CBCP disowns Arguelles

Two days ago I wrote an inflammatory comeback to wordpress about Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles for telling people to vote for political candidates who were “true christians” and kick out candidates who wnet “against” the teachings of the church. An example of a religious leader attempting to control freedom to vote towards a religious agenda by using his influence and guilt tripping anyone who takes him seriously.

Unfortunately a lot of people take the words of an Archbishop seriously. Fortunately smarter heads prevailed (although it really doesn’t take much to be smarter than this guy). Senator and lawmakers (probably sensing the threat to their own seats of power) rebuked him for his statement and denied that there was any such thing as a Catholic block vote, most prominent of these was Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Most of them reminding him of the constitutional provision of separation of church and state as I have stated previously.

Arguelles remained adamant saying that the responsibility of remaining separate was the states alone. Stating the example that the only thing that the constitution provides is that the state cannot impose any test of religion to those seeking office. Which is true, if we were talking about the American Constitution. Section 6 of the Philippine Constitution (and anybody correct me if I’m wrong here) merely says “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” That’s it.

And smarter heads seem to still remain within the CBCP as CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma (a man I’m not particularly fond of) effectively disowned Arguelles saying “it’s up to the people to make their own decisions” which is how it’s supposed to be.

The only thing I have with this statement is that he followed it up, in attempt to salvage some of Arguelles’ dignity, by laying the blame on the reporter “The paper misinterpreted the statement of one of our bishops in CBCP… there is a misunderstanding on the part of the reporter.”

Oh yeah, when in doubt blame the media. Nobody misinterpreted anything. We all saw and heard what he said. He was stupid and he said something even more stupid, end of story.

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