Tuesday, February 21, 2006


One feels saddened, and this time to the bones, when political spinners—-even respectable columnists who use to write professionally until, one thinks, they, too, drunk of the poisonous wine dangled by the supreme goddess—orchestrate attacks against the Church whenever she speaks against evils in governance, as CBCP did, albeit cautiously, in its January statements.

The same old arguments which have been rehashed for ages now are tucked in holsters ready for the firing. Predictable as the 30% S.O.P. in pork-barrel projects, the arguments are: “church meddling in politics”, “separation of church and state”, and, “why not tax the church? or “why not mind your own ranks of pedophile priests?” And, of course, the latest cache: “the bishops do not know anything about mining.”

Admittedly, nobody gets curious why the same people did not brandish any of the aforementioned stereotypes when the Church modestly helped fish out the country from the dark depths of Martial Law or placed in a platter those who are now comfortable, or otherwise, in power. And this is not to say anything yet about the Church’s social teachings as contained in its latest document, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. But even without that, are some people that myopic as to think that social concerns are the monopoly of politicians and the powerful? Isn’t it pure and simple that to prevent Church people from denouncing immoralities in the exercise of politics is undemocratic? Common welfare is too precious and fragile to be left alone to the exclusive care of thieves!

In the meantime, the poverty threshold of the country keeps plummeting. The typecast reason is: the stonewalling by the Church of population control programs. The country is so poor because of the swelling number of mouths to feed, or so goes the political equation. Refusing to acknowledge the real reasons for the country’s maladies, one thinks its hardly relevant now what to make out of the outbreak of corruption and the concomitant evils of the present dispensation: the disappearance of fertilizer funds, the looting of the Marcos loot, the cheating and stealing of votes in the elections, the inefficiency in fiscal management and governance, to name but the tip of the iceberg of the country’s worsening winter.

Neither by rhyme nor reason will a barber or a pedicab driver say that the reason why he has no food is because he has sired four or more children. But economists and technocrats, who certainly know better than a barber, still insist that overpopulation brings about the specter of death. But “who are behind global population control?”

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