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When bishops err

/ 06:11 AM July 18, 2011

Regarding your editorial “Still clueless” (Inquirer, 7/9/11): Thank you to the Inquirer for speaking up bravely on the reality that some bishops made errors of judgment when they chose to accept government largesse—or asked unabashedly for it, as some had done—at a time when the Arroyo administration was wracked by corruption scandals. The acceptance of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office assistance by some bishops was morally inappropriate at the time, because it came with the tacit understanding that they would turn a blind eye to the administration’s many indiscretions. As guardians of morality, they should have been extra prudent in accepting gifts and less accommodating with government officials perceived to be corrupt.

The Church has always kept us on our toes on moral issues, sometimes to the point of bullying us with excommunication and the fires of hell. But now that her moral ascendancy is in question, who will remind her erring leaders of their misguided acts?

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I think the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as an organization can police its ranks, and not just dismiss anything of this kind with the lame excuse that bishops are directly answerable to the Pope. But first, as in this case, they must submit themselves to civil authority to explain their side and, if need be, be held accountable.

—MYLO BARCIAL, MD,

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TAGS: arroyo administration, bishops, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
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