Tony Meloto’s sanctification
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-04-27
Whenever Fr. Guido Mirti encountered someone who subjected him through an ordeal, he would gratefully say: “Thank you for being part of my sanctification.”

Fr. Guido, also known as Cengia, was the Catholic priest who led the team that established the Focolare Movement in the Philippines in 1966. He lived Christ’s commandment of love which extended even to those who can be regarded as enemies. Fr. Guido has since passed away and those who knew him have no doubt that he has received the sanctification he has aspired for in life.

Fr. Guido came to mind as I was mulling over the old issues being resurrected against Gawad Kalinga (GK). There is little doubt that the new Pharisees who have made it their business to torment GK and its moving spirit, Tony Meloto, are at it again.

Media had immediately seen through the motives of the new Pharisees when these issues were first circulated. These issues resulted in the breakaway of the former head of the Couples for Christ (CFC), Frank Padilla.

Despite the breakaway group’s attempts to discredit GK, the whole world continues to recognize GK as an outstanding phenomenon that addresses poverty through Christian-driven brotherly love and caring. Hardly any print or broadcast media had been ventilating the issues of the new Pharisees anymore while GK continues to enjoy credibility and, hence, media support.

The issues found resurrection when Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko, the head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of the Laity issued a letter to the CFC that they should ensure the Catholic focus of GK. Here comes poor Cardinal Rylko from over 10,000 miles away reportedly asking CFC to apologize for non-existent issues. It reeked of scandal-mongering new Pharisees at work.

The original Pharisees were the self-righteous religious leaders who slyly engineered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Trust the Pharisees to manage to mete a death penalty on the noblest of deeds. They do this while occupying center stage in the temple to demonstrate their hypocritical profession of piety and holiness.

In a September 20, 2007 posting on (website of Frank Padilla’s breakaway group), Padilla admitted having sought and talked to Cardinal Rylko.

Padilla stated that he went “to speak with Archbishop Rylko and apprise him of the situation of CFC. That is my responsibility as the one who got our recognition and as the one whose name appears in our recognition.”

Now, do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko the whole unvarnished truth or did he try to sell to the Cardinal his slanted version of the controversy?

In singling out a pharmaceutical company as core issue, do you think Frank Padilla even bothered to put things in perspective by explaining that the company’s support to GK was given way before it acquired a company that produced contraceptives?

Did Frank Padilla bother to tell Cardinal Rylko that the donation had no strings attached?

Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that a top executive of that pharmaceutical company is a long-standing CFC member, a practicing Christian who sincerely believes in the CFC and GK mission?

Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that the issue that GK was allowing the Mormons to donate and preach their religion was also a non-issue because GK never allowed the donation under the unacceptable Mormon conditions?

Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that the issue being raised that GK funds are unaccounted for is pure rubbish because he knows very well that there is an auditing firm that accounts for all these?

Still on the issue of funds, do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that it was during his watch in CFC when they received funds from the Arroyo regime to the tune of P50 million which has since become the source of controversy?

These were some of the issues that Padilla and his demolition gang were raising against Tony Meloto and GK. How fair and balanced was Padilla when he briefed Cardinal Rylko on these issues?

Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that even the few Bishops here, notably Bishops Gabby Reyes and Soc Villegas, who started to sympathize with his breakaway group have since taken the eventual CBCP stand of disallowing his breakaway group from grabbing and using the CFC name?

Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that the clear majority of CFC did not side with him or leave with his breakaway group?

Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that all this started from personal envy, from the jealous few who could not accept the success of GK and the role of Tony Meloto in steering GK as a highly effective Christian anti-poverty movement?

Frank Padilla justified his meeting with Cardinal Rylko as “my responsibility as the one who got our recognition and as the one whose name appears in our recognition.”

Is he aware that his statement smacks of the smug arrogance of one who regards CFC as a personal fiefdom? He was no longer CFC top honcho and yet he feels it is still his responsibility to brief the Cardinal about the recent CFC events.

Do you think it is right if Cory Aquino spoke before the UN to explain why Joseph Estrada was ousted as president in 2001 — just because she was the one who restored democracy in the Philippines in 1986?

Christ said: “Not he who says Lord, Lord loves me but he who follows my commandment.” And that commandment is essentially this: “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brethren, you do unto me.”

Do you think that Frank Padilla internalized at all the essence of the Christianity he professes to evangelize? Don’t you think that Tony Meloto and the GK movers are indeed the genuine Christians for what they are doing to the least of their brethren?

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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