“Damaso!” Carlos shouted. “Damaso!” critics of the CBCP echoed.
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz waited for Filipino Catholics to reply in their defense. All he got was silence.
“The silence of these well spread Catholic organizations was deafening,” said Cruz. “They were almost all so peaceful and at ease during such a shameful episode in their Church.”
While Cruz lamented the Catholic organizations’ actions, he seems impressed by ours:
“It is definitely amazing how such a notably well-concerted effort could be staged – fast and effective – saying but one and only substantive and loud shout, viz: Shut up CBCP! Step aside Church! Shame on you Churchmen! Angry texts and bitter calls suddenly invaded the tri-media.
There were even lighting rallies made here and there – all denouncing the supposedly Church doctrine thus perceived, shouting the shameful sins of the clergy, and most of all, cursing the CBCP for its alleged dictatorial nature and pursuant stance,” he said.
First of all, good job, people! When a former archbishop calls our efforts well-concerted, fast, and effective, we must be doing something right.
But why were we so effective? Shouldn’t we be outnumbered by the 80% of Filipinos allegedly represented by the CBCP?
Cruz thinks that they still have the Catholics on their side. It’s just that they’re . . .
“Oh, yes, Churches are full on Sundays,” Cruz said. “People frequent novenas and processions in honor of their favorite saints. But their faith appears both eclectic and superficial while their morals remain juvenile.”
Cruz seems to think that if you go to Church, you should blindly follow what it says, which in this case means opposing the RH Bill. If you don’t support it, if you keep silent, then your faith is superficial.
I agree that most Filipino Catholics have an eclectic faith. Eclectic means “selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles” or “composed of elements from various sources.” Despite being against their doctrine, contraceptive education and use are now accepted and supported by many Filipino Catholics.
But my agreement ends there. Having an eclectic faith — choosing to believe what you think is right instead of believing everything your Church tells you — is not a sign of a juvenile morality; it is a sign of a mature one.
And not responding to criticisms against the CBCP is not a sign of a superficial faith. If Catholics do not appear to support the CBCP, maybe it’s simply because they don’t. If they were quiet during such a “shameful episode” for their church, it could be because they are ashamed — not because the church is being criticized, but because the criticisms are valid.
They may not have joined the protests or even spoken out against the CBCP. But sometimes, the most deafening form of dissent is silence.