I BELIEVE it’s only fair that before you continue reading this column I should give you a warning that doing so puts you in peril of eternal damnation or excommunication. Probably both.
Still reading? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Okay, here goes…
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has gone full Padre Damaso mode!
Before the “fire and brimstone”, let’s park this first:
Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in a general sense, hypocrisy may involve dissimulation, pretense, or a sham. Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behaviour or activity for which one criticizes another.
Let’s take this in the view of the actions and pronouncements of some members of the Philippine Catholic Church, particularly Archbishop Socrates Villegas. Firstly, the Constitution states that there is separation of the Church and State and we are not a theocracy.
According to the same Constitution, religious institutions are exempted from paying taxes and should not interfere with the affairs of government and the government should also not interfere with the affairs of the religious institutions unless of course they break the law.
Simply put, by not paying taxes religious institutions have no right to demand or criticize the government.
But any member of a religious institution who is a citizen of the Philippines, natural born or naturalized, pays taxes and not a convicted criminal, are free to criticize or air grievances against the government within legal bounds of course.
Members of religious institutions, i.e. priests from the Philippine Catholic Church using the pulpit and other forms in the name of the Philippine Catholic Church, have no right to do so; they can express themselves as citizens of the republic but not as members of the Catholic clergy.
And what has the good Archbishop done this time to merit a “full Padre Damaso” mode?
Here are excerpts from a March 6, 2019 article in philstar.com”
Villegas asks Catholics: Are you going to deny your faith by your vote?
Ahead of the official start of the Lenten season, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Soc Villegas posted a video compilation on his Facebook page of President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the church over the past two years.
“My dear brothers and sisters, are you going to betray God, are you going to deny your faith, by your vote?” Villegas asked at the end of the video.
In between clips cut from various speeches of Duterte, Villegas would read various Bible passages in response to the sound bite.
“Are there any bishops here, I want to kick your ass. And the priests,” Duterte said in one of the clips played in the video.
Villegas read this passage following that sound bite: “Hudas, ipagkakanulo mo ba ang anak ng tao sa isang halik (Judas would you betray the son of man with a kiss)?”
The former CBCP president has clashed with Duterte on several occasions since the runup to the 2016 polls and the beginning of his presidency.
Of course, Soc’s stunt has angered a lot and I mean a lot of discerning natives who happen to be Catholics. This also prompted social media personality Krizette Laureta Chu to take a swipe at Villegas over the remarks.
In her post, Chu, also a known writer, called Villegas a “hypocrite” saying the prelate pretended to know what God wanted.
Her complete post reads:
Oh no you didn’t.
This hypocrite just spoke for God. Soc Villegas just pretended to know what God wanted.
You dimwit, you just broke so many rules.
- Pretending to know what God wants and speaking for Him.
- Removing the freedom of choice, free will that God gifted every human.
- Denying that everything that happens – including who gets the presidency – is planned by God.
You dictatorial piece of shit. Who knows better, you? You whose bishops beg for nice cars from politicians; you who cannot police his pedophile priests, who has secret rules for married priests, who crave power so much, who deny women their right to own their bodies, who condemn the LGBT for living their honest lives and yet whose church is full of LGBT priests? You, who teach people to judge, hate, and speak for God?
Try to excommunicate me, you useless, corrupt, soulless, interloper of the Church.
If anything, you are the Judas in the flock. You are the furthest thing from Jesus. You will never be Jesus, and you will never be godly, you pretentious, power hungry fool.
“Fire and brimstone” indeed. But just to tickle your funny bone, let me leave you with this Aug. 29, 2018 article from www.theonion.com:
SEE MORE: RELIGIONNINTH CIRCLE, HELL—Stressing that the situation in the underworld was quickly spiralling out of control, Satan, the Great Tempter and Father of Lies, announced Wednesday that he would not allow any more Catholic priests to enter hell. “This place is completely overrun with those monsters, and frankly, they kind of creep me out,” said the Prince of Darkness, adding that every time he looked up, he saw another recently deceased member of the Roman Catholic clergy being cast down into the fires of hell, where each is expected to be tortured until the end of time by Satan and his minions. “We’re used to having every manner of unrepentant sinner down here, but those guys are beyond messed up. I swear, if I see one more of those sick bastards, I’m going to throw myself into the eternal flames.” In response, God has reportedly instituted a secret policy whereby the priests would no longer face damnation but would instead attend mandatory counselling sessions and then be quietly transferred into heaven.
So there. (email@example.com/PN)