Lying, cheating and stealing, deception, oppression and exploitation, abduction, violence and murder—these are definitely not simply political issues but downright moral aberrations. Politics is the art of governance—not the right to promote selfish political interests over and above the dictates of justice and truth, the demands of public good and common welfare.
Confronted by such falsity and malevolence promoted or perpetrated by those in position of political power and influence, it is a big betrayal of their commitment to the Gospel truth if churchmen would play blind, deaf, and dumb and thereby do nothing to counter such socio-political atrocities. When people are downgraded in dignity and violated in their human rights, woe to the church when this says and does nothing about it.
The ministry of love by the Church certainly includes the work of social justice. Love of neighbor means much more than just feeding, clothing and housing the poor. It precisely includes the work to counter the cause itself of their poverty. This causal factor of poverty in the country comes in terms of some devious individuals and in form of certain unjust structures.
Only those who are the authors and the beneficiaries of such malevolent socio-ethical factors want churchmen to stay in their convents, to shut up, and keep still. They are the characters who are fast in invoking the separation of Church and State as if the good and welfare of the citizens were not the concern of the Church.
When the State is represented by an abusive and manipulative, and wherefore discredited and distrusted administration, there is precisely a pastoral necessity for churchmen to intervene on behalf of the suffering people. The same churchmen would surely rejoice much if those holding public offices would behave and act in favor of the interests and aspirations of the people.
It is not hard to know the truth about the social condition of the country. When churchmen are quiet and in peace, this means that the government is by and large doing well. But when they begin to talk in public fora and act in public places due to social issues, this is a marked indication that there must be something that stinks in and about the government.
When will the “trapos” learn—If ever!
14 June 2006