Monday, July 12, 2010

Pinoy Bishops split in gambling issue

I watched a news report on TV about this and was waiting for it to be available on ABS-CBN and GMA's websites.  But up until now they are not available.  Even the CBCPNews Website does not have this news.  I got this from the Philippine Daily Inquirer website.


MANILA, Philippines—The head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines says there is no need to strictly enforce the CBCP’s policy against accepting donations from gambling activities, whether legal or illegal, because most bishops already shun the practice. [For journalists and PR guys, MOST would mean not ALL.  Get it?]

At least, according to Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, Surigao del Sur, majority of the Catholic bishops resist donations [There it is folks!  Most resist, some don't!] from the state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), which issues licenses for casino operators.

The bishops are largely against gambling, the CBCP president said in an interview following the "Red Mass" at the Manila Cathedral on Wednesday. "That has been the consistent stand of the CBCP, against illegal gambling,” he added.

Odchimar declined to comment [which is prudent on his part if you ask me.] on a challenge made by Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, a staunch anti-gambling crusader, to his fellow bishops to state openly if they have received donations from gambling activities, even if these came from Pagcor. [Even if I am for Archbishop's challenge, I highly doubt that bishop's would cave in.  Imagine, even an order from the Pope himself like Summorum Pontificum is being treated lightly!]

Cruz has asked the public to name those bishops who accept gambling money despite the CBCP’s standing policy. [Hard.  You need evidence or else you'll end up getting sued!]

The CBCP issued a pastoral statement in January 2005 through Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, then CBCP president, [Uh-huh. Hehe.] announcing that it would be the policy among bishops “to refrain from soliciting or receiving funds from illegal and legal gambling so as not to promote a culture of gambling.”

Odchimar said he did not know the context of Cruz's statement.

“There are some bishops—majority, most of the bishops—who believe that it would be better for us not to receive donations and not to ask donations from Pagcor since we know what is the source of the donation,” Odchimar said. [His fumbling from majority to most is a tell tale sign that he knows some who do.]

“As often stated, the end does not justify the means. Although there might be some dissenting opinions among theologians, [Let me guess...from Maryhill School of Theology or from a bishop who is frequently seen on TV masking as Catholic in his theology but is barking mad Lutheran in a theology school where he teaches?] but that is the prevailing sentiment of the bishops because of the evil effects of gambling,” he continued.

He said he was not to keen [probably because the issue of morality on accepting donations from gambling money is too controversial within CBCP itself?] bringing up the gambling issue during the CBCP plenary assembly among 131 CBCP members scheduled on Friday, July 9, at the Pope Pius XII Center in Manila.

He said it may be tackled “if it will be raised because that's a long-running topic." But "there might be some matters which need more attention,” he added. [Hmmmm...]

The plenary assembly is the highest decision-making body of the CBCP.

I believe Archbishop Cruz knows who among his fellow bishops received "donations" from the Pagcor and PCSO especially during the administration of Arroyo.

They are quick to spot.

Scan newspapers...Listen to those who did not dare speak up against Arroyo.  I am not saying all of them.  But it is a good sign.  As I've posted before, I know...

I can't wait for the Freedom of Information  Bill to be revived in Congress.  Let's see how our bishops would react to this as Archbishop Cruz would want to use the bill, hopefully would become a law, as his tool to unmask the truth among his brother bishops who receive donation from these government run gambling corporations.

Gambling money donated to the Church?  Relativity of morality.  Hmmm, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. The bishops can direct the giver and the money to a secular charity if they can't refuse the insistence of legal and illegal gambling operators. But it takes supernatural grace to resist a bribe. Thomas More when presented with bribe threw it into the Thames.

    But what worries me is that the money isn't really used for the poor but to support the whims of the bishops.