It’s a shame, as it’s not everyday we have His Holiness in our midst. You could’ve represented us well. But instead, you acted like a child crying about how some boys were being mean to you. Or how your presidential ego was badly bruised.
Anyway, we thought you could have considered or highlighted the following points in your speech so the Holy See can really see (pun intended) and understand how we have remained steadfast as a predominantly Catholic nation despite the shortcomings.
1. How the Catholic church and the government should find common ground to be able to work together without hating each other.
Time and again, much of the disenchantment of the Filipino people rests on the Catholic Church meddling with government and legislation without recognizing its limits. You could’ve mentioned how this longstanding battle only creates divide among us and that we need his guidance to make sure that we are inspired to work for the common good. Also, both the Church and the government need to earn back the public trust. The Pope is the perfect ally for your daang matuwid, and a perfectly believable person to encourage us that it can and will happen.
2. Religious resilience
Poverty and corruption in the Philippines are never a deterrent to but instead a motivation for hope and faith.
People in the direst situations in the country cling to faith, sometimes even as the one and only resort. You could’ve mentioned how most Filipinos practice that. It is not the most effective of solutions and certainly not logical, but many have actually found strength and resolve just by believing that God will never take them for granted. You, of all people, are a witness to how Filipinos have survived the worst calamities through faith and prayers. Can’t you even squeeze that bit in the many sentences about your animosity toward the clergy?
3. An unafraid Pope is the hope that a Catholic nation needs.
Everyone not only loves Pope Francis for his openness and humility, but also for his courage in allowing progressive ideas to be accepted (or at least discussed openly) and deviating from conventional conservatism of the Catholic faith. This inspires Filipinos to be unprejudiced and open about necessary changes in mindset and beliefs, and to realize that Catholicism, in all its imperfections, isn’t all that bad.
You should’ve been more grateful and less adverse, or a war freak — in the presence of the Pope, no less. For one day, you could’ve set your personal gripes aside and celebrate the fact that the Pope is here, being the messenger of love, peace and hope that he is.
But all you do is bring up the horrid past. Don’t you think it is only telling that we are a nation that can never, ever move on?
There’s probably no next time, especially with you at the helm to do such a simple job of talking to the Pope on behalf of us. So it really sucks that you blew it. If there should be a “moral imperative” that we can levy on you, it’s that you should try to read your speech out loud before the performance. Make sure it doesn’t make you cringe or make you hate yourself.
Photo Credits: Interaksyon.com