Futile inquisition

The President seems prepared to hold an auto da fe for Bishop Yniguez. He’s royally ticked her off. She’s apparently given instructions for Papal encyclicals to be thoroughly vetted for anything that might serve as a condemnation of the bishop’s filing an impeachment complaint against her.

Precision when it comes to using and referring to Catholic terminology is essential. See definitions of encyclicals, of apostolic constitutions, and of canon law for useful distinctions and to understand the roles they play in Catholic life. While Papal letters and the decrees of Councils of the Church deal with faith and morals, the Code of Canon law serves as the body of laws with regards to the administration of the Catholic Church. The full text of the 1983 Code of Canon Law is online. Is there anything in canon law to prohibit Bishop Yniguez from doing what he did?From what I’ve found, there’s nothing.

In Chapter III, The obligations and rights of clerics: Canon 285, Sec. 3: Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.

Book II, The People of God, Part II, The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church, Section 2, Particular Churches and their groupings, Title I, Particular Churches and the Authority Established in Them, Chapter II, Bishops, Article 1, Bishops in General, we find: §5. In the future, no rights and privileges of election, nomination, presentation, or designation of bishops are granted to civil authorities. In Article 2, Diocesan Bishops, there is nothing that pertains to the civil authorities.

A search of the word “civil” brings up all references to civil authorities in canon law. Happy hunting.

Here is a useful guide, though principally addressed to American Catholics. It’s titled on Faithful Citizenship, which further boils down and defines Catholic precepts for political participation:

The Church is called to educate Catholics about our social teaching, highlight the moral dimensions of public policies, participate in debates on matters affecting the common good, and witness to the Gospel through our services and ministries. The Catholic community’s participation in public affairs does not undermine, but enriches the political process and affirms genuine pluralism. Leaders of the Church have the right and duty to share Catholic teaching and to educate Catholics on the moral dimensions of public life, so that they may form their consciences in light of their faith.

The American bishops make reference to Doctrinal Note on some questions regardingThe Participation of Catholics in Political Life issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Office, and earlier known as The Holy Roman Inquisition), prepared by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the present pope) and approved by John Paul II. Because of the nature of the responsibilities of that congregation, the paper represents the last word on the matter, though of course reference has to be made to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Reading the Doctrinal Note, I don’t see any prohibition on what Bishop Yniguez did. Indeed, the following passage (II. Central Points in the Current Cultural and Political Debate), seems particularly relevant:

3.  It is not the Church’s task to set forth specific political solutions – and even less to propose a single solution as the acceptable one – to temporal questions that God has left to the free and responsible judgment of each person. It is, however, the Church’s right and duty to provide a moral judgment on temporal matters when this is required by faith or the moral law.[14] If Christians must «recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view about the organization of worldly affairs«,[15] they are also called to reject, as injurious to democratic life, a conception of pluralism that reflects moral relativism. Democracy must be based on the true and solid foundation of non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society.

Speaking as a whole, the Philippine hierarchy never proposed one, particular solution, Individual bishops have professed opinions, because after all, a bishop is not the entire Church, and he only has influence outside his diocese; as I understand it, in such cases, he is speaking in his capacity as a citizen of some standing in the community, a person who can be listened to but who doesn’t necessarily have to be obeyed in secular matters in which he doesn’t have any particular competency (unless, say, he is also a lawyer).

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

30 thoughts on “Futile inquisition

  1. This is what I have been waiting for – a confrontation between the Church and Arroyo. I hope she’ll be foolish enough to test the Church’s power.

    I also think she’s looking in the wrong place for ammunition against Yniguez. She should look to China. Ask the Chinese government how they deal with religion.

    China has a parliament and a prime minister right? Hey maybe they’re the parliamentary model Gloria is looking for. They’re a one party state, the press and religion are both responsible. And not only that – the Chinese government chooses who becomes a Bishop! If Gloria ever got hold of the power to appoint bishops, I bet the first one she will pick is Msgr. Nico Bautista.

  2. Manolo,

    Are you sure the news about investigating Yniguez is real? It sounds like corriente? Or is she really that whacked out of her mind that she’s seriously asking her people to look into it!

  3. I can list down all the adjectives to describe this administration. It’s a long long list. But the most apt is “DISGUSTING!”.

    Never in our history has any administration gone to such heights of lying, cheating and stealing.

    Their methods, born out of desperation, are so blatant and so crude and unsophisticated that any average Juan can see through it. And yet this administration does it anyway. Including using Popes… not once, but twice!! You can’t stoop any lower than that. That’s even lower than a viper’s ass.

    Langya talaga. Wala nang respeto sa Filipino. For them, Juan is stupid. For them, Juan can be bought and intimidated anytime. This is the shared thinking of the Wicked Witch of the Pasig, her Cabinet, her Congressmen and her Cha-Cha pushers.

    Well, let’s see. Let’s see. The 2nd Impeachment is on…with 2007 elections just around the corner. Let’s see.

  4. Sir Quezon,

    Maraming salamat po sa inyong payo. Humihingi po ng paumanhin yung isa naming classmate kasi akala po niya di ninyo kami papansinin.

    Kengkoy po siya at sabi ng sabi ng ‘ektum paktum si gloria ay puno ng bulutong,’ ng makabasa ng Latin.

    Maraming salamat po

  5. And why not? Catholic church as a tax exempt status organization is just like any NGOs who can lobby or protest againgst the govvernment policy within the Scope of its Status. The Catholic Church of Ontario have won the government approval for financing 100% the Catholic Schools from the Education Budget the same as all public high schools. But it can only lobby as a group or protest also as a group. Individually, a high member of Church Heirarchy can do the same as a citizen just like any other citizen. No more, no less..

  6. Kayo naman, di ba natural lang sa tao mamihasa? Di ba pag kagagaling mo lang sa simbahan at binidisyonan ng pari e parang good na good pakiramdam mo? Ganun din si ate glo: pakiramdam niya dahil nakausap niya ang papa pareho na kapangyarihan nila. Mahirap bang maunawaan yan?

  7. Does GMA thinks the encyclical she got from the Pope was a license to rule over the Catholic church?

    This is interesting though, a real confrontation between GMA and the local Church.

  8. Spain is a prospective place of exile for GMA. She would first file for a leave of abscence for real health reasons.

  9. Paiimbistigahan daw si Bishop Yniguez? My gosh! GMA and her minions are really hallucinating. This is ‘intimidation’. Tamaan sana sila ng kidlat!

  10. On the separation of church and state, can we make simplier clarifications like qualifying the word ‘separation’ as ‘political separation’ in which case the role of the church vis a vis the state is clearer. If ‘separation’ is qualified as ‘moral separation’, in which case the gov’t would insist that the church should not exert moral influence that affects the state, otherwise it would be meddling,

    It seems absurd but that could be the case about this gov’t obfuscations of very important issues.

  11. I think the Constitution is clear enough, juan makabayan. I think it’s so clear that even those in the Arroyo government can understand it. 😀 It is just in their best interest to muddle it up on purpose.

  12. Juan,

    the church as an organization or its clergy as individuals have a right guaranteed by the constitution to “meddle” in politics. There is no classifictionas to moral issues only or whatever. They can sat they are against somebody because of her looks and the State cannot forbid them from doing it. The separation principle applies to the State not the church. It is meant to protect religions from State control

  13. MLQ3,
    I love this topic. Thanks for stoking it because I think that really, lots of people are confused by it, and there is here a golden opportunity for a magnificent new consensus. I am talking about “separation” of church and state, a simpler clarification of which Juan Makabayan has asked for. May I suggest Pope Benedict’s own definition in Deus Caritas Est — that “separation of church and state” is in the command to “render unto God the things that belong to God, and to Caesar, what belongs to Caesar.”

    But I find the term “separation of church and state” which was used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Baptists of Danbury in 1802, to be somewhat misleading. It is misleading because where faith and politics actually intersect — unavoidably and quite logically — is in the indivisible conscience of every citizen. As Benedict says there can be no contradiction between one’s personal faith and one’s social duty, which I take to mean that that belonging to the Communion of Saints cannot possibly inhibit one’s thoughts, words and actions as a Citizen of the Republic.

    I think Gloria has lost substantial support from the Church as the Bishops come to a deeper realization of Benedict’s edict that though the Church “cannot take up the political battle to establish the MOST JUST society possible” neither can the Church “stay on the sidelines in the fight for Justice.”

    Pope Benedict explains Thomas Jefferson better than Benjamin Franklin!

    The Catholic Church accepts, understands, upholds and fully wields Democracy as a handmaiden of God on its own terms. The temporal sphere belongs to Caesar, who is ultimately responsible for justice within it. The souls of men belong to God, yet may they lose it through the action or inaction of free will, by commission or omission.

    The last I know the Bishops truly believe. In that should GMA truly fear.

  14. DJB,

    de acuerdo and GMA has to adopt the China unicameral model if she wants her way.

  15. Schumey,
    Tell us again, what you said about canonization.di bale na.
    Dapat nga siguro kung ipinangbala na lang sa kanyon ang mga yun ano?

    Jeferson wrote a letter to first resolve an internal matter in Connecticut but his letter did not sound that it only applied for the state of Connecticut alone, but rather as a national statement….

    obviously the original letter has nothing to do with connecticut or the US. at all.The imaginary wall that separates the church and state is now a universla wall.

    Well Christ did tackle the separation with that roman coin thing..Pope John Paul II also discussed this on his Centissimus Annus.

    Now it is up for another interpretation and another version courtesy of the government lawyers.

  16. John-Paul II’s 1991 encyclical Centissimus Annus proclaimed that ‘the Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, and guarantees the governed the possibility of both electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate.’

    The late Pope said it…hold accountable those who govern and replacing them through peaceful means if appropraite.

    These are the citizen’s rights .

  17. Since Jefferson was mentioned..below is his letter to The Danbury Baptist chuch…

    Mr. President
    To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
    The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes ore & more pleasing.
    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I
    contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of
    separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national
    church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
    I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
    (signed) Thomas Jefferson

  18. The gall of GMA to tell the church to stop meddling when she herself has used the clergy so many times in the past. Wasn’t Fr. Robert Reyes one of the complainants against Erap? How forgetful can this leprechaun be? Cardinal Sin came to aid in EDSA II and now she thinks the church is meddling in the affairs of the state. Ang hirap kay GMA, magaling lang yan ‘pag may kailangan sa’yo, kapag wala na, basura ka na. Talagang “TRAPO”. Come election time, unahan na naman sila sa pag kuha ng suporta sa simbahan.

  19. Pinakikiusap ko po sa mga commenters dito na iwasan ang pagtawag ng pangalan sa Pangulo, o sino mang pinuno ng administrasyon sa dahilang:
    1. ipakita natin sa mga kabataang nagbabasa ang mga maling ginagawa ng administrasyon at hindi ang galit natin na ang paggamit ng mga hindi magagandang salita kahit sa English ay nagbabawas ng kredibilidad sa nagsusulat.

    2. Mga bata lang ang tumatawag sa kanilang kaaway o kinamumuhian ng mga pangalang hindi kanais-nais kung wala na silang masabi. Ang paggamit din ng mga ganiyang salita ay nagpapababa sa ating uri.

  20. Really Cat, may I ask you how the administration calls us those who criticize them? Much worst is how they treat us by CPR, abductions and summary executions. Now words are just words but actions, now that’s a whole different story. Can you please explain to the families of those victims of said actions why their loved ones should merit such treatment by the administration? Respect is earned and not through repression.

  21. The Cat… I accept your advice on the condition that this Pangulong morally bansot will STOP LYING, CHEATING, STEALING and posturing.

    She is NOT my president, neither is she the president of millions of Filipinos. We all must face the truth: this pangulong morally bansot is an impostor, a usurper and a squatter in Malacanang.

    These are the lessons that our young must learn about this pangulong morally bansot because at the end of the day, no amount good, correct words for your so-called pangulo will bring back the dignity of the Filipino people until she and her family are ousted from Malacanang.

  22. On the principle of the separation of church and state applying to the state, more specifically, prohibiting the exercise of the power of the state from violating religious freedom; isn’t it ironic that it is the state who is invoking the principle of separation against a religious? and in so doing thereby violate the very principle it purports to invoke? isn’t this a duplcitously reversed genre of inquisition?

  23. Quoting gmanews at http://www.gmanews.tv/breakingnews.php?sec=2&id=9775

    “CBCP head: Papal encyclical justifies bishop’s filing of impeach raps

    Article posted June 30, 2006, 9:43 pm

    The encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI justifies the filing of an impeachment complaint by Caloocan bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, contrary to Malacañang’s claim that the move goes against papal wishes, the head of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Friday.

    CBCP president Angel Lagdameo, archbishop of Jaro, Iloilo, wrote in his weblog on Friday night that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo can read the “Deus Caritas Est” encyclical, a copy of which the Pope gave as a gift in her visit to the Vatican, to arrive at the same conclusion.

    Lagdameo said: “The Pope writes in that encyclical ‘The just ordering of society and the state is a central responsibility of politics. As St. Augustine once said, a state which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.'”

    The CBCP president noted that Iñiguez quoted the same passage when the Caloocan bishop lodged the third impeachment complaint on Wednesday against Arroyo, accusing the President of abuse of power and corruption.

    Lagdameo further quoted the papal encyclical in his weblog: “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.”

    Lagdameo added that Iñiguez clearly did not bring the CBCP into the picture in regard to the impeachment bid, so the CBCP will respect his option.

    The CBCP president also chided Malacañang for invoking the separation of Church and State “too often.”

    “This separation should not be used as an argument against the participation and involvement of the Church in shaping the politics of our country. Concretely this means that the Bishops, Clergy and Laity must be involved on the area of politics when moral and Gospel values are at stake,” he said.(end of quote).

  24. Hi! Check Archbishop Lagdameo’s weblog at http://abplagdameo.blogspot.com/ Glueria and her minions clearly have twisted interpretation. Kala nila walang kopya ang CBCP of the Pope’s encyclical “Deus Caritas Est”. Ipinagyayabang pa ni Glueria na dapat daw basahin ni Bishop Yniguez ang nakasulat dun (ano si Glueria spokesperson ni Santo Papa? Huh!). In fact, a copy of which was given “to all the Bishops much earlier this year” accdg. to Archbishop Lagdameo.

  25. Looks like there’s a need for another pastoral letter from the bishops if only to counter Gloria’s interpretation (spin) of Papal Encyclicals. The gall to try to interpret Church doctrines and teachings. It takes years and years to study for the priesthood and the doctrines.

    Now she thinks she’s the Pope. Next she’ll say she’s God Almighty! Disgusting!

  26. Glue-ria has a twisted idea of truth. She interprets everything abruptly and according to her own logic. It’s alarming coz her twisted interpretations are not only enveloping her (already virus-filled) brain but are also insulting our intelligence. Gma is really disgusting, she’s a malignant tumor!

  27. One can imagine (in)gloria’s possible reaction to a falling-out between her goddamned adminsitration and and the CBCP…..

    1. Taxation of the Church’s extensive landholdings
    2. Passage of bills legalising divorce, same-sex marriage, and even abortion
    3. Use of trumped-up paedophilia chargs to keep in check erring cocksuc…I mean, priests and bishops

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