If, when, and how I pray is nobody's business

Add to that who and what I pray for. That's what went through my mind while reading about how the Inquirer.net found some perverse newsworthiness in a bunch of Filipino Catholic Bishops' urging that Pinoys "storm the heavens with prayers for healing and forgiveness" in the aftermath of the August 23 Mendoza hostage crisis.

See, that's the whole trouble with Filipinos' Medieval approach to practicing the Catholic religion. Spirituality (as may be manifest in religious ritual) is a personal thing. The Catholic Church for the last millenium and a half had derived most of its wealth and power by propagating the notion that it is the sole legitimate channel for all Catholics to commune with the Almighty. We continue to see legacies of this moronic thinking in the sorts of directives that Church officials continue to dish out to its "congregation"...
The Archdiocese of Manila’s Ministry of Liturgical Affairs issued two short "Prayers of the Faithful" to be recited for a week during Mass.

The prayers started on Sunday for the victims of the deadly hostage-taking at Quirino Grandstand in Manila, their families and the entire nation that witnessed the tragedy.

While the Catholic honchos acknowledge that many people have taken a personal initiative to say their prayers, their desire to be seen to be on top of such initiatives is evident...
"While many already have prayed and are praying for those who suffered in this unfortunate incident, we propose that we lead the congregation in a communal prayer through our prayers of the faithful," said Diwa.

The memo was addressed to all parish priest, rectors, chaplains of parishes, shrines and chaplaincies in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Furthermore, these bishops presume to undertake their own diplomacy on behalf of the Filipino...
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Monday also raised the possibility of "making representations" to its counterpart in Hong Kong to extend its sympathies and concern in the aftermath of last week’s incident.

In its news website, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said that the plan would be decided by the CBCP Permanent Council in a meeting in the second week of September.

... seemingly oblivious of two facts:

(1) Not all Filipinos are Catholics; and,

(2) Hong Kong is a very secular society.

For that matter, this is a matter between two secular states. The last thing we need are more talking heads involved in this imbroglio -- specifically heads of institutions that have long and extensive track records of hobbling our march to prosperity.

To be fair, it was going to be about the Philippine Catholic Church making "representations" to its Hong Kong "countrpart". If so, then it should have been done quietly with results rather than intentions reported to the Media.


  1. may i just connect this post to your previous one. our dysfunctional culture is conditioned to be enslaved by religion, particularly the notion that being Filipino is being Catholic only which is aggravated by the media and the press whenever a non-Catholic Filipino figures in the news kasi ang tawag sa ganung Filipino is Chinoy, Muslim, etc. Why can't the person be just Filipino?!

  2. Yes, in practice, Catholicism is a state religion even if we are a secular state in principle.

  3. Indeed.

    A culture heavily addicted to ineptitude too willing to invoke a very inefficient form of prayer



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