Ang Vatican at Pilipinas…Ngayon

Ang Vatican at Pilipinas…Ngayon
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang Vatican ay merong Santo Papang mapagpakumbaba, piniling tumira sa apartment sa halip na sa marangyang “palasyo” ng Vatican, at ang mga kasabay na kumain ay ang mga ordinaryong pari na bumibisita sa Vatican. Hindi maganda ang mga kuwento tungkol sa kanyang nakaraan, kasama na diyan ang pagtrabaho niya bilang bouncer sa isang bahay-aliwan. Marami din siyang nakabanggang nakatataas sa kanya nang siya ay naging pari hanggang sa maging Obispo. Sa simula pa lang ng pag-upo niya bilang Santo Papa, nagbanta na siyang lilinisin niya ang simbahang Katoliko na ang korapsyon at iba pang eskandalo ay pilit na itinago sa mahabang panahon. Hanggang ngayon ay tinutuligsa niya ang mga animo ay demonyo na nakasuot ng sotana at nagpapanggap na mga “ama” ng komunidad, ganoong mayroon palang mga minumulestiya. Nanawagan siya sa mga ito na lisanin na ang simbahan upang hindi madamay ang mga matitino, subalit matitigas ang ulo nila dahil siguro hindi nila maiwanan ang karangyaang INI-ENJOY nila.

 

Ang Pilipinas ay mayroon ngayong Rodrigo Duterte na umaming madilim ang kanyang kahapon bilang estudyante dahil pumapasok siya sa klase maski nakainom. Wala sa mga naging classmate niya ang nakaalala na nagpakita siya ng katalinuhan. Pati ang isang propesor niya noon na ininterbyu ay umaming hindi niya maalalang naging estudyante niya si Duterte, ganoong nababanggit siya nito (Duterte) sa mga talumpati. Nang maging mayor ng Davao city, ang lunsod ay biglang tumino dahil nawala ang mga NPA at drug dealers na nakatira sa mga depressed areas lalo na sa Agdao kaya tinawag ito noon na “Nicaragdao”. Matindi ang pagbatikos ni Duterte sa mga tiwali sa gobyerno na bahagi ng mga dahilan kung bakit namayagpag ang problema sa droga.

 

Ang dalawang lider ay parehong binabatikos ng mga ayaw magbago o tumanggap ng pagkakamali. Pareho rin silang nagpahayag ng pagtanggap ng kanilang kapalaran nila kung sakaling hindi sila umabot sa itinakdang panahon. Si pope Francis ay nagpahayag noon na baka mag-retire siya ng maaga upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang ibang Obispo na maging lider ng simbahang Katoliko, at si Duterte naman ay nagsabing handang bumaba kung magawa agad ang bagong porma ng gobyerno na Pederalismo. Sa madaling salita, pareho silang hindi ganid o sakim sa kapangyarihan.

 

Ang Vatican ay isang maliit na lunsod sa loob ng Italya pero nirerespeto ng mga makapangyarihang bansa. Ang Pilipinas naman ay isang maliit ding bansa, watak-watak pa dahil ang kabuuhan nito ay kinabibilangan ng mga isla, subalit dahil kay Duterte, kahit papaano ay nasapawan ng imahe niya ang nakasanayang pagtukoy dito na bansang korap. Kung noon ang Vatican at Pilipinas ay nilibak dahil sa mga katiwalian, ngayon sila ay nirerespeto ng buong mundo!

 

Ang Vatican at Pilipinas…Ngayon

Ang Vatican at Pilipinas…Ngayon

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang Vatican ay merong Santo Papang mapagpakumbaba, piniling tumira sa apartment sa halip na sa marangyang “palasyo” ng Vatican, at ang mga kasabay na kumain ay ang mga ordinaryong pari na bumibisita sa Vatican. Hindi maganda ang mga kuwento tungkol sa kanyang nakaraan, kasama na diyan ang pagtrabaho niya bilang bouncer sa isang bahay-aliwan. Marami din siyang nakabanggang nakatataas sa kanya nang siya ay naging pari hanggang sa maging Obispo. Sa simula pa lang ng pag-upo niya bilang Santo Papa, nagbanta na siyang lilinisin niya ang simbahang Katoliko na ang korapsyon at iba pang eskandalo ay pilit na itinago sa mahabang panahon. Hanggang ngayon ay tinutuligsa niya ang mga animo ay demonyo na nakasuot ng sotana at nagpapanggap na mga “ama” ng komunidad, ganoong mayroon palang mga minumulestiya. Nanawagan siya sa mga ito na lisanin na ang simbahan upang hindi madamay ang mga matitino, subalit matitigas ang ulo nila dahil siguro hindi nila maiwanan ang karangyaang INI-ENJOY nila.

 

Ang Pilipinas ay mayroon ngayong Rodrigo Duterte na umaming madilim ang kanyang kahapon bilang estudyante dahil pumapasok siya sa klase maski nakainom. Wala sa mga naging classmate niya ang nakaalala na nagpakita siya ng katalinuhan. Pati ang isang propesor niya noon na ininterbyu ay umaming hindi niya maalalang naging estudyante niya si Duterte, ganoong nababanggit siya nito (Duterte) sa mga talumpati. Nang maging mayor ng Davao city, ang lunsod ay biglang tumino dahil nawala ang mga NPA at drug dealers na nakatira sa mga depressed areas lalo na sa Agdao kaya tinawag ito noon na “Nicaragdao”. Matindi ang pagbatikos ni Duterte sa mga tiwali sa gobyerno na bahagi ng mga dahilan kung bakit namayagpag ang problema sa droga.

 

Ang dalawang lider ay parehong binabatikos ng mga ayaw magbago o tumanggap ng pagkakamali. Pareho rin silang nagpahayag ng pagtanggap ng kanilang kapalaran nila kung sakaling hindi sila umabot sa itinakdang panahon. Si pope Francis ay nagpahayag noon na baka mag-retire siya ng maaga upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang ibang Obispo na maging lider ng simbahang Katoliko, at si Duterte naman ay nagsabing handang bumaba kung magawa agad ang bagong porma ng gobyerno na Pederalismo. Sa madaling salita, pareho silang hindi ganid o sakim sa kapangyarihan.

 

Ang Vatican ay isang maliit na lunsod sa loob ng Italya pero nirerespeto ng mga makapangyarihang bansa. Ang Pilipinas naman ay isang maliit ding bansa, watak-watak pa dahil ang kabuuhan nito ay kinabibilangan ng mga isla, subalit dahil kay Duterte, kahit papaano ay nasapawan ng imahe niya ang nakasanayang pagtukoy dito na bansang korap. Kung noon ang Vatican at Pilipinas ay nilibak dahil sa mga katiwalian, ngayon sila ay nirerespeto ng buong mundo!

Pope Francis of the Vatican and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines

POPE FRANCIS OF THE VATICAN

AND RODRIGO DUTERTE OF THE PHILIPPINES

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In the August 2015 issue of the National Geographic, I found an item that details how the bombs of the USA and her allies devastated Laos during the controversial Vietnam War that rendered the laid back country into a crater-filled wasteland after the war. Laos is the venue of the ASEAN summit 2016 being attended by Duterte where he was supposed to meet Obama on the sidelines but unfortunately, did not materialize due to the impertinent question from a Reuter reporter which incited the Philippine president to “explode”.

 

The same issue of the magazine features the cover story about Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) which I did not give much thought at first. But after a nonchalant perusal, I was struck by several information on the pope that appear to be in synch with those about president Duterte’s.

 

Pope Francis was elected to the papacy just when the Vatican was at its darkest period due to piling up scandals that rocked the Catholic Church. The Philippines was in the same helpless situation in view of criminalities and political scandals, forcing the Filipinos to take the “risk” of voting for Duterte after realizing that the country needs a change that only one with a steely resolve can initiate.

 

The pope being from Argentina, broke the tradition of papal racial origin which should be either an Italian or at least a European. Duterte who claims to have a Muslim blood, is from Davao, a city in the southern island of Mindanao, broke the political tradition of the Philippines whose past Catholic presidents were from Luzon.

 

The pope, even while still in Argentina, was espousing the welfare of the have-nots. Duterte can cry unabashedly at the sight of an exploited, especially, raped and murdered innocents.

 

The pope considers himself a “street guy” or “callejero”, just like Duterte who shows his true humble color without hesitance if only to let those in the lower rung of the society know that he belongs with them.

 

The pope lives in a simple apartment, Casa Santa Marta, instead of the Vatican palace. Duterte’s staying at the guest house of Malacaἧan is just a compromise as given the choice he prefers to stay in a much austere accommodation. Both prefer the simple food that they used to partake.

 

The pope, while as archbishop in Argentina took the subway and had the habit of strolling along streets of unlikely nooks of Argentina. Duterte drove a taxi at nighttime to personally check on his constituents as best as he could, aside from using a simple pick-up type of car as his official vehicle as mayor of Davao City.

 

On the day of his proclamation as the new pope, Francis took the bus used to ferry the cardinals instead of the officially assigned limousine. Given the choice, Duterte preferred the old car that he used in Davao, instead of the luxurious one assigned to the president of the country.

 

Both Francis and Duterte are spontaneous…always, not afraid to blurt out what are in their mind…a feat that earned them enemies, albeit, during rare moments showed their down-to-earth person.

 

The pope has no plans of changing existing doctrines. The Filipinos are assured by Duterte of due process and fair justice system despite slight deviations that according to him are necessary  to help him in his cleansing efforts…and that, definitely, he will not resort to the Martial Law.

 

Francis has been telling friends that he needed to “start making changes right now”, since the day of his proclamation. Duterte is being propelled toward “changes” by his desire to have a transformation, hence, assuring the Filipinos that “change is coming”, thereby, seemingly in a hurry to cleanse the country of the drug menace and other forms of criminality first, to be followed by the rest of the cleansing that he promised to undertake.

 

Both are immensely misunderstood, though, unmistakably charismatic.

 

 

Aggressive and Violent islamic Expansionism Poses Threat to World Peace…a caution to the Philippines

Aggressive and Violent Islamic Expansionism

Poses Threat to World Peace

…a caution to the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

There is nothing wrong with all kinds of religion or cults, for as long as tolerance and respect among the faithful are observed. If there is no violent or aggressive attempt of conversion, I do not think that animosity shall be developed among the parties concerned. Conversion should be done “indirectly” – through convincing actions by the advocates, to show others that indeed, their religion is worth embracing. People should be given a liberal option as to what faith they should follow. They should not be intimidated by force, or threatened with the nozzle of a gun.

Special reference is being made to the religious polarization of the world between Christian and Islamic faiths. Tension between the two has slackened after the Crusade era. But, it seems that even religion is following a cycle or giving truth to the adage that history repeats itself, as lately, an aggressive Islamic expansionism is on the rise, spearheaded by its extremist advocates. There is a global attempt today for the “restoration” of Islam as supposedly the world religion, and even an aggressive “expansion”, which to the layman could mean “mass conversion”.

Hugging cyber news pages are European countries that are under the pressure exerted by the influx of Muslim immigrants, purportedly victims of persecution in their countries of origin, particularly, Syria. And, there is even an appeal by the United Nations to the far-off Asian countries to “adopt” some of them. Some European countries, being nearest to the origin of these evacuees were the first to offer succor and accommodated the refugees. Unfortunately, these generous countries are now being rocked with unrest by the same beneficiary of sympathy, in the name of the latter’s Islamic faith. There is even a bold threat by a group of Muslims in Denmark that their host shall become the “first Muslim country in Europe”.

The extremist ISIS group has done more than enough destruction to the historic and Biblical countries that they occupied and fear to the rest that they plan to overrun. Will Europe suffer the same fate, as there could be Islamic terrorists who may have successfully melded with the so-called “refugees” who have been accommodated by sympathetic European countries? From Europe, will masquerading terrorists who may have successfully blended with authentic refugees creep their way towards Southeast Asia to muddle the harmonious and peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims?

While the Muslims are aggressive in their attempt to convert others, none of such drive can be observed among the Christians, especially, the Roman Catholics. The publicities being enjoyed by the Vatican because of the controversial new pope, Francis, should not be taken as an attempt to convert. In fact, there is an ongoing cleansing within the Roman Catholic community, as shown by the purging of erring church leaders, as well as, vehement reminders of the pope for his flock to follow the “Christian way”. Nothing about converting Muslims, Protestants, etc. is being done in any way. On the other hand, if the effort of the new pope is viewed by skeptics as a convincing “Christian act” of a Roman Catholic, it is up to them to decide if they want to jump over the fence and join the flock of Jesus.

In the Philippines, particularly, Mindanao, the Muslims and Christians are enjoying a harmonious and peaceful co-existence. The call for autonomy which many Filipinos deemed long overdue is more political and not a matter of religion. In fact, it is expected that the same clamor for political autonomy shall be raised by the rest of the regions as the system has been proved to be effective in the Cordillera Region, although, deemed necessary in the first place, due to the archipelagic make up of the country.

The Philippines is a clear manifestation of harmony if tolerance and respect among people with diverse culture and faith, are observed. In view of the threat that is now rocking some European countries due to aggressive religious assertion by Islamic fundamentalists, Filipinos should be more vigilant and help each other in maintaining a steadfast resistance against any religiously-hooded incursion that could be tainted with evil intent. Filipinos have stood united on a foundation of strongly- welded brotherhood that not even the corrupted political system failed to shake. This fervent show of steadfast conviction should send a warning to the evil-minded around the world, that the Philippines is not a breeding ground for  unrest under the cloak of religion that the misguided extremists plan to foment…as such attempt shall never and ever be tolerated!

Pope Francis Deserves to be Left Alone

Pope Francis deserves to be Left Alone

By Apolinario Villalobos

The new pope is not being political when reaches out to people, and in so doing, travels around the world. He does not choose who to hold or hug or kiss. He does not preach about the magnificence of the papacy and the Vatican…in fact, he is obviously, embarrassed about them. He does not preach to convert, but speaks about universal love and compassion. This is how evangelization should be done, by not talking about the church to which one belongs, but letting other people read his intentions through his actions and pronouncements.

It should be recalled that Francis, upon his assumption of his papal post, started his campaign for the practice of humility when he chose to live in an austere apartment, rather than the luxurious suite reserved for popes. He wanted to be just like anybody else, so he has no qualms about carrying his meal tray when he dines in the canteen with the rest of lay people. He has no aides at his side 24/7, except when on official trips. And, he carries his own bag when he travels!

Instead of bashing him on the internet, those who are anti-pope, anti-Christ, anti-Vatican, and anti-Roman Catholic should try to understand his messages first. They should view the new pope as Francis, a former bishop, an ordinary guy, who assumed the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church which was not his choice in the first place. Francis is not presenting himself as the new Messiah or Prophet. His mission is to spread love and not hatred. He is not even asking to be loved, but for others to include him in their prayers.

Why can’t the bashers just write something about the devilish leaders of nations whose selfish acts trespass other nations’ rights? Why can’t they exhaust their effort in condemning the acts of ISIS advocates who are now being loathed by their fellow Muslims? Why can’t they just write about the conscienceless terrorists who sow fear throughout the world? Why can’t they look around them and paint with words the gruesome poverty and splash them on the internet for the world to see?

The “Overwhelming” Papal Power

The “Overwhelming” Papal Power

By Apolinario Villalobos

As every Christian knows, the Apostles spread themselves to proclaim the teachings of Jesus Christ. Congregations were addressed by authors of Epistles in the New Testament, and these messages contained instructions. Among these congregations were those located in Rome where, Christianity was supposed to have been planted after the Pentecost. Traditionally, the congregations had elders who served as administrators, but nobody among them acted superior than the rest. The elders acted with equal authority, during which time there was no so-called “bishop” or “pope”, yet.

The development of the “monarchial” leadership was during the second century. But the title “pope” was first used by the Bishop of Rome, Callistus, during the third century. Later, the title evolved as a firm official reference to the Bishop of Rome exclusively, as insisted by Pope Leo I. He also used the pagan title “Pontifex Maximus”, which is still used until today, although, such title was also used by the pagan Roman Emperors until the end of the fourth century. Leo I based his insistence on what Jesus said about Peter as the first among the Apostles, therefore, the St. Peter’s Church in Vatican should be the premier Church among the rest of Catholic Churches. With this basis, it was made clear that while “the emperor held temporal power in Constantinople in the East, the pope exercised spiritual power from Rome in the west”. Such authority was manifested when Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III as the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Governments around the world viewed the pope, as the “ruler” of a separate sovereign state – the Vatican City. In this view, the Roman Catholic Church unlike the rest of religions, has the privilege to send officials vested with diplomatic authority to duly recognized governments around the world. Among the titles of the pope are: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor to the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Sovereign of the Vatican City. When attending official ceremonies, he is accorded with pompous honor, appropriate for the Head of a State.

Could the current pope, Francis, have realized the overwhelming papal power that he cringed with remorse, thereby, deciding to live in an “apartment” rather than the “palatial” official residence? Compassion is among his advocacies…and this can only be done if he lives among his “flock”.

Similarities Between Pope Francis and Jesus

Similarities Between
Pope Francis And Jesus
By Apolinario Villalobos

Aside from Islam, there are other religions and even Christian sects that regard Jesus as a prophet, and not as the Son of God which the Universal Catholic Church professes. Nevertheless, be Jesus is the Son of God or a plain prophet, the fact is, he preached only goodness for mankind. During his time, he was misunderstood and even ridiculed for what his protagonists declared were against the traditional Law of the Jews. He was practically surrounded by his detractors who watched his every move.

Today, the people’s pope, Francis is going through the same harrowing experience. He is practically surrounded by his critics who believe that his views and ways are in contrary to the established rules of the Roman Catholic Church. If Jesus had his Pharisees, Saducees, etc. as detractors, today, Francis has hypocrite Catholic clerics and fanatics that surround him as his critics. Jesus tried to reach out to as many Jews as he could, in the same way that Francis today is doing, even using the social media as one of the means.

Jesus chose people who, others during the time viewed as sinners, to be his disciples, and Francis did the same by appointing the latest young cardinals whom his critics thought will give him headache. Despite the loyalty of affluent followers, Jesus opted to preach in the simplest manner. Today, Francis reaches out to the Catholic flock without much pomposity, even putting his life at risk by doing away with bullet-proof protections.

Jesus came out into the open when the time was rife with political upheaval due to corruption, hunger, hypocrisy and dissent. When Francis was chosen as the new pope, the world is tingling with violence, many countries are infected with corruption, and even the Vatican is overflowing with hypocrisy.

Both Jesus and Francis are like voices in the wilderness drowned in the cacophony of human chaos. And, both calls for mercy and compassion.

Francis, Santong Patron ng mga Hayop…at ang bagong santo papa

Francis, Santong Patron ng mga Hayop
…at ang bagong santo papa
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang santong si Francis ay patron ng mga hayop. At, ang bagong santo papa ang unang gumamit ng pangalan niya nang mahirang ito na pinuno ng simbahang Romano Katoliko.

Nang hagupitin ng bagyong Yolanda ang Tacloban, mga karatig nitong bayan at probinsiya, isa ang bagong santo papa sa mga unang nagpadala ng pakikiramay sa mga nasalanta. Natanim sa isipan ng santo papa ang masidhing pagnanasa na makarating sa Tacloban upang personal na makiramay sa mga tao.

Sa pagdating ng bagong santo papa, dapat lahat ng mga taga-Senado at Kongreso, pati mga opisyal sa gobyerno ay dumalo sa misang pamumunuan niya ang pagganap sa Luneta, Linggo, 18 January. Sa okasyong yon kasi, maliban sa mga tao, magbabasbas din ang banal na papa ng mga hayop, upang isakatuparan ang pagka-tokayo niya sa patron ng mga ito!

Maliban sa mga una kong tinukoy na mga hayop, dapat umatend din ang mga hayop na drug lords, drug pushers, human traffickers, illegal recruiters, manggagantso, etc. Hindi nila dapat palampasin ang pagkakataong once in a lifetime na pagbasbas ng isang santo papa sa mga hayop!

Dadalo din pala ako upang makinig ng mga awit na ginawa para sa kanyang pagdating, at upang mabasbasan din…

Francis and Jesus

Francis and Jesus
By Apolinario Villalobos

There is no better choice to head the Vatican of today than Francis in view of his radical effort in reforming the papacy. His refusal to live in the posh papal quarters more than symbolized his humility. In his simple ways, he sheds off the royal trapping that for him sets the pope apart from the people. His actions are always with implied reminder that in the eyes of God, everybody is equal. His stubbornness to project simplicity irritates some Roman Catholics, but for the rest, he is Jesus personified.

During the time of Jesus, the community he lived in was also beset with hypocrites who regard themselves as authorities on the Jewish traditions and the proper worship of God. This kind of “faithfuls” are still very much around, cloaked in different colorful uniforms of religiosities to distinguish them from the “sinners” . That is why, just like Jesus who practically resorted to almost any way possible to carry out his mission, Francis today, even mingle with the people in the Vatican’s square and “invaded” the social media to be able to reach out to those who decided to join other flocks, in an effort to bring them back to the fold of Universal faith.

Francis and Jesus did not promise anything with monetary value. Both just showed their real selves and dwell on the doable expectations of God from us. Just like Jesus who was pestered by his detractors who patiently waited for his missteps, Francis is being watched keenly not by those belonging to other denominations, but by Roman Catholics themselves who abhor reform. Criticisms about Francis are already coming out in the social media.

Those who belong to this generation should feel lucky for witnessing a radical religious reformation, the tableau being completed by different assemblages of fanatics who profess to be the real messiah. Aside from proving the truth in the adage, “history repeats itself”, those who read the Bible will also realize that the prophesy about the coming of false prophets is already happening.

A Lingering Question About Jesus

A  Lingering   Question  About Jesus

By   Apolinario  Villalobos

 

My  favorite  pages  of  the  Bible  are  those  about  the  Old  Testament  because  of  their  historical  content.    I  also  like  the  New  Testament  which  tackle  values ,  development  of  Christianity,  Jesus  and  His  works.  It’s  about  love  of  God,  love  of  fellowmen,  faith  in  God,  etc.,  that  need  to be  practiced,  an  expectation  that  unfortunately,  failed,  somehow.

 

There  is  just  one  question  about  Jesus  that  has been bugging  me – his genetic  lineage.  According to  prophesy,the  Messiah  shall   come   from  the  House   of  David.  Josephis only a  “foster”  father  of  Jesus.  So,  though,  Joseph  belonged  to  the  House   of   David,  Jesus,  genetically  does  not.   Jesus  was   broughtinto  the  world  through  virgin  birth,  that of  Mary.  But  Mary  does  not belong  to  the  House   of   David.  In  other  words,  Jesus  does  not  belong  to  the  House  of  David.   To  simplify  the explanation,  the  Vatican just   emphasized  the  whole  thing  as  a  miracle,  and  that,  Joseph  is  presented  as  the    “father”  of  Jesus,  to  complete  the  picture  of  the  Holy   Family.  For  the faithful,  no  question  should  be  asked  when  miracle  is  used  as an  explanation. 

 

In  the  first  place,  there  could  have  been  no  question  if   the  writer  of  the  particular   chapter  in the  Bible  dealing   on  the  prophesy   about   the   messiah,  just  espoused  the  miracle  of   the  virgin  birth   and  understated     his    coming  from  the  house  of  David.  The  faithful  I   suppose  are  willing  to accept  it   just  like  the rest   of   the  miracles.  It   seems  something   is  lacking  in  the  way  the  prophesy  has  been  written.   The  prophet  who   announced  the  coming  of  the messiah  should  know  about  it,  because  the message   came  from  the  all- knowing  God,  or  there  should  have  been  some  kind  of  a  “by   the  way”  about  the  messiah’s  adoption  by  a  foster  father.   In  my  simple   mind,  perhaps,  the  writer    mentioned   the  “House   of  David”  to  inject   an   image  of  royalty   to   the  messiah,  though,  born  in  a  manger  to  portrait  humility.  Such  an  implied  intention,  if  ever,  is  a  deceptive  ploy  of  the  writer  which  drained  down  to  the  Vatican  which  is  now  submerged  in  a thick  muck  of  controversies.