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Issues & Opinion
Can you swallow this?
Pulutan at Iba pa

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Cardinal Sin: priest, prophet and king
Alfeo G. Nudas, SJ


Some think Cardinal Sin speaks too much and others too little. He is like Pius XII who is now accused of having spoken too little when Hitler was terrorizing and oppressing Europe. IN a lapidary way, I'll suggest three reasons why the Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin, continues to speak on faith and morals, including the morals of politics. He continues to do so, to the irritation and confusion of his critics.

First, he speaks thus because he is a priest. From time immemorial, especially during high civilizations, the function of a priest has been to go to the altar of God. In our Judeo-Christian civilization, in particular
the Catholic "civilization of love" (as John Paul II calls it), the priest goes to the altar of God and stands there between God and man in persona Christi, in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word of God to man and
the word of man to God. He keeps alive the presence of God among his people.

For if God is absent, or dead, immediately man becomes God. And what a ruthless God! My friend Brooke Cadwallader in Europe informs me of a new book, Le Livre Noir du Communisme: crimes, terreur
et repression (1997), faxing me a few pages of it. It's an 826-page documentation by a team of European historians on the ruthlessness of atheism. Marxist atheism, the man-god, slaughtered 20 million people in Russia and 65 million in China. All in all, including other countries like Pol Pot's Cambodia, Marxist atheism slaughtered 100 million men, women and children in cold blood. Marxist atheism eliminates sin by eliminating sinners.

The second reason is that Cardinal Sin is a prophet in the tradition of the mighty prophets of the Holy Book. Those prophets took the side of the oppressed and with all their fury kept denouncing the people in
government. Those prophets feared for their lives. But they felt compelled to speak. Jeremiah said, "If the lion roars, who does not panic?" Feeling the Spirit of God roaring like a lion in him, roaring in anger against the oppression by men in government, Jeremiah trembled. He trembled at what the Spirit would do to him if he kept quiet and at what the corrupt men in government would do to him if he spoke. Jeremiah spoke and he was slaughtered. Christ spoke and he was slaughtered.

I just read in the Internet that the Catholic bishop of Guatemala, like Christ, spoke on behalf of the poor and, at night, some men went to his residence, dragged him out of bed and crushed his skull with a
cement block. But no one can stop the prophets from speaking. For if the lion roars, who will not panic? Or, as the apostles said to the men in
government who arrested them: "Think for yourselves whether it is right to obey men rather than God!" The third reason is that Lord has anointed him king. Cardinal Sin is not a king in the way the rulers of his world are kings. A king of this world lords it over his subjects. He says to one, "Go!" and he goes; to another, "Lick my shoes!" and the subject
licks his lord's shoes.

Cardinal Sin is a king in the way God is a king. Truly, we do not know God, the way we don't know The Iliad in Greek. But if somebody translates The Iliad, then we'll understand it a little. God translated himself into a man, in Jesus of Nazareth. We know God in translation, in Jesus of Nazareth, who was accused and crucified as a king. In Jesus of Nazareth, we know then that God is a king, but not a king in the
ways of this world. He is a king who loves his friends and enemies, who washes the feet of his subjects. He says, "Greater love than this no man has, that a man lays down his life for his friends," and lays down his life for his friends.

Some think Cardinal Sin speaks too much and others too little. He is like Pius XII who is now accused of having spoken too little when Hitler was terrorizing and oppressing Europe.

Whether he speaks too much or too little, it is a grace that he speaks. And he speaks because he was baptized, like all Christians, into Christ, the original priest, prophet and king. (Remember I'm speaking in a lapidary way).

At the Edsa Revolution, this king, Cardinal Sin, ready to lay down his life for his friend, spoke and said on the airlanes, startling the whole world: "Our friend Juan Ponce Enrile needs our help." Millions, including the foreign media, responded to give that help. He himself flew to Rome to defend himself before the Holy Father and, against the wishes of the papal nuncio of the Philippines, to defend the rights of nuns and priests, and all people of goodwill, to go out into the streets and join in that uncertain revolution, which turned out to be the one shining moment of our lives, the glory and boast of our people, the
historic Edsa Revolution.

In sum, I must add that the priesthood of Jesus Christ, of John Paul's "civilization of love," is different from that of other high civilizations. In this priesthood, the priest is at once priest, prophet, and king. Cardinal Sin is a priest not only of a faith that promotes rosaries and novenas but of a faith that does justice, that enables the poor to have food on
their plates and a dream in their hearts of owning a little house. And perhaps of owning a car, too.

PREVIOUSLY FEATURED OPINIONS

Handcuffing Namfrel by Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, SJ

Religious Discrimination by Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, SJ

What is a Wasted Vote? by Rina Jimenez-David

Is there a Third Force in Philippine Politics? by Roy P. Mendoza

Bring Back the Sense in Philippine Elections by Jigger Latoza

The Presidentiables by Danton Remoto

Ad Scramble (Party List) by Atty. Alberto Agra

A convicted rapist, a notorious gang leader and an anti-crime chief are redefining the old politics by Noel Bava

The Victim: Lim by Norlan Julia, SJ

Bakit Mahalaga ang Halalan sa Taong Sentenyal by Norlan Julia, SJ

Heeding the Teachers' Request on the Frontline of Election by Norlan Julia, SJ

How Partisan Poll Watching is Tranformed into Indirect Vote Buying by Noel Bava, ds

The Lord's Political Resurrection: The Erap Threat by Marvin Bionat

So What If Erap Becomes Preident by Noel Bava, ds

The Political Actors (PDI)

Revving for A Hard-Fighting Last Lap

Politics among the Stars (Celebrities in Politics Story)

Vote Early, Vote Often (Story of Election Fraud in the Philippines) by W. Paras

Keeping it All in the Family (Story of Political Dynasties, Philippine Style)

A One Horse Race?

PEA-Amari as Electoral Controversy by R. Rivera

Preserving Electoral Integrity by J. Karaos


 

 

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