OPINION: Two reflections

Teddy Locsin Jr.

Posted at Feb 09 2017 05:01 AM

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) prepared and embargoed a pastoral letter, in order to issue it in the time honored manner: from the pulpit and not the press. The Church does not want to be used for partisan political purposes based in New York. 

Two reflections I give to you. 

One. Sometimes you can be killed with kindness. Monsignor Gerry, who read the pastoral letter last Sunday, walked to the altar on the arms of acolytes. Someone helping him out of the car had slammed the door on his hand. You can be killed or maimed with kindness. Not surprisingly, at the end the of the mass, he led us in reading the prayer to our guardian angels. 

Two. The pastoral letter expressed a balanced view of the drug problem and of the war on drugs, of extrajudicial and judicial murder. All are equally condemnable for destroying lives, be it by drugs or bullets or lethal injection. It urged compassion for the families of the victims of drugs and of the war on drugs—and of the victims of the coming judicial murders by act of Congress. 

The pastoral letter expresses Catholic doctrine. You don't subscribe to it—then get out of the Church. You won't be missed. The Vatican has the largest population of any power on earth, be it Protestant, Buddhist or Islam. 

However, Catholicism being the most rational, indeed the most intellectual religion in history—its theologians never cease pondering the disturbing questions whether there is no God and why there is anything at all—the pastoral letter makes an exception for rational but never for merely passionate objection. 

While Pascal said that the heart has reasons the mind cannot divine, stupidity is not included. 

I have demonstrated, and the Church concurs, that no one can take a human life but the Giver of Life; yet not even God does it. And I might add, since the pastoral letter fails to say it: we never die at God's hand but at the hands of nature or murderers. 

For that reason, judicial murder is no different than extrajudicial, except that the latter is much to be preferred, Saguisag observed. Not least because it does not pretend to be anything more than it is—a crime. 

Murder is wrong. It does not become right because men in black order it. Indeed, it is worse. Judges perpetrate it—with the aggravating circumstances of premeditation and in band—upon a victim hog-tied and powerless to harm another or defend himself. As our representatives, judges make us complicit in their crime. 

The death penalty is murder of the worst kind. It is a usurpation of a power belonging only to God which yet He disdains to exercise, letting nature take its course or men to do it—with or without robes.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.