I think that government officials who don't understand Separation of Church and State should be disqualified from public office until they admit that it is a proper and sacred subset of Freedom of Speech--nothing more, nothing less! The Catholic Church is NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION (NGO) that is given the widest latitude to teach and believe in their religion, no matter how silly or profound it is, on which account it is further forbidden that their civil or political rights be suppressed.
Holy Communion from Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz's blog (first Bishop blogrolled on Philippine Commentary years ago, even if I disagree with him a lot, because I learn the most from those who disagree!) Today I rise in his defense. I encourage the most dedicated anti-gambling crusader in the Philippines to expose the complicity of the Pagcor in the political and financial subordination of the Philippine Catholic Church hierarchy to that Ministry of Vice and Immorality.
ABSCBN has the news on Archbishop Oscar Cruz :
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said "public sinners" should not be given the Holy Sacrament of Communion including, he said, President Arroyo. "I would not give communion to somebody receiving communion in public whom I know is a public sinner. I am sorry. I could be wrong and may God forgive me but I cannot do it," Cruz said. "It’s like throwing the body and blood of Christ into the garbage," Cruz said.Lawmakers want Bishop sanctioned: Arroyo loyalist Rep. Danilo Suarez (Quezon province, land of the coconuts) wants to complain to the Vatican and urges the CBCP to sanction Cruz for "lying in public" --
"The CBCP should consider that lying, especially when committed by priests or Church officials, is a grave sin that should merit Cruz the very action he threatened the President and her family with – a denial of Holy Communion, Suarez said. He lamented that Cruz has been mixing politics with religion in violation of the constitutional provision on the separation of the church and the state."It appears that Rep. Danilo Suarez is spreading falsehoods of his own. In the first place, the Separation of Church and State is a prohibition ONLY ON THE STATE against interfering in any way with the exercise of freedom of religion, a subspecie of the freedom of speech. Separation of Church and State CANNOT be violated by Churches or Churchmen because such violation can only be committed by the State or its agents, like Danilo Suarez.
I do hereby accuse one Rep. Danilo Suarez of ignorance, and a culpable attempt to violate this sacred provision in the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution:
Bill of Rights Article III Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.Danilo Suarez and his patroness, the whole Congress, Judiciary, army and police altogether CANNOT cause the sanction of Archbishop Oscar Cruz for a plainly partisan political purpose. No more than they can cause the suppression of rallies, editorials or blogs that call them the spadeful of graft and corruption and obsequious banality that they are, in my humble frickin' opinion.
Now since we are talking about LYING IN PUBLIC, there is an important point of principle that needs clarification. It is the concept of the Public's Right to the Truth, the subject of much controversy really since Edsa Dos (the biggest LIE of all!
The word "TRUTH" is found exactly twice in the 1987 Constitution:
PREAMBLE: We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.The second occurrence of the word "TRUTH" is not in the Bill of Rights but in the special section on Social Justice and Human Rights under the powers of the Commission on Human Rights which is empowered to:
ART. XIII Sec. 17 (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority.More attention ought to be paid to the latter provision of the Philippine Constitution, which to me is actually nothing less than the most solid Constitutional basis for a comprehensive
WHISTLE-BLOWER protection law.
Previous Post: There is no right to the truth under Freedom of Religion
Today is the 35th anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court Decision, Javellana v. Executive Secretary which basically legitimated the Fascist Dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos My post in 2006 was Javellana at 33.