Team Patay, Team
ABRAHAM V. LLERA
March 8, 2013
simply amazing how one tarp turned this country upside down.
On the one hand, there is Fr. Felix Pasquin, the rector of St.
Sebastian Cathedral who had the tarp set up, and, on the other hand,
the horde of cafeteria Catholics, among them an outspoken priest of a
supposedly Catholic university who believe the Bacolod archdiocese has
overstepped its bounds by campaigning for certain candidates.
Even Inquirer columnist Randy David weighed in with his own take via
his “When Religion Turns Political” article in the Inquirer of March
So the question is asked: “Is Fr. Pasquin’s tarp political or
All it’d take, in my opinion, is a cursory study of Church teaching to
see that in putting up that tarp, Fr. Pasquin, Bishop Vicente M.
Navarra and the archdiocese’s 90 priests are simply obeying the
Clueless cafeteria Catholics, including Mr. Randy David, may have
never heard about it before, but it is the Church, not the State,
that’s responsible for guiding men to their ultimate destination:
For instance, here’s Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical “Immortale Dei”:
“It is to the Church and not to the State that belongs the right to
guide men to celestial things; it is to the Church that God has given
the command to take cognizance of and to decide everything that
relates to religion, to teach all nations, to extend, as far as
possible, the frontiers of the Christian name; in a word, to
administer freely and as she sees fit, the Christian interests of the
souls confided to her care.”
Pope Leo XIII continues: “Thus everything that in human affairs is
sacred for any cause whatsoever, everything that refers to the
salvation of souls and the worship of God, either by its intrinsic
nature or on account of its end, all this evidently belongs to the
authority of the Church. As to things embraced in the civil and
political order, it is but just that they should be subject to civil
authority, because Jesus Christ has commanded us to render to Caesar
the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The State can levy taxes, impose tariff on imported goods, order men
of a certain age to military duty, forge alliances with other
countries, set the bidding guidelines for public works, among others,
but the State may not do anything that steps on the rights of the
Church and the laws of God.
That much is clear. Bible says “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
(Acts 5, 29.). And, instead of disagreeing, the Philippine
Constitution actually guarantees this right. Art. II Sec 6 says “The
Separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” Nothing could be
clearer than that, and only those who fail to look up what, really, is
meant by “Separation of Church and State” will claim otherwise.
The moment the State passed that infernal bill, it effectively
encroached upon a matter that’s not its own to encroach upon. By
practically legislating intrinsic evil contraception into the lives of
the people, the State effectively overstepped its bounds, leaving the
Church with no choice but to insist on her right.
By reminding the faithful of their divinely-generated responsibility
to keep God’s laws, Fr. Pasquin did not overstep his bounds, it is
Comelec that overstepped its own bounds.
Mr. Randy David cited Pope Benedict XVI as having insisted on a strict
delineation of responsibilities, interpreting the Pope’s statements as
prohibiting Fr. Pasquin from putting up that tarp. But Mr David merely
read into the Pope’s statements what he (Mr. David) wants to hear the
Pope say. In fact, such is not what the Pope had in mind at all.
And what made me say that? Well, in response to a query sent to him by
the U.S. bishops on how Catholic voters should act in the face of
candidates supporting abortion and euthanasia, the Pope replied: “A
Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so
unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to
deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's
permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does
not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia,
but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered
remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of
By posting the tarp, Fr. Pasquin was merely doing his job: reminding
the faithful that they would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil
if they vote for certain candidates because they voted for the RH
Bill. And Fr. Pasquin was simply doing his job as shepherd by
including a list of candidates voting for whom will keep the faithful
from committing formal cooperation in evil.