On Duterte, the Pope and CBCP

My two cents on Duterte cussing the Pope, and the CBCPs statement:

First of all, let me just say that when talking about right and wrong, or morality in general, the standard should be God’s standards, not man’s, not the church’s tradition and not what the majority thinks is right or wrong.

With that said, let me just share the following:

1) I agree with Archbishop Socrates Villegas’s words about corruption.

“Corruption, like a monster, is a devil with many faces. Corruption is indeed a great scourge of Philippine politics.”

God’s standard actually says that all men are “corrupt” in nature.

Romans 3:9-10 “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one…”

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte

2) I agree with Archbishop Socrates Villegas’s words about corruption and its many faces.

“Adultery is corruption. It makes married love cheap and uses people for pleasure. Adultery corrupts the family; it destroys children and victimizes the weak. Killing people is corruption. Killing is a crime and a sin whether it is done by criminals or public officials no matter what the intention. Vulgarity is corruption. When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people.”

“When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen have gone to the dregs”

“What the world desperately needs now is leadership by example. Is this the leadership by example that Mayor Duterte excites in us? Is this the leadership by example that makes a public official deserving of the title ‘Honorable’?”

Archbishop Socrates Villegas

Archbishop Socrates Villegas

3) God’s standard actually expounds on these different faces of corruption and sets the bar higher for ALL people – without any exception, and that includes each of us as individuals, and the political and religious leaders alike.

On adulteryMatthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

On murder and cursing Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

Based on this standards, Mayor Duterte was measured and he failed.

But then again, we must use the same standards on others. Moreover, we must use the same standards on ourselves. When we do that, we realize that we are all guilty. I am guilty. Mayor Duterte is guilty. All the presidential bets are guilty. Archbishop Villegas is guilty. Even the Pope, a human being like you and me, is guilty – whether we or they admit it or not.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

We are all guilty of murder when we curse silently in our minds when things don’t go our own way like when we’re driving or sitting in traffic. We are all guilty of vulgarity when we try to be cool and say cuss words or when we laugh and tolerate the cursing of our friends. All of us, both men and women, are guilty of adultery when we allow lust to enter and dwell in our hearts even for a moment.

And it doesn’t matter who sins more or who sins less because in God’s eyes, sin is sin, whether it is a small sin or a huge, criminal-like sin. God’s commands show us how sinful we all are and how seriously we need God.

Romans 3:20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law (God’s commands); rather, through the law (God’s commands) we become conscious of sin.”

Yes leaders are supposed to lead by example. So we must be careful and wise in choosing the leader we will support or follow. Choose the leader who you think has the best example. But don’t put them on a pedestal because they are all just humans like you and me. They will fail and make mistakes. We must expect to be disappointed. The higher we set the leader on the pedestal, the greater the disappointment. When that happens, we must realize that it is God whom we must depend on.

My point in all this, before we respond to what’s happening around us, let’s look at the big and the real picture. Let’s not forget that what we use a standard to measure other people, we must also use to measure our own behavior and actions; and let us make sure we ourselves measure up to those standards before we point fingers and expect others to measure up.


On Duterte, the Pope and CBCP

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