Maanne Ilagan Lopez
A WORK IN PROGRESS

On “Stasis”

Lopez, Maanne I.

Editorial and Opinion Writing

December 4, 2007

The Philippine Daily Inquirer published an editorial entitled “Stasis” last November 28. Stasis is a term which means a static or stagnant condition. The editorial reflected on the inability of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to provide moral guidance to a nation that is in a terrible moral muddle. The writer specified points presenting the indecisiveness and moral confusion of the bishops. Whether the bishops repeatedly plea for moral revolution because they have nothing new to say, that it had become a tired refrain and signify nothing. According to the writer the moral revolution has become a euphemism for lack of moral will, which presupposes a lack of moral vision. Furthermore, the article indicated that Lagdameo counseled the government to carry out a Zacchaeus and allot their ill-gotten belongings to the indigent ones. A Gospel-inspired but not morally wise advice. It seems to notify plunderers that it’s all right to steal from the public possessions amass ill-gotten wealth as long as they give portion of it later to the poor. Although the CBCP president criticized the presidential pardon granted to former President Joseph Estrada, a convicted plunderer, contrary to what his fellow brother-bishops did when they welcomed the pardon. The clash of views of the bishops showed the division of the Philippine Church. It was stated that the days when the bishops would convoke a council and labor over a document or a position behind which they would stand solidly are history, disparate to the time of late Jaime Cardinal Sin. The editorial, moreover, points out that the bishops cannot afford to be human in this manner. As successors of the apostles, they have the prophetic mission to read the signs of the times and provide spiritual direction to the people. Philippine Church, through the bishops, remains the linchpin of the nation, holding it together, yet if they, themselves are divided, what more can you expect will happen to our country?

Journalists are supposed to monitor the powerful or the three branches of the government, namely the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. However the editorial focused on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Although they are not a part of the government, personally I believe that there are more powerful entities that should also be monitored, because as part of the Philippine society all are interconnected. The Philippine Church is undeniably a powerful one, and although they are considered as the successors of the Apostles, it’s not an excuse if there are some issues regarding them that are important to the public’s concern. Nothing to worry since journalists are guided by principles, ethics and news values. Moving on, what the writer did was tell the truth about what is happening in the Philippine Church and how it affects the country. The reality is that there is something wrong in the CBCP. The Philippine Church will remain in stasis unless they undergo introspection. I believe that the bishops could not morally wise guide the country when they, themselves are confused and not united. The members of the Church should uphold the teachings of God Almighty and not their personal biases. The editorial also exercised justice, since the writer practiced balance and fairness, when he criticized the CBCP, a proof that the writer is not biased. That he is working independently, not for the government, not for the Church, but to serve the public.

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