What Catholic Vote?

Details Published on Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00 Written by DUCKY PAREDES

‘What after all, is God’s word on the State and Religion? Isn’t it “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” as reported by the Gospel of Matthew?’

THE answer is clear. There is no Catholic vote. Not only that; Catholics also do not want their Church to get in their way by telling them how to vote or who to vote for. To me, that is what my Church should learn from the last election.

There is a lot of proof for this. For instance, only six out of the ten candidates endorsed by the Catholic-backed White Vote Movement for the Senate have made it to the top 12 so far.

The movement endorsed the candidacies of Nancy Binay (good grief!!), JV Ejercito, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Marwil Llasos, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, Antonio Trillanes IV, Cynthia Villar, and Miguel Zubiri.

However, only Binay, Ejercito, Honasan, Pimentel, Trillanes, and Villar seem poised to get Senate seats; and their being in the winning circle is not proof

These five were the same senatorial candidates who were branded as “Team Buhay” by several Catholic churches nationwide for going against the Reproductive Health (RH) law, along with Mitos Magsaysay, who has been of the existence of a Catholic vote since all ranked high in the surveys even before they were endorsed by the movement. lagging in the tally.

But four out of the seven candidates who were branded as “Team Patay” for supporting the RH law are likewise doing well: Sonny Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, and Loren Legarda.

The three who are not doing so well—Teddy Casiño, Jack Enrile, and Risa Hontiveros—were already ranked low in the polls before being declared part of “Team Patay.”

Apparently, no one cared that Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, former vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, told faithful Catholics to choose pro-life candidates in the May 2013 polls.

This was the Archbishop’s exhortation: “Kaya kapag mayroong kandidato na hindi sumusunod sa utos ng Diyos, dapat tanggihan yung mga ‘yun. At kailangan na magkaroon ngayon ng Catholic vote. Dapat ipakita natin ang pagiging tunay na Katoliko. Marami diyan ay mga pekeng Katoliko, yun ang naghahari sa atin.”

Did the Catholics listen? Or was this regarded as still another ho-hum sermon that one could simply ignore? What after all, is God’s word on the State and Religion? Isn’t it “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” as reported by the Gospel of Matthew?

Didn’t the Church also campaign against Sen. Juan Flavier because as Health secretary, he freely distributed condoms? Still, didn’t Flavier win the elections with a comfortable excess of the votes he needed to just win?

The Catholic Vote was a myth then; it is still simply a myth that lives in the minds of those who want he Church to have political power. Most Catholics reject the idea of their bishops and priests dabbling in politics.

President Joseph Estrada won by landslide in 1998 despite the fact that many Church officials campaigned against him. Failing that, the Church joined the crowds that forced Erap out of Malacañang. And, what did we get? A worse one who cheated and stole and gave Pajeros to our bishops, to the eventual shame of our Church!

The INC, on the other hand, is an old hand at choosing winners. In this election, 10 of the INC picks seem poised to take their Senate seats: Angara, Bam Aquino, Cayetano, Legarda, Trillanes, Grace Poe, Villar, Binay (??!@?), Ejercito, and Honasan.

Only Jack Enrile and Richard Gordon, who were also endorsed by INC have not made it. Gordon still could but he would replace Honasan which would still give the INC 10 out of their 12.

Of course, the INC has always been in steeped in politics and my Church is a rank amateur in comparison.

(Text from rest of the article removed)

SOURCE: http://www.malaya.com.ph/index.php/opinion/31244-what-catholic-vote


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