Is Christian Ethics and Morality Passe?

Manila Bulletin, July 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Is Christian Ethics and Morality Passe?


Byline: RENE ESPINA

WHEN we were students in the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, our German priest philosophy professors "indoctrinated'' us on the Christian precepts of morality and ethics. I remember their telling us that morality was universal and was not subject to time, place, or ethnic, religious, or tribal practices. They said that "reality is what it is'' and not what you think you see, as those who follow Kant. If we, therefore, follow Christian doctrines, there is only one truth, i.e., in the issues of Garci, elections, Bolante, etc. and that the truth shall make us free.

From the present and past week's events, one can readily see that our society is split between those who seek the truth and want it to be the basis of further logical action and those who want to cover up the reality involving those issues. Even the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, (CBCP) statement last week reflects the divisions among those who are supposed to guide us in reaching a balanced, just, and fair appreciation of facts and course of action to take. The equivocal statements made by CBCP regarding the search for truth, the impeachment filed in the House of Representatives, and their respect for the opinions of those who filed it in the search of truth is proof of such split. It is clear that there were so-called envelopes for "travel expenses'' proffered to the bishops by some "runners,'' which were rejected by many and accepted by some.

As publicly stated by a respected bishop, the CBCP statement on impeachment was an amendment to the original draft which, if read together with other paragraphs, was the source of confusion on whether the statement was for or against the pending impeachment process in the House. There were questions of how the truth is to be discovered, when the bishops did not guide the faithful how to get there. I understand a voting was made on the amendment. The result according to the bishop was that 52 bishops voted for the amendment and 39 voted against, or a difference of 13 votes. Some wags are wondering whether the envelopes had a good "PR'' effect, I say that given what I believe about our church leaders, they are entitled to the presumption that they voted according to their conscience.

As to the alleged "attempted coup,'' and "withdrawal of support,'' I am of the opinion that for as long as the issues brought about by the impeachment process are not given an opportunity to be amply discussed in order to be disposed of in that proper legal forum, so long will there be a foggy condition in the AFP. …

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