The church is the People of God. There are the Laity, the Religious and the Clergy with its hierarchy, all united by the virtues of faith, hope and love, all bound not only by the same apostolic creed but also the same moral principles—such as those contained in the Ten Commandments of God. The truth is that they are not only spread all over the world but also living in three basic stages of life, viz., those already in the blissful kingdom of God called as the “Church Triumphant”, those still waiting for their eternal reward known as the “Church Suffering”, and those meantime living here and now, qualified with the title of the “Church Militant”.
While the constituents of Church Triumphant already and always have anything good and everything blessed, and while the members of the Church Suffering is likewise already assured of eventually having the same everlasting blessing and bliss, those counted among the Christian faithful still living here and now, have to face and make a choice between virtue and vice, truth or falsity, honesty or deceit, integrity or injustice, viz., between siding with good or embracing evil.
The militancy of the People of God in the present world of ambivalent realities basically means being vigilant and combative against the reign of evil which comes in many forms. In this country, the living and vibrant manifestations of evil comes in the hideous forms of nauseating graft and corruption, flagrant violations of human right, continuous exploitation and oppression of the poor, not to mention numerous summary executions and forced disappearances, open proliferation of criminal syndicates, unsaid tolerance of drugs, promotion of gambling and prostitution—to enumerate but few of such devastating social liabilities and practices.
The fact that evil in many manifestation expressed in both intensive and extensive degrees, appears to be having a grand time in the Philippines, can readily argue the probability if not the actuality that the People of God in the country is the “Church Stagnant”—not really the Church Militant. This would mean that a pretty good manner of Laity, Religious and Clergy with their Bishops to hear and see no evil, and wherefore also do nothing good. This would be apathy at its best in this presumably Christian Country. And this moral and behavioral indifference is definitely anti-Christian at least—as it says and does nothing against institutional lying, stealing and cheating by a morally bankrupt government, as it plays deaf and dumb to the basic social demands of truth, justice and peace in the country.
No. The militancy qualifying the Church in the world, in the Philippines, in no way means indulging in violence, taking up arms, violating the human rights of the big fat culprits in the country, it simply means that the Filipino Christian faithful may not simply stand still when their country is already under the spell of evil, may no longer stay in their comfort zones when their neighbor are not only hungry and sick, but also oppressed and exploited by the powers that are in their land. Speak and act they should—under penalty of the fatal sin of omission.
20 June 2008