Monday, February 10, 2014

CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Culture (1999) 1/3

“He came to His own country, but His own did not receive Him. Some, however, did receive Him and believed in Him; so He gave them the right to become children of God… God Himself was their Father.” (John 1:11-13)


It is not only interesting but also intriguing that the Exhortation made the above cited scriptural quotation before stating anything else about the particulars of the Filipino culture. The primary rationale of this approach is in order to forward the following initial observations:

1. There must be something distinct in the Filipino culture especially in terms of its acceptance of and recourse to Divinity as such from its very start – with however denying its negative elements mainly on account of its foreign invasion in the course of time up to these days of globalisation.

2. There must also be certain attitudinal and behavioral liabilities in the culture of Filipinos – particularly due to the invasion of the Philippines in the past by different nations with questionable cultural heritage and expressions that had their impact on Philippine culture.

3. There must be a singular reason why the Philippines is the one and only Christian country in Asia. It can be rightfully said that most Filipinos “received” and “believed” in Christ and became the “children of God” such that “God himself was their Father.”

4. There must be something significant in the intimate interaction between the Filipino Culture and the Christian Faith – to the extent that as the Filipino culture is Christianized, so, too, is the Christian Faith somehow “filipinised” in this particular part of Asia.

5. There must be something singular and precious in the Filipino culture, notwithstanding certain questionable features therein in terms of certain natural and foreign objectionable values plus behavior—that are precisely the composite concern of CBCP to make the Filipino culture sound and solid in its principles and applications.

With the coming of the third millennium, the CBCP issue this year 1999 third Pastoral Exhortation on a crucial issue of Filipino life viz,. FIlipino Culture. This was preceded by its two Pastoral Exhortations on Philippine Politics (1997) and on Philippine Economy (1998).

It is at all possible that the Filipino culture has not been influenced – one way or another – by political and economic realities?