The RH Bill debate unmasked modern day Pharisees
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-04-26
From Day 1 of the President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) administration, Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz has established himself as a presidential basher. He was also very critical of President Cory C. Aquino during her incumbency.  

Last year, he said a mouthful against Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno. He linked Puno to jueteng operators but was not able to present any proof whatsoever. He did offer an apology to Puno in an ANC TV interview but that seemed more like a hedge against a possible libel suit.

Earlier this year, Archbishop Oscar Cruz had asserted in another ABS-CBN morning TV interview that three groups were poised to initiate the ouster of PNoy. He even implicated in this fantastic plot the Council of Philippine Affairs (COPA) which is a staunch PNoy supporter. Here, Archbishop Cruz clearly erred. He also peddled outright fantasy because the mentioned groups had no capability to undertake the president’s ouster.

In an ANC morning interview with Karen Davila last week, Archbishop Cruz uttered another mouthful. He called PNoy “anti-Christian” and poles apart from his mother Cory. Archbishop Cruz conveniently forgot that he was a Cory basher. Now that it suited his purpose, it became convenient for him to say something good about Cory. Isn’t this a case of intellectual dishonesty?

He chided PNoy for “taunting” the Catholic Church to excommunicate him over the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, saying that the president did not understand the excommunication process. Archbishop Cruz conveniently forgot — or intellectually discarded — the September 29, 2010 statement of CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) President Bishop Nereo Odchimar over Radio Veritas that PNoy stood to be excommunicated for the RH Bill.

Asked if PNoy might be excommunicated for distributing contraceptives, Bishop Odchimar replied: “That is a possibility . . . . Right now, it is a proximate possibility.” Like other Catholic Bishops, Odchimar falsely linked the RH Bill to abortion even if PNoy and the other RH Bill proponents are against abortion.

If his attacks against PNoy were not enough already, Archbishop Cruz even had the gall and the temerity to tell the president that he should not marry anymore. Shouldn’t Church leaders be promoting the sacrament of matrimony? By God, Archbishop Cruz outdid himself!

Archbishop Cruz posited that PNoy should not marry because he was incapable of being one with a matrimonial partner. He passed judgment on the president’s character without even knowing PNoy personally. Archbishop Cruz totally disregarded how PNoy filled the shoes of his father Ninoy and became a replacement padre de familia. Archbishop Cruz totally disregarded how close PNoy is to his sisters’ children, a clear extension of his role as padre de familia and a good indication of a suitable, if not ideal, family man.

In what can be considered as a sign of hysteria, Archbishop Cruz even charged that the RH Bill was just the tip of the iceberg and that worse legislation will follow. He said: “What’s to stop other bills like divorce and same-sex marriage? These are just introductory remarks.” This assertion is totally unfounded just as it is wild.

Archbishop Cruz even displayed an insidious side of his personality. He tried to cast aspersions on the integrity of PNoy. He insinuated: “Malaki ang (There’s a big) lobby money for contraceptives.”

Having uttered all these during the start of Holy Week, it’s easy to associate Archbishop Cruz with the Pharisees, the enemies of Jesus Christ. The Pharisees were known for their intellectual dishonesty, crookedness and monumental egos. Throughout history, the Roman Catholic Church would be weighed down by Pharisees holding some of the highest positions in its hierarchy.

Saint Joan of Arc was condemned to be burned at the stake for heresy by the manipulations of another Pharisee — Bishop Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais. Bishop Cauchon totally disregarded evidences that would acquit Joan and presented all the false charges that would convict her of heresy. Canonization transformed Joan of Arc from heretic to martyr.

The Catholic Church should realize that the viciousness of the attacks against the president and the other RH Bill proponents are scandalizing even Catholics who are not supporting the RH Bill. “Ang pikon ay talo (The one who loses his cool loses)” is how many are now seeing the Cardinals, Bishops, priests and nuns who have become rabid persecutors of the RH Bill proponents. Because of these rabid persecutors, the RH Bill debate has been transformed into another Inquisition like one of darkest chapters of Church history.

Just as the victims of the Inquisition were falsely accused of heresy, the RH Bill proponents are now being accused of promoting abortion which is an outright falsehood. That our Church leaders can subscribe to such low tactics indicates how they, like exploiting politicians, are capitalizing on the Information and Education Gaps plaguing many Filipinos. It’s a clear manifestation of the disease of the Pharisees.

Very reliable sources have told your Chair Wrecker that in the CBCP, hardly anyone agrees with what Archbishop Oscar Cruz has been doing. Yet, they failed to speak out against his wild assertions. Like the Mafia, they’ve opted to practice Omerta, the Mob’s Code of Silence. They’ve forgotten that silence is taken as consent to all the misdeeds of a modern day Pharisee.  

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  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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