Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Catholic Church In The Philippines Under Siege

The Roman Catholic Church has often been criticized in the past, but never more so in the last 12 months. In the Philippines because of the Reproductive Health Bill (now a law), criticism against the Catholic Church has quadrupled in all fronts...print, TV, radio and the internet.  In social gatherings, it is unavoidable that church topics are talked about and it is appalling to listen to people maligning priests and being so critical of the Bishops.  What is even more worrisome is the fact that these pronouncements are said by Catholics! If these negative comments and gross opinions came from non-Catholics, agnostics, atheists and the like, that would probably be tolerable.  But when Filipino Catholics start listening and believing criticisms, opinions or media hype generally written by non-Catholics, that to me is unacceptable. Why is this happening?

Today more and more Filipinos are becoming nominal ("in name only") Catholics, especially among the younger generation.  Gone are the days when families prayed and went to mass together and parents were active participants in their children's Catholic formation.  Most people are now too busy with worldly preoccupations that religion, relationship with God and Church are set aside.   I wrote something about this in my other blog. I stated then that while the Roman Catholic laity in the Philippines are indeed Christians, majority do not really have a real understanding of their Catholic faith nor do they know what Catholicism is all about. This is the major reason why so many baptized but nominal Catholics are easily converted to becoming Born-Again Christians or Protestants. Also the many scandals and abuses (reported and unreported) that happen in the Church, and the private way these are handled by Church authorities are more reasons given by those who are going against Catholic teachings. It is quite disheartening for people like me who love their Catholic faith to listen to these critical and often slanderous comments. 

It is time for the Catholic Church in the Philippines to stand up and pay attention to what is happening to their flock...many of whom can  no longer be called faithful.  The RH Bill has been signed into law and next on the agenda is the Divorce Bill.  But all is not lost. There are still many things we can do.  Those of us who remain steadfast to our Catholic faith must come together and help our Church fight the growing apathy and indifference amongst us.  Onward Christian Soldiers!

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