Monday, June 09, 2008

Pilipinas kong hirap!, Woman bishop visits Manila

Today is the movable feast of Philippine Independence. Back in the good old days, Queen Gloria decided in several executive orders to move national secular holidays to the nearest Monday. The idea was that with a longer weekend, people would have time and money to spend, thus adding gas [pun intended!] to the consumer driven economy.

Her Majesty was able to convince Congress and this became law. But people still consider June 12 as the real Independence day.

But that was when people had money to spend. Today we see "Pilipinas kong mahal" posters all over Manila, even in front of the NFA offices and warehouses where the poor line up for hours for cheap rice.

So it is no wonder that today is Paghihirap holiday for a lot of people. The government has said that it can't do anything to stop the fuel price increases.

People have very little to look forward to this Christmas. Gas can end up at 75 pesos or more per liter.

BTW, The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts-Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in the USA was recently in town. Schori is the first woman head of an Anglican church in the world. The bishop visited the Philippine Episcopal Church and the Philippine Independent Church (IFI). She was very concerned about the human rights situation in the country. Here she is with our Pinoy Episcopal and Independiente bishops on a courtesy call to the US Ambassador.

Schori's visit never even merited a line in the blurbs, especially when her visit is on the coattails of the Vatican directive excommunicating women who are ordained priests and the bishops who do ordain them. Here is a woman bishop who is also a marine scientist, visiting the Philippines. RenPaul a Pinoy Episcopalian says that that is good in itself since Schori's views on gay and lesbian marriage, ordination of gay priests and bishops have created a storm in the Anglican Communion and has led the worldwide Anglican church in a de facto schism and Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury is crucified between the liberals (like Schori) and the conservatives (like Peter Akinola of Nigeria) . RenPaul implies that the Episcopal Church in the Philippines is split on these issues with some members not in favour of women priests. (But hadn't the Pinoy Episcopalians ordained their first women priests in 1992?) The Pinoy Episcopalians are conservative if RenPaul is to be believed.

But the Philippine Episcopalians while recently financially independent of its American mother church has and continues to receive assistance from the US church.

So RenPaul writes "On the other hand, I do hope the local church will be polite to tell her the truth, that while they may welcome ECUSA's help in some things, they should be careful not to compromise on ethics and theology. "

I wonder why a feminist like Rina Jimenez-David has missed out on Jefferts Schori's landmark visit. This should have been written about and since Pinays are "religiosa" this should have brought out into the open the discussion on the pros and cons of having women priests. Por Dios por Santo, we have had two women presidents, women senators, a woman President of the UP, women generals, women mountaineers and deep sea divers, women pilots (incidentally Schori is an instrument rated pilot), women combat soldiers etc.

This discussion is sure to rock the CBCP!


DJB Rizalist said...

If I am not mistaken the all male priesthood is a matter of infallible teaching. The church has painted itself into a corner on this one that it cannot get out of without major destruction of its "magisterium"

blackshama said...


Essentially that's what the Vatican directive implies. However the Church really painted itself into a corner ever since it embargoed all discussion of the matter.

Ren said...

The ECP has ordained women priests since 1992, but a number of parishes--including two of the largest in the ECP--are known to be reluctant about welcoming their ministry.

There are interesting times ahead.