Catholics must learn about their own faith | Inquirer Opinion

Catholics must learn about their own faith

/ 04:45 AM July 04, 2011

I once registered my disagreement with Minyong Ordoñez’s inane comment about our Azkals, whom he described as “puro mga tisoy,” as if they were any less Filipino than the “obscure-complexioned” Minyong.

Dr. Ariston Estrada, one of my teachers, while on the subject of “naturalized” and “natural-born” Filipinos, quipped that the former are Filipinos by choice, and the latter were Filipinos by accident. That is insight!


Allez, Monsieur Minyong! That’s a good swipe at the old fallacy subscribed to by not only you, I’m sure, but also many other self-styled “Jesuit extensions.”

On the other hand, my main thrust here is Ordonez’s more recent commentary, titled “From belief to unbelief,” in which he shows another—this time more genuinely Jesuit—facet of his, with his views on the “RH” controversy.


Ordoñez starts off by posing some questions: “How can one say he is a Catholic and ignore the teaching of his religion?” “Why be a Catholic if one thinks his religion is erroneous?” “Is there pride and truth in being an egoistic Catholic?”

For one thing, the term “Egoistic Catholic” is appropriate, as Ordoñez uses the term in the context of:

(a) What he presents as a Catholic Church that is (1) one in doctrine; (2) holy in origin; and (3) apostolic in succession. In support of these three, he quotes the well-known biblical passage, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of heaven shall not prevail against it.”

Then follows the words so out of the Protestants’ continuous Bible-quoting: “To thee I shall give the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven. And whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall also be loosed in Heaven.”

The above quote goes contrary to what Ordoñez refers to as “Egoistic Catholicism.” In reference to the RH bill, he refers to what he calls “Cafeteria Catholics” who reject their own Church’s stand on the RH bill, as if to say “I don’t agree” or “I don’t like it.” Ordoñez refers to the relativism fad.

(b) Second, even more significantly, Ordoñez almost reads my mind, which has become sensitive to the unfortunate reality that we Catholics simply don’t know our own faith. That, to me, makes us vulnerable to any Bible-quoting non-Catholic who does an impressive job of duping unenlightened Cafeteria Catholics into “being impressed” with them: “Oo nga, ano!”… as the expression goes.

Ordoñez’s prescription is the only possible one: We Catholics should more seriously study our own religion.


As the Anglo-Saxon commentators covering Grand Slam tennis tournaments on TV would say: Spot on, Minyong!

—BOBBY G. KRAUT, [email protected]

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TAGS: Azkals, Dr. Ariston Estrada, Egoistic Catholicism, Minyong Ordoñez
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