Saturday, November 24, 2007

Moral Revolution? Do It

GOD help us! God have mercy on the Filipino people. The list of unresolved cases of social, economic and political concerns keeps piling up. Suicides and homicides have been committed because of extreme unresolved poverty—and these at a time when the peso is claimed to be gaining ground. How long have the poor to wait? And then the murder of a COMELEC official—at a time when COMELEC is facing renewal of its institution.

The alleged bribery of government officials, the deaths resulting from the explosion at the Glorietta and more rece3sntly the bomb explosion at the Batasan Pambansa: these are the social concerns and nagging issues that are crying our for solution and closure.

Add to this list the multi-million peso projects sprawling like white elephants because of substandard qualities and questionable arrangements.

These are not purely socio-economic issues. The Church’s social doctrine (Compendium 330-331) insists on their moral connotations. The relationship between morality and economics and poverty is necessary, intrinsic and reciprocal. On the one hand, it will be unfair to the victims if the real and ultimate culprits are not investigated and made to answer for their actions. On the other hand, each case carries a strong statement about the different levels of leadership as well as about the national state of affairs.

As a response to the state of moral bankruptcy in public life, of probably irremediable loss of credibility and trust, a call has been made for “moral revolution”. If only to stop our country from continuing to become a “social volcano” (Heaven help us!), we support the ideal of a “moral revolution”—moral transformation, moral renewal, moral reform. The CBCP has proposed it before in many ways through the years. And we would like to say it again. Nothing new, but the resolve may be.

We are consoled by the fact that some of our public officials and different sectors of civil society are seeing such a need for “moral revolution”. Sana magpatuloy ito…sana dumami pa ang bilang nila. May this attitude prevail…may the number of good-willed people increase. Not only investigations one after another. In our country where 57% are not affected by the gained power of the peso, where graft and corruption by the mighty in power and influence still hold sway, we are in search for people who would be humble, courageous and decided enough to do a Zacchaeus “Here and now I give half of my possession to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” (Lk 19:8). This is the only violent revolution worthy of the name—it “kills” selfishness.

Let us do it. “To start this moral revolution, I must cease to be dishonest, unjust and unfair to my fellow Filipinos. I will tell and act on the truth that I confess or affirm. I will return what I have unjustly and deceitfully acquired. Only then can I ask pardon from God and the people I have wronged.” Speaking of reconciliation? This is!

Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
November 24, 2007


pinoy said...

Moral revolution or moral recovery is quite elusive in our only Christian nation in Asia. Has the Church failed in building a moral foundation to lead us Filipinos on what is right and just? In spite of its strong influence, not just at the pulpit but even on our political life, the Church was unable to lead its people to the righteous path. Why? Because the Church has failed to capture the imagination of our people.

Going to Church and attending masses is just a routine among most Filipinos. More often than not, religion has barely influenced our behaviours. We often see public officials attending masses and yet we suspect corruption from these officials. But it in not only the public servants who are guilty. It is also us the public. If we as a people, will only practice what the Church teaches, we may not be in this quagmire we are in now. We will not cheat on our taxes. We will follow the traffic rules. We will be more frugal and practice discipline. We will be more caring to others. We will not bribe our way out. We will reports wrong doings. We will return what is not ours. We will not sell our votes.

We have been a Christian nation for almost five centuries and yet we have not become an ideal Christian nation. The Church must also assess itself on where it has failed. Personally, my assessment is that, as I mentioned earlier, the Church has failed to capture the imagination of our people.

For moral recovery to happen, it has to be a collective experience. It must not be an isolated cases such as the Marikina or Naga phenomenon. Change can happen in this country if we do it collectively. We regularly read from the news on calls for moral recovery but unfortunately, there is not a single entity that takes up the challenge to truly push for such recovery. It is nothing but lip service and left to the readers on what they would do about the call.

My personal advocacy is good citizenship. What we need is a sustained and faceless campaign that will capture the imagination of our people in order to influence our collective mindset. We are all part of the problem We, then, should also be part of the solution.

domingoarong said...

I also pray that usurers (and they're everywhere) will do a Zacchaeus and pay back even one-tenth of the amount of interest they have unjustly acquired.