Friday, May 18, 2007

Liberation Theology

Pope Benedict XVI recently visited Brazil and clarified church positions on abortion and liberation theology. When John Paul II wanted to clamp down on what he considered a dangerous, Marxist-inspired movement in the church, he turned to a trusted aide: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI who once called liberation theology ''a fundamental threat to the faith of the church'' and a ''fusing of the Bible's view of history with Marxist dialectics” or declaring outright ''the theology of liberation is a singular heresy.''

In what is generally considered as a “softening” of the church’s position, no new warnings were issued and this can only be interpreted as a good sign. In the Philippines, over the past 25 years, as the Vatican fortified its conservative hierarchy, the socio- economic ills the movement focused upon have worsened. Now, more than ever, even conservative groups like Kapatiran include in their fundamental beliefs ''a preferential option for the poor'' because pretending that inhuman socio-economic realities do not exist has become an immoral act.
I personally find no problem in merging faith with works and I cannot agree with John Paul II’s observation that ''this conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the church's catechism'' because Jesus did preach an entirely novel revolutionary ideology that totally rattled the Pharisees of his day.

There was no way I could have appreciated present day realities in the Philippines from the US. And this is from somebody who had been previously exposed. The situation has gotten worse and we have to try new ideas and solutions. We cannot expect European and American observers to tell us what the most appropriate course of action is because they will not be able to fully understand the depth of our problems. We urgently need to solve our problems according to our conscience and best efforts.


Delfin said...

Doc Bautista... I think unfair for you to say that a reason you lost is where some people ..."refuse to take our handbills because they were ordered by their religious superiors to toe the church line or face damnation".

You lost because you lost. You were unable to get yourself known by the voting population quickly enough.

You lost because you lost. Now I'm sorry that I voted for you.

Anonymous said...

May. 18, 2007 20:29:00
Catholic priest elected Pampanga governor

By a lead of 1,147 votes, Father Eddie Panlilio won as governor of Pampanga and became the first Catholic priest in the country to be elected to public office.

The decisive votes that clinched his victory came from Magalang, a predominantly Catholic town, where 11,095 residents voted for him.

The 53-year-old priest gathered a total of 219,706 votes in the six-cornered race. His major rivals were Board Member Lilia Pineda who got 218,559 votes, and re-electionist Governor Mark Lapid who received 210,875 votes.

Anonymous said...


Peace, man.

I'm a little confused as to why you're taking that statement so personally. The paragraph you took that phrase from was merely describing the difficulties the Kapatiran experienced as they went around campaigning and not a sweeping generalization regarding the different religious groups.

I personally know people of a who were given that exact order -- it's a fact that it happens.

How can anyone contest a first hand experience?

Tito Cesar said...

Kapatiran’s loss should not be attributed to a religious group. Its lofty objectives to initiate political reforms did not catch fire because it came too late and the group too small to make a difference. In the provinces and country side, Kapatiran is hardly known. There are other civic groups fighting for change in the political system but they are in fact part of the rotten system.

Election 2010 is more crucial. Kapatiran must expand. It has got to make a lot of
noise that will reverberate throughout the country. To make its efforts felt, it’s got to involve people from every class of society particularly the grass roots who are the people that direct the political destiny of the country. This entails hard work that requires deep personal commitment and logistics. Kapatiran has made the first step. If we believe in what Kapatiran is fighting for, the rest of the steps are up to us to make. I hope the flame grows.

dan said...

The situation will get worst if we dont control the number of pinoy being added to the empty dinner table each day. If a patient is in a circulatory shock due to massive bleeding the optimal treatment would be to control the bleeding vessel. No matter what kind of a graft free economic program the government will implement it would just be eroded in decades to come if it is not combined with an effective population control measures. The increasing number of pinoy with no purpose in life will just gobble up the fruits of that program.

iris said...

martin, i enjoyed your post today, mainly because as an obstetrician, i have to deal with the questions couples put forth regarding the morality of contraception. it is a sticky place to be in, and yet i know i have a moral responsibility to inform these couples of their choices. you are right in thinking that there is such a preferential option for the poor, and that pretending poverty doesn't exist is even more immoral. you are also right to stay, if only to help stop smoking in this country, and curb the spread of TB. everything begins with one single step, and the world is different somehow because someone made that step. so! i am glad that is the decision you have reached.

blessings! iris from cebu

Tito Cesar said...


Tito Cesar said...

testing testing

Tito Cesar said...

sorry about that. this darn pc of mine is acting up again. it prints when it's not supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bautistsa, what do you mean by a "preferential option for the poor"? Birth control pills? Condoms? Abortion? I hope you can clarify this.

Delfin said...

Anonymous: You are asking one who ran for the Senate to be more clear about a nice sound bite "preferential treatment for the poor". How silly can you be?!

rey said...

Preferential treatment of the poor is an old concept using the pronouncement of church hierarchy (the pope). Basically, it's just socialism masked by faith-based groups.