Friday, November 04, 2011

Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PME (+)

"He was an Italian who became a great Filipino - a communist... who devoted more than half of his life to serve the interest of the poor Filipino masses and make the cause of the Filipino as his own." So reads one of the many tributes given to the good Priest. So says the Secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Part Committee of the Communist Part of the Philippines.

He was an Italian priest who worked long and labored much in favor of the poor people he was assigned to serve. He was thus loved much by them whose sincerity they felt and whose dedication they witnessed. So it was that his murder was a big offence not only to God and but also a big loss to the people living in that small and distant place in Mindanao. So it was too that his person was exalted as his burial was mourned by friends and relatives alike. Thus it is that the Philippines again came to the attention of the International Community as a place to be despised, a Country to be shunned.

"Fr. Pops" - as he was amiably and fondly called by men, women and children in his Parish - not only preached the love that has to be lived between God and man but also the love that has to be practiced between man and his neighbors. Neither one nor the other - but both, together, inseparable. After all no less than God Himself told him that there are only two Commandments: Love of God, Love of Neighbor.

It is easy, fun and profitable even to preach and shout, to sing and dance purely about man loving and praising, worshiping and celebrating God. This is the verticalist faith that even the powerful and the wealthy, the criminal and the thieves would register no objection to - but could even find solace therein. This is the pure heaven and earth relationship that even politicians of all make and kind would be comfortable with.

But it is also a big mistake and a great deceit to say and insist that there is but the exclusive man and man relationship - God, never mind. It is a falsity to claim that everything is between mana and man here and now - hereafter and beyond, not relevant. This is the horizontalist faith that is atheistic in substance and communistic in import.

Together, the vertical and horizontal dimensions of faith and action - this is the Cross of Christ. This is genuine Christianity. This is the Social Doctrine of the Church where God and man meet. This is what makes the powerful and the wealthy uncomfortable. This is what angers Atheism, what challenges Communism.

Fr. Tentorio lived and preached the Cross of Christ. He was a genuine Christian, a good Priest, a true man of God for men. But a communist?