How it feels like 1971!
MANUEL L. QUEZON III has been right all along about how PGMA cannot possibly step down peacefully and Constitutionally in 2010. He makes bloggers and writers proud! Today he turns in an admirable essay (The Interdiction of a Witness) in which he valiantly uses the Church's own teachings to criticize Ricardo Cardinal Pidal, err, Vidal, for last week's disingenuity on the matter of his relations with the Palace. All of course, in the proper exercise of the Freedom of Speech and Religion, in which the Catholic Church, truly the country's single largest and dominant political party of which Lakas and Kampi and all the others are mere factions. In 1971, when MLQ3 was only one year old, I too wrote a piece just like his brilliant essay. Mine also had the depth of feeling but not quite the erudition and eloquence of my good friend, as I was only eighteen then, and the essay was a mere editorial in The LaSallian, De La Salle University's radically anti-Marcos student newspaper, not the country's largest daily newspaper. But the gist of the attempt was the same: to make the pious priests feel guilty over violating their own teachings and Church Law. It was futile then, I'm sorry to tell Manolo, it is probably futile now. I also made a prediction then, that within a year Marcos would declare martial law and the Catholic Church would be one of his partners in that crime. Jaime Cardinal Sin, who was the object of my ire in 1971, just as Ricardo Cardinal Pidal is MLQ3's in 2008, would go on to spend a quarter of a century, (less two weeks in February 1986), as Marcos' main sanctifier and Imelda's pet ribbon cutter for her Edifice Complex. There is no doubt that "People Power" in 1986 was genuine and spontaneous, but by 2001, the Edsa crowd was just a prop for the judicial-military coup d'etat that would sweep Erap of the democratic stage and install the current clerico-fascist regime that Edsa Dos diehards must suffer until they wake up to its reality. Gud AM, Manolo!
It is because, in the earthly realm of politics, the clerics do not feel obliged to do what mere mortals urge as the right and just thing. I discussed the relevant democratic principle in There is no Right to the Truth under Freedom of Religion. In other words, don't expect to get "the Truth" from the Men who wear Funny Hats and claim all sorts of silly miraculous powers with a straight face, even as they feed at the Pagcor trough, accept envelopes full of money like Congressmen, swill food and drink wine, even as they claim to daily handle divine Flesh and Blood. The center of stye, the boil that ought be lanced is the entirely irregular, I would say immoral feeding at the Pagcor Trough that the Bishops have had to substitute for the lack of contributions from ordinary human beings and institutions. As such, they are captives of a political Mafia and addicts to the illegal drug of easy charity. Thus the hierarchy can get its hands on resources through Politics that it can no longer manage with mere Religion.
Then there is the truly ugly matter of how they are being blackmailed over personal, uhmm, delectations and indiscretions...but I cannot yet bear to be the destroyer of merely imperfect men, whom I do not believe deserve what they are about to get now from those in the know about their deepest, darkest secrets!
UPDATE: Please see Jego's correction of my recollections in the Comment Thread.