Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Envelope Please!

Last weekend, the CBCP's meeting came to an end. They then issued a Pastoral Letter which left a burning sensation in everyones stomach. Much has been said about its contents and the CBCP was pelted by the left, center and right. But the issues did not stop there, this week saw the CBCP in the spotlight and equaled even Bolante's arrest in the US. This time, its not about their stand on certain issues but more to what led them to see things differently.

Like any organiztion, the CBCP has disagreements too, but it seems that the moral decay that pervades in the administration has "infected" even the pius. Reports have indicated and which was confirmed by the CBCP itself point to several bishops being feted by the Palace. Malacanang has since defended the occassion and dismissed that it was used to influence the bishops to somehow be more light on the administration. The CBCP was to tackle the impeachment of the "sitting president".

But what is mind-blowing are the envelopes that were distributed to those who attended. "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts", and old saying goes. And indeed, the envelopes contained money. It was suppose to be "donations" for the different diocese of the bishops, supposedly for poverty alleviation in line with GMA's anti-poverty program. What is striking is the timing and the rationale behind it. With the countless NGOs who help the poor, why channel the funding through the bishops? Is this some kind of bribe to get a more favorable outcome?

Now the bishops are pitted against each other. One side questions those who accepted and the other justifies their acceptance. What is clear is somehow, this has touched a moral issue which the bishops must face and discuss among themselves. Its obvious that there are clergy sympathetic to the palace and there are those who would rather see the truth come out.

Where does this lead to? Obviously, the administration had cast doubt on the crediblity and integrity of the Catholic Church, choke one up for the administration who has once again managed to destroy an institution. Who then is the winner in all these? The envelope please!