By Roy Moraleta I Published: July 28, 2020
When it comes to secular matters and socio-political issues, the rule of thumb for clerics, according to Father Joaquin Bernas, SJ, a constitutionalist, is that they are not to get entangled in it and instead get occupied with concerns of the faith.
“Full time should be given to the priestly ministry. Assumption of a role of leadership or a style of active militancy for some political faction must be ruled out,” Bernas said, a view consistent to Paul’s admonition in the ministry of the Early Church.
Bernas also predicated an exemption. Clergies may get involve only under critical situation, like for the welfare of the community, and has consent from the church leadership.
The Present State
But would not a rational entanglement of church ministers with the affairs of the world – noise barrage and protest rallies – indicative of a deeper, profoundly concerning problem within define the present state of their religion?
Unless otherwise there is ambiguity on the indictment, could it be that today’s mainstream faith is losing grasp of its fundamental truths and sacred tenets of undiluted orthodoxy? What sense of godliness is there for church ministers to wage a fight for a giant media network whose agenda and enterprise are diametrically opposed to the economy of faith?
For nuns clad in priestly robes brandishing signs with “Kapamilya Forever,” “Defend Press Freedom,” “Yes to ABS-CBN,” etc, and priests advocating similar calls in their homilies, it seemed to bear no significant implication to Christian religion.
Strangely, their message, while merely expressions of speech, religion and political and social convictions itself, sounds diametrically different to that of essence of true religion.
Losing the Message
While it sounds like a prejudiced supposition, a careful and honest look at the actions of these clergies, in the light of the scriptures, reveals a disturbing state of spirituality not only of the Roman Catholic Church but of the entire Christian religion as well.
If this were true, Christianity as a whole may have already come to that period which Paul, from the Bible, said about “the times” where superficiality of religion and faith becomes the norm. “People will have the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
Has the appearance of holiness – men in their “sacred” priestly cloth displaying higher dimension of piety be a diametric contradiction of the “new message” they now ardently speak of against the “gospel of old” they are supposed to articulate!
They have not only lost their true calling; they have lost the message.
Shepherds of Men
This disturbing evolution of Christian religion, particularly of the Roman Catholic organization that shares the largest number of Christian adherents worldwide, comes not without damaging consequence to the state of godliness and faith of a generation.
The demonstration of piety and godliness this established religion is demonstrating is lacking divine imbuement. To be blunt about it, theirs is a godliness coated in fancy and superficiality. It’s a religion bereft of power from on high.
True religion should be imbued with a power from on high. The divine enablement makes it the guardian and shepherd of human civilizations.
Imagine There’s No Heaven
In my mind, when a religion devalues to that level, it eventually loses its relevance. Its ramifications will be lasting and permanent and irreversible.
This happened to a number of countries in the west that were then ardent advocates of Christian faith but now turned into countries of atheists.
As aptly put by John Lennon in his song, “Imagine there’s no heaven … no hell… no religion too”. The song contradicts his idea of humanity minus God, but “…living in peace.”
Is humanity headed towards that tragic and irreversible descent?