Pope Benedict XVI to swoon the local Catholic church. What’s next? She’ll say Kofi Anan or the UN Security Council will send in international(US) troops to facilitate the Charter change?

  3. being a prominent spokesperson for a movement like one voice, mlq should stick to the agenda of one voice and should stop espousing other views that are not consistent with the agenda of one voice. This is not meant to criticise manolo but if his ultimate desire is to make the movement succeed then personal opinion and agenda should take a backseat in favor of the greater agenda of one voice. If the fragile thread of common interests will be damaged by petty and partisan point of views then the movement will remain the voice of one.

  4. MLQ,

    Your headline President replaces Nuncio, made me think “Nuno (sa Punso) replaces Nuncio.”

  5. Manuel,

    Witty and effective. Didn’t GMA use Pope John Paul before? Such a liar. Why on earth would Pope Benedict make 2006 as the Year for Social Concern if he does not want the church to dip its hands in social reforms, wouldn’t that be absurd?

  6. MLQ3
    What did I comment in your previous article? I wrote that she was not there to work for the sainthood but to get the Pope to do something with the political meddlings of the religious people.

  7. Sir Quezon,

    Tinuro po ng titser namin itong blog ninyo para ma expose kami sa opinion ng marurunong na tao. Hindi po namin maintindihan ang sulat ninyo. Masyado po ang lalim at bigat ng ingles. Maari po bang plain inglish para maintindihan namin ang sinasabi ninyo?

    Sorry po sa hiling namin kung para sa inyo-inyo lamang ang mga usapin na tinatalakay ninyo. Sana may version kayo na maiintindihan namin.

    Salamat po.

  8. MLQ3 – off topic but urgent!

    Schumey, CVJ, Manuel Buencamino, Carl, Jhay,

    I’m posting because I’m simply ecstatic.

    Knowing that you guys are sort of football enthusiasts, I believe that the Philippines should start taking football as a national sport seriously.

    (Btw, Franck Riberry who scored the first goal for France is of slight build and only 5’6 tall so I am confident Filipinos can produce players like him!)

    Zinedine Zidane,34 yrs old, described by the UK’s The Times as the most eminent player of his time after he scored France’s 3rd goal in last night’s World Cup elimination series with Spain should be tapped to train future Philippine players and trainors.

    I hope you saw the match because both teams played beautifully, aggressively and at high speed for most of the two halves of the match.

    Zidane proved his football genius once again with a wonderful foot play in typical Zidane fashion by outmaneouvering two, nay top Spanish football cracks…

    France v Spain match was one hell of a match.

    (Must admit though that am plenty worried for the forthcoming French quarter final match with Brazil but am hoping that Zidane will dazzle us once again with his genius.)

  9. anna, unfortunately i missed watching the game as i am on graveyard shift. Congratulations on your team’s victory and i confess that i expected Spain to win. This is the second time i underestimated France. (The first time was in 1998.)

  10. hs student, kaya mo ‘yan. hindi naman siguro mahirap intindihin ang blog na ito -ang estilo niya ay kapareho lamang ng mga kolum at iba’t ibang bagay na sinusulat ko. katulad ng lahat ng pagbabasa, sa ingles man o filipino, tiyaga at kaunting pagsusuri lamang ang kailangan mo: sa pamamagitan ng dictionary at thesaurus malamang masasanay ka. ganun din ang ginagawa ko nung highschool ako. kung mayroong mga salita o bahagi ng mga entry dito na nais mong ipaliwanag ko, mag comment ka lang. salamat sa pagdalaw mo at sa guro niyo at nirekomenda niya ang blog na ito.

  11. Howie Severino’s blog has a great entry of one of FC Barcelona’s greatest players ever. He still holds the club’s scoring record, and he happens to be a Pinoy.


  12. I wish to share NBDB’s answer to the “airconditioner” issue which was cited in this blog, as follows:

    The Editor
    Manila Times
    371 A. Bonifacio Drive
    Port Area, Manila

    Dear Mr. de la Rosa,

    We protest the very unbalanced article “COA hits book unit’s excessive spending” written by your reporter Jonathan Hicap and which appeared on your paper yesterday, June 28. Mr. Hicap called up the Office of NBDB Chairman Dennis Gonzalez near the close of office hours on June 27, and his story appeared the very next day even though he had not yet gotten the side of NBDB.

    Is there anything urgent in the story that Mr. Hicap could not wait to get our side? His story is based on a highly selective use of a COA audit report for 2005 dated April 10, 2006. The COA report is not really new and the NBDB Secretariat has formally and adequately responded to it already. Furthermore, if Mr. Hicap did his homework, he would have known that the NBDB Chairman presides over Board meetings usually once a month, and does not do day-to-day management of the agency. The daily manager is the Executive Officer, the head of the Secretariat, who is the person Mr. Hicap should have tried to reach.

    Mr. Hicap makes selective use of the COA report. For example, he writes: “the book board incurred unliquidated cash advances worth P325,930.45.” What he does not mention are the following sentences from the report: “Cash advances granted during the year were all liquidated. Material cash advances pertain to those granted to a former member of the Governing Board of P150,499.00, which is the subject of a pending case at the Sandiganbayan and the P105,280.00 granted also to a former Governor who has not submitted his foreign travel report to date.” The bulk of the unliquidated advances are from former Board members in the late 1990s and not under the current NBDB officials.

    For another example, Mr. Hicap wrote that the meal costs for board meetings reached as high as P603.26 per participant. What he does not know and could have easily found out is the fact that the budget for the monthly board meeting, which usually ends at 9 pm, is only P5,000.00, and those who partake of the meal are not only the 8 Board members and the Board Secretary but also 12 members of the Secretariat staff including some drivers. The P5,000.00 is for a meal of 20 persons, and in no way is it P603 per person. The COA has been made aware of this.

    There are many other items in Mr. Hicap’s report which could have been placed in proper context if he were diligent enough and less hasty. We are appalled at his lack of competence and professionalism.

    Very truly yours,

    NBDB Secretariat

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