Friday, October 20, 2006

moral question

Is it morally right for churchmen to receive money for the poor from a duly perceived corrupt national government? This is the moral question that demands a clear-cut answer in these times and in this country.

It is true that whatever money the government has, all comes from the people primarily by way of direct and indirect taxes. It would be not only strange but also incredible to even think that the present administration would give away even but a peso drawn from its own private pocket.

It is also true that the poor in the country are not simply growing in number but gradually also becoming more impoverished. It is rather easy to believe that the poor people in the land are being used and abused by the national leadership basically in order to firm up its tenure of power and influence. In fact, the present administration markets people to get revenues from their foreign work deployment in many countries in all known continents.

It is finally true that the government has certain loudly proclaimed programs, plans and projects to help the poor—such as livelihood funds, cheap rice and medicines. It is however rather hard to believe that the present administration sincerely considers uplifting the poor from their misery as an honest to goodness over-all priority of its governance.

Question: Is it morally acceptable for churchmen to accept money from this corrupt national government to help the poor? Answer: No! Reasons: First, such would be synonymous with collaboration with deodorizing government of its known pervasive corruption. Second, the churchmen would be allowing themselves to become tools for the self-aggrandizement of the government. Third and worse of all, the churchmen would be beholden to the government internationally known for its corruption. It is exceptionally hard to believe that when the government channels money through churchmen, this is without the ulterior motive of specifically winning them over—not really helping the poor. This is the case of churchmen and poor people being simply used alive by the present administration.

The well known moral principle still holds true in this issue: The end does not justify the means. Money given by a corrupt origin is anything but honest or clean money. This is not purism but truth.

+O. V. CRUZ, D.D.
20 October 2006