when cardinal rosales took over as archbishop of manila, the country and most specially civil society gave a collective ho-hum. some mourned. for good reason – rosales replaced the hugely popular and well-loved cardinal jaime sin.
cardinal sin is known for his wit and intelligence and above all, his activism in philippine political and national life. he is largely credited for the beginnings of the People Power Revolution that removed ferdinand marcos in 1986.
nobody will forget that day. people were just starting to gather in EDSA, then over the radio cardinal sin asked catholics to get out of their homes and proceed to isetan in cubao, the starting point for a march towards camp crame edsa for the people to protect camp crame and camp aguinaldo. the rest is history.
that kind of involvement is something everyone knew rosales will not give. and true enough, upon his installation in the highest position in the philippine catholic church, he simply disappeared into nowhere saying nothing about what was happening to the country. all of a sudden the archdiocese of manila turned silent, the exact opposite of what it was before. not only that, he instructed priests and bishops not to meddle in political affairs.
that was rosales then, but the rosales that we hear now is very, very different.
the bishops and now being led by rosales have been very vocal about the cha-cha and con-ass, the move by arroyo supporters to change the constitution to enable a term extension that can mean arroyo will install herself as president for life of the philippines.
cardinal rosales has transformed himself. and his latest statement to describe allowing the congressmen to form themselves into a con-ass to amend the constitution : “It’s like entrusting your teenage daughter in the care of a rapist.”
that statement is just one of many signs, words said, rallies organized and movements led that is pointing to a more active involvement of catholic bishops in national issues.
welcome, cardinal rosales. i am sure cardinal sin is smiling in heaven.
Cardinal: Con-ass backers like rapists
MANILA, Philippines—Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has expressed what may yet be his sharpest rebuke of administration lawmakers pushing a constituent assembly (Con-ass) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“It’s like entrusting your teenage daughter in the care of a rapist,” Rosales told reporters. “I’m sorry for the analogy, but you get the idea.”
The cardinal said it would not be prudent to allow certain members of the House of Representatives to perform the task of Charter change because of their vested interests including “political dynasties.”
He added: “[There] is a danger of extending [the term of] the present administration and those who are occupying positions [in it] down to the last office.”
But Rosales, who now holds the prelature from which the late Jaime Cardinal Sin called on the people to overthrow two presidents, indicated the Catholic hierarchy’s support for “improving the Constitution.”