Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I am reprinting in full, the letter to the editor published in today's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer by my idol, singer, Gary Granada (some of his compositions are Bahay, Holdap, Kahit Konti, Salamat Musika, etc).

Confusing Calls from Catholic bishops

I am neither a Catholic nor a Protestant. I do not belong to a huge organization, much less represent one. At best, I am a volunteer of Kaalagad, a small interfaith community. I am writing this letter in the hope that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines might reconsider its stance regarding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her government.

But primarily I am writing this letter out of confusion. In previous pronouncements, the CBCP deplored a "most corrupt President" whom, it said, the Church helped install; at the time, it urged everybody to take communal action.

Two weeks later, the CBCP asked the very same President to take the lead in combating corruption. I understand that this was the result of a process of discernment on the part of the bishops. God must have spoken to them and told them to ask a most corrupt leader to rid her most corrupt government of corruption. Do you see who is cheering?

Discernment must be a supernatural mystery, I wonder if it involves executive privilege between God and the CBCP. "Discernment" reminds me of one of Christ's disciples. When he announced that one of them was about to betray him, the culprit himself asked, "Is it I, Lord?"

It is very difficult to discern what is already clear. As a fan of Jesus, I did a bit of discerning myself. Something tells me that the Gospel itself - the good news to the needy, the reign of hope, sufficiency, justness, and goodwill - is being undermined by the very institution that owns its franchise. The CBCP has made the Gospel like tasteless salt, no longer good for anything except perhaps to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people.

Dear CBCP members, two years ago you could have helped prevent a most corrupt President and her gang from continually getting away with lying, cheating, stealing and murder. But you chose to sit it out, and thus helped instead to save GMA and Garci. Despite the odds, the people went ahead anyway and marched. And "lost".

Now the CBCP is doing the same. And again the people will march to oust GMA and her conspirators. The triumph of public good might be uncertain. They may not prevail. Just the same, the people will march, in a sense trampling on the tasteless salt of hierarchical religion.

The bishops may want to join them, not as bishops, not as CBCP, but as average believers whose untrained spiritual eyes neverthless discrn God's Will in the obvious.

- Gary Granada


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