Time and again, no less than the Holy Father himself raised his firm and clear voice about the scandal obtaining in the world. People killing one another. Few people wallowing in abundance while many are dying of sickness and hunger. Public officials using their authority and influence in self-service instead of serving their constituents. Trillions spent in the manufacture of weapons while but token amounts are spent for the production of food or the manufacture of medicines. If these are not scandalous, much less could they be virtuous.
But the Holy Father too has certainly not failed in also raising his resolute and resounding voice against scandals in the Church: Clerics blatantly violating their commitment to continence in celibacy, shamelessly forgetting the spirit of poverty, unceremoniously leaving the ministry, and thereby deeply hurting the Church as a whole, making a mockery of the teachings of Christ, exhibiting to the people their conversion to evil.
Specifically in the context of this Country, both the Philippine government and the Philippine hierarchy have much to do, viz., to resolutely and satisfactorily respond to their respective challenge. The former has to counteract the scandal caused by graft and corruption in public offices. The latter has to correct the scandal occasioned by erring clerics in priestly ministries.
The government of the Philippines through the national leadership has the opportunity especially up to year 2004, to show its worth in rooting out corruption among public officials. The government owes this to the people.
The hierarchy of the Philippines neither has all the time to clean the ranks of the clergy. The hierarchy owes this to the Christian faithful in particular.
Otherwise, neither has the right to censure the other, to criticize one another. Because before the face of truth and the bar of justice, the government and the hierarchy would be in exactly the same footing in inequity and ineffectivity. And what a pitiful Country the Philippines would then be!
15 October 2003