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Need for ‘solidarity’ more than ‘charity’

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In a coauthored book “On Heaven and Earth,” the future pope, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, hit the nail on the head by offering an alternative understanding of the oft-abused and misused term “charity.” From a Catholic perspective, he says, “Christian charity is the love of God and neighbor. It can begin with aid, but it cannot stop at fundraising events. These are things that are called works of charity when, in reality, they are social-conscience calming activities. These kinds of programs are carried out in order to feel good about oneself, but love always requires a person to go out from himself, to truly give oneself to others… There is no charity without love, and if vanity is part of helping the needy, there is no love; it is feigned charity.”

Posted: December 22nd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Make a mess

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I’m a fan. In but four months, Pope Francis has given more relevance to Christianity than his predecessors have done in 40 years. At least he has given Christianity back its spirit. The Christ of the Bible was one who walked with fishermen and at least one well-known prostitute, spoke with beggars and lepers, and [...]

Posted: July 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Christian religion already a way of life, Ma’am

Carmelita Roxas Natividad’s commentary (“A new spirituality,” Opinion, 6/20/13) suggests that we look for a new way of religion: a new way of prayer to replace novenas and the rosary—that is, a prayer life incorporated into one’s way of life and moral obligations, a new way of relationships, accepting all people without any bias.

Posted: June 24th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Editorial on lawyers right on the head

Tumpak po ang March 23 editorial (“Lawyer-dominated society”) ninyo. Sapul po kaming mga lawyers.

Posted: April 7th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Meditation on lament

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Someone’s death is always a cause for sorrow and grieving—especially when it is unexpected and unjust. Such is the instant impact of University of the Philippines student Kristel Tejada’s death on all of us who have links with UP. Lament is our first response. We shake our heads in utter disbelief, and, even as we try to pin the blame for this tragedy on particular individuals, we silently seek expiation for our own guilt. We cannot be blameless when one of our promising students is forced to drop out because she cannot pay her student loan. That is how I see the flurry of efforts to repair and compensate for a system whose built-in wickedness has victimized this young student.

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘A thousand faces’

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The Muslim Koran mentions her 54 times and devotes the 19th chapter or “sura” to her. Christians call her “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” Who is this lady they’re talking about? Miriam of Nazareth—and of the Jewish faith.

Posted: December 7th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Triumph of God’s love

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I marched in the graduation ceremonies of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, last May 4. Pending a successful defense of my dissertation, I will receive a doctoral degree in criminal justice. From a maligned ex-inmate in one of the most crowded jails in the Philippines, I will become “Dr. Narag,” with specialization in prison administration.

Posted: May 15th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Christianity’s ‘Via Dolorosa’

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Recently, the human-rights activist, former Dutch politician, and Somali exile Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote about a global war on Christians in Muslim countries. She discussed at length the appalling phenomenon of violent intolerance toward Christian communities, and cast blame on the international community and prominent NGOs for failing to address this problem.

Posted: April 8th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘The people cried out: Crucify him!’

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It’s the most startling feature of the biblical account of Christianity’s defining event. It wasn’t the High Priest Caiaphas nor Pontius Pilate, nor any powerful man or elite who condemned Jesus of Nazareth to crucifixion.

Posted: April 4th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

We watch while they go hungry

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4.5 million Filipino families experience hunger and the rest who can help prevent this watch as they go hungry. It is a cursed life that the hungry live, and it is a curse that many who can help, but do not, will have to bear in their lives.

Posted: February 2nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Christians

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There are now about 2.18 billion Christians, about a third of the total global population. The figure comes from an American organization, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, in a report, “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population.” (Go to pewforum.org for materials.)

Posted: December 23rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Encounter with devils

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Gary, a boarder sleeping in his room alone, awoke and felt someone roll on top of him, trying to sodomize him. He struggled and threw the being off. He sat up and saw a shadowy figure crouched on the floor. The figure vanished slowly from his sight. The incident alarmed the household. For days afterward, [...]

Posted: November 9th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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