Home > Ronald Roy > Great civilizations are built on great dreams

Great civilizations are built on great dreams

Great civilizations are built on great dreams
Ronald Roy  -April 16, 2008

       Despite the fact that a food crisis is sweeping the world, I don’t see food riots hitting us, not Filipinos who have proven to be among the most patient and resilient peoples in the universe.  #5886, you may even consider this an understatement, given Gloria Macapal-Arroyo’s despotic track record of the severest kind in living memory.  You said, “Manhid na tayo sa kasamaan ng #!@ tiyanak!”  I agree.  In fact, we can even concede that at this stage of her stolen eight-year governance, she is doing her best to manage the economy. But that’s an utterly futile effort. 

       Even if she can bring affordable food and medicines to every home, her popularity will continue to seek new depths – her latest SWS net satisfaction rating having just plummeted to -26 (27% satisfied vs. 54% dissatisfied, rounded) for the current year’s first quarter – following a loss of support from the rural areas and the “masa” classes D and E, those die-hard followers of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.  It was prior to that quarter, it is recalled, when the pardon was deviously packaged for Erap, obviously to the great dismay of his followers. Result: To this day, Erap remains a bigger-than-life persona in contemporary politics. Whether he himself likes it or not.

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       My critical attitude against the Philippine Roman Catholic Church, in particular the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), seems to draw growing support from the general public. I take this as a sign that my anti-clergy comments are justified on my personal belief that Catholic prelates who support Gloria Macapal-Arroyo and antagonize her critics are more committed to alienating their flock than ministering to their spiritual needs.  I worry about a gushing current of hostility from various readers, via email and over two dozen text messages, responding in support of my last article.

       Here’s one from Patricia Perez (ppperez880 at yahoo.com) : “Dear Arny. . . it is really disgusting how Cardinal Vidal is behaving in relation to this corrupt administration. . . I have stopped attending his masses. He shamelessly defends priests here in Cebu who have committed sexual acts against girl students and altar boys.  He is a protector of the most corrupt president we’ve ever had and receives in exchange taxpayers’ money from her while we, the taxpayers, continue to suffer.”

       Noel de la Fuente (noeldelafuente at sbcglobal.net) fumes: “Fray Damaso immediately comes to mind. It’s now time to write the Pope about Cardinal Rosales’ adherence to the theory of ethical relativism, which the Pope is strongly against.  Rosales was wrong when he stated  that the killings under the Arroyo regime are a mere (drop) of blood compared to those during the Marcos years.  True, perhaps, but the number of murdered people is not the point. Murder is murder. 

       “King Herod of Israel was a puppet of Rome which appointed tax collectors to collect from the poor Jews.  Guess who became rich?  In our country, the Spanish colonial masters also appointed tax collectors to collect from poor Fiipinos.  Guess again who became rich and became government officials.  It is not tax collection anymore. It is now stocks, bonds, loans, and sales of patrimonial assets..” along, if I may add, 40% tongpats and bukols that abound at every transactional turn.

       It is very disheartening to accept that an increasing number have left the Faith as a result of an escalation of errors on the part of their shepherds in cassocks, whose sins are not of the Church founded by Jesus of Nazareth, but of their own personal making.  Therefore, why punish the Church by leaving it? Why not stay in the fold and pray for the sinning priests?  It behooves us to do so, lest we commit our own errors by abandoning them.  They live lonely lives who are prone to human error just like us. Let us make them feel they need us as much as we need them, in a communal effort to make the Catholic Church truly the one Holy and Apostolic Church.  This is how Heaven wants it.

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       Jose Maria P. Alcasid (jmpalcasid at hotmail.com) takes offense at what one of my readers, #0219, said about the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Where was Mary when I needed her most? Well, let me tell you that Mary lies six feet under the ground, so dead she cannot hear anyone!”  Well, Mr. Roy, let me tell your reader that “Our Lady was assumed into heaven both body and soul.  She never really died (in the natural manner that we know) because she was conceived free of original sin.  In fact, the Eastern Churches consider her sleep as holy dormition.  Your reader’s shoddy theology betrays her shallow understanding of Catholic dogma.  No wonder she left the Faith. I am certain, however, that Mary Most Holy is praying in Heaven for her conversion.”

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       #0909, I think our prelates know that the higher the responsibility and rank one holds in the hierarchy, the more accountable he becomes for his errors.  It follows then, e.g. that a corrupt act by a Cardinal is more inexcusable than it would be if committed by an Archbishop, and a mistake by the latter would be graver than if committed by a Bishop, and so on down the ladder. His Excellency, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, Iloilo is no ordinary Archbishop. He also happens to be the President of the 120-strong CBCP and, as such, lamentably said more than he could chew.  When he recently chided Erap for seeking the presidency in 2010, he imperiously disregarded the electorate’s exclusive sovereign prerogative to return him to power. 

       In the first place, Estrada is free to resume his role of political prominence, although he has reassured he will do so only to save the Republic from the ruinous precipice it’s been headed for over the past eight years.  In the second place, Lagdameo, who cannot even pretend to speak for all members of the CBCP, much less the Philippine Catholic Church, stubbornly ignores the doctrine of Separation of the State and the Church.  What mystifying bond with the evil bitch is His Excellency concealing from his flock?  Instead of picking on Erap, why doesn’t he demand her resignation, in conformity with the wishes of close to 85 million Filipinos?  Again, what mystifying bond is there between the two?

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       A friend, Alicia Pastor, a resident of Geneva, Switzerland, phoned me last Sunday to inform me that “GMA’s lackey, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, was applauded for his government’s official report at the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council here in Geneva. I’m certain he and his fellow drumbeaters in Manila embellished the body’s plaudits to elate their boss in Malacaňang.  But don’t worry. An overwhelming number of member-countries know what’s happening back home, and they’re simply tired of Arroyo’s propaganda machine churning out nothing but outright lies.  Gloria’s human rights record is among the most notorious in the world today.  Incidentally, your two cardiac surgeries can be considered minor, but you’re still around, you old fogey! So carry on! Long live all oppositionists!”

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       “Mr. Roy, you have consistently advocated a civilian-military takeover as the correct way for our country to see the restoration of her freedoms under a regime of peace and justice.  How then do you feel about the fact that yours will be a lonely voice in the wilderness, along with a few other voices, given that both legislative chambers, not to mention the other two branches of government, will not go for a change arising from other than a constitutional way?”

       I’ll say it again, Mr. Arthur Cheng (#7481): The sovereign will, not the constitution, is the highest authority in the land. But I see your point. Anyway, if you wish to call me a dreamer, I’ll accept that.  But then, remember that great civilizations are built on great dreams.  And it goes without saying, of course, that the Lord can never be preempted.  He is a just God who has a timetable for everything.  He is a wise God who will show us how to pursue a national dream, provided we knock on His door, and provided we reject decadence.  He will lead the final offensive, because He knows best how to beat the Devil.

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