Rev. Fr. Roy Cimagala
WHAT a week it was! First, you had the 192 Ateneo professors digging in their heels in support for the RH Bill after bishops called the attention of their Catholic school.
Cleverly using the cover of a Catholic school, they now openly go against Catholic teaching, something the school itself should check but seems hesitant to do.
The professors cite excuses like respecting academic freedom, human rights and other legalistic maneuvers, when what is clear is there is academic license, i.e., abuse of academic freedom, and outright violation of the school’s Catholic identity.
These dissenters claim for themselves the exclusive right to know what’s right and wrong about the RH Bill. They even claim they are in line with Church social doctrine, when the Church authorities themselves already consider them to be out of line. Ergo, to their mind, the Church authorities are the ones not in sync with what is Catholic.
Then in the US, it was reported the Democratic Party’s platform has dropped any reference to God, a development pregnant with implications. Atheists applauded this development, claiming it was the right thing to do to follow their own version of Church-state separation.
I was actually expecting this, since there’s such thing a slippery slope theory. But that it actually took place still causes apprehension. The world is drifting away from God!
Yes, they still pay lip-service to things like faith and religion, but that’s about it, just lip-service, if only to keep their supporters who still have leanings on faith and religion. But they present a God of their own making and ideology. In fact, the God taught by the Church is considered a false God.
In both events, well-crafted statements were made, employing the best of rhetoric and style. Of course, some logic was put in, pieces of supporting evidence and proofs were cited. Some legal, economic, social considerations were made to make themselves sound convincing.
Still, I feel these are traces of what our Lord warned us about: “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive even the elect.” (Mt 24, 24)
St. Paul adds: “The wicked one comes according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs and lying wonders.” (2 Thes 2, 9) And those seduced by him will receive from God the “the operation of error, to believe lying.” (2, 11)
It was obvious both statements fell long in rationalizations but short in substance. They made long-winded arguments, but they still missed the point. They keep the arguments strictly at ground-level, as if there are no other levels to consider.
Which remind me of what St. Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Make no mistake about it. If anyone of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise.
“Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says: The Lord knows wise men’s thoughts: he knows how useless they are. Or again, God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise.” (3, 18-20)
But would these words still mean anything to those whose faith is more in themselves than in God and his Church? Wisdom to them is the wisdom of this world with its worldly values: practicality, convenience, popularity, etc.
It’s not the wisdom that comes from above and is taught and transmitted by properly authorized instrumentalities. This wisdom of the world is more individualistic or simply a result of some consensus, but is in clear rupture from authentic Christian teaching and tradition.
Defying God and the Church, even among some Catholics, has now become less subtle and more open. Or at least playing games with God and religion has become some kind of a fad, if not already a norm of conduct.
We have to be most wary of this trend. Many world leaders are leading people away from God. They offer instead their own version of a utopia, promising an earthly paradise that has nothing to do with a transcendent, supernatural heaven, while mocking the institutions duly established by God through Christ in the Holy Spirit.
This is the time to strengthen our true Christian identity, to tighten our Christian consistency that should cover not only our personal lives and affairs, but also our common life and affairs together.
This is the time to let our integral Christian faith bear on the multitude of implications of our human affairs in this world. Beware of the wisdom of this world!
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