The statement by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines regarding the state of affairs in the Philippines is paradoxically different from the picture being presented by the Aquino administration. The Aquino team sees a bright future ahead for all, with an expected 6% rise in economic growth. The CBCP, however, sees dark clouds ahead, what with issues still unresolved by this administration, and the lack of efforts from government to take care of the concerns of the poor and sectors left behind. The Church described these issues as "storms" and present calamities that are being ignored largely by the administration.
These storms were categorized in fours: social, economic, political and even moral, to a point that the Church admits these affect the faith of believers. In the end the prescription is clear---the Church will campaign against those who do not follow Church teachings.
The Church reaction is expected. The defeat it suffered when the State passed the controversial Reproductive Health bill, is an embarrassment. Now, talks abound that in the next Congress, several groups will be gunning for the passage of a Divorce Bill, another measure diametrically opposed by the Catholic Church. Instead of just merely prescribing a spiritual solution to these problems, the Catholic Church is posed to flex its political muscles, which it did only during the last two EDSA coups.
Taking a political action pose numerous risks for the Church, considering that the Church maintains vast proprietary and economic interests. A political action against this administration might slightly affect economic performance.
Like what I said in my previous blogs, the Church will find it difficult to mobilize a big and credible force against this government because majority or most of the groups working for change are either compromised or are working for the administration. Those who traditionally oppose governmental policies are still clueless as to the best approach to take insofar as this administration is concerned. The problem is not as simple as others think.
In this situation, the choice varies from sheer apathy to extremism. The political actor is either apathetic or will resort to extremism. Both choices are ludicrous. Maintaining an apathetic stance negates the very nature of the opposition while extremism poses great risks. Who, in this stage, would be brave enough to risk everything for a venture that presents an uncertain future?
The only option left for the Church is for it to transform itself into a political movement, something which many of its patrons and clients are familiar with. The question really is---will this moral force be strong enough to counter the propaganda of a "clean government"?
Will we see a clash between the Church and the Government in this elections?
Remember that in the past three years, the Aquino administration has created a stronger state, able to withstand a constant barrage of criticisms and able to sustain the public's trust and confidence.