by Dulce V. Aristorenas from http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/sundaylifestyle/sundaylifestyle/view/20101107-301947/Extradite-excommunicate–exfoliate
The first celebrity I know who got excommunicated from the Catholic Church was… Jackie Kennedy
I REMEMBER I almost puked when I read about a woman who was throwing her garbage—no garbage bags then, just throw no-wrap food, drinks, used toilet paper and feminine pads plus dog poo. The garbage the woman saw included a dead newborn.
Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, Forbes magazine published the best countries to live in because of the care the government gives it citizens, which equated into the citizen’s quality of life.
The country which was No. 2 or No. 3 was Norway.
I had a chance to live in Norway for a while. Its population is the population of the entire Metro Manila only. The Royal Family is quiet and the Parliament and the Prime Minister run the country.
You cannot imagine the citizens’ government assistance in all stages of life. If you give birth, the mother has a three-month leave and the father about a month-long leave. Thus, they both learn how to take care of their babies. While you walk through forest paths or Oslo streets, you see men pushing strollers or changing diapers.
Hospital, doctor’s visits and medicines are all free.
All at once I was found anemic so my gynecologist asked me to get confined at the hospital. I just had my handbag and a change of clothes for one night. I strutted to the nurses’ station, where they checked my name on the ledger, found it, and I was given a private room with a bed to lay on for immediate blood transfusion.
The next day, I was given a full gynecological exam by my doctor to make sure my uterine lining was not bleeding. I was pronounced well. But I still had to return to my room for another bag for blood transfusion. Okay.
Then I was told I was well enough and that I could go home now. I got my handbag (with my change of clothes still unused), and went to the nurses’ station: no signing of forms, no payment.
I literally walked in and out of the hospital. All for free.
Medicine? You just gather your receipts, go to a government agency and they reimburse your medicine bills.
Retirement? Oh, everyone looks forward to that! You don’t lose your house and you are given allowances bigger than the salaries you were making before you turned your 60s.
What’s my point?
Anthropologists and sociologists have put together an equation: The lesser the population of a country, the better opportunities for its citizens.
Population control is not only about birth control. It’s about lessening our Philippine population so we don’t have to send out our parents as OFWs and break family ties.
It means that there will be more jobs for a country that is not overflowing. Thus, mothers don’t have to leave their children to take care of other children in HK.
It means that people in the provinces are being given the money saved from Metro Manila for fertilizers for their crops to grow abundanttly which they can now sell at a better price. It means that population control all over the Philippines will mean that each city should be able to manage its budget to give everyone work.
And the government can give better social security and other benefits better than what we have now.
And everyone gets the chance to go up the ladder.
Going up the ladder
Which my daddy did in the 1930s when population numbers were at its best (till the ’50s). He was a poor, bakya-wearing student and then he found work, was able to put himself through law at the University of the Philippines and topped the 1935 Bar. Marcos was No. 1, Raul A. Aristorenas No. 9.
It is hardly possible to do that at this time.
Giving out condoms and using the pill is not abortion (the murder of babies growing in the womb, in my opinion).
Condoms and the pill stop the male sperm from fertilizing the female egg so that a baby is not formed. Hence, there is no murder of babies.
Now, let me illustrate a scenario: my 19-year-old girl-helper was knocked up by her boyfriend who works here. She was so happy. See? We don’t provide our adolescents from the provinces any other dreams because they cannot afford it. Their dreams end after high school so marrying and getting pregnant are the ultimate star of their lives.
But now she lives in Bicol (with her parents, of course) and the man lives in Manila. Now, figure that out.
If they both knew about the consequences of their sexual intercourse, without protection, they may have gotten a choice: get pregnant or not, outside marriage in the Catholic Church.
In Norway, without advertising and a no-big-deal thing, students can go to their school clinic and get either condoms or the pill. No questions. Provides unlimited sex to teens? That’s a next dissertation.
The first celebrity I know who got excommunicated from the Catholic Church was… Jackie Kennedy. Her sin? She married a divorced man, Aristotle Onassis. She didn’t mind. And her children continued practicing the Catholic faith.
My problem about excommunication is that it judges who can go to God or not. Excommunication just means not being able to partake of the rituals of the Catholic Church: no Holy Communion, no confession to a priest, no blessing upon death.
That’s my problem: they are rituals written by men, not by God.
Can’t I talk with my God, Jesus Christ with my heart, night or day, weep and hold His hand for strength and embrace Him for fortunes untold (winning the elocution contest) and just plain talking to Him about what I think about some Bible passages?
My God is in me. I don’t need to be blessed when I die, if I am excommunicated, because God has given me the ultimate blessing Himself: He has carried me in His arms, like a baby, whispering: You are home,now.
So, you may excommunicate, extradite or exfoliate the President.
But you cannot cut his relationship with God.
No one can.
There are priests and there are priests. There are nuns and there are nuns. I like priests and nuns who practice what they preach. I like priests and nuns who aren’t self-righteous or all-knowing. I like priests and nuns who are humane and human. They are not goody two shoes. They are not holier than thou. They are as candid and frank as you and I.
So I have favorite nuns and priests, these are the ones who tell it straight. I take issue with those of them who say one thing but do something else when the person in question is rich and powerful, when push comes to show. But that is another story.
Here is one thing that bothered me yesterday. Perhaps, a contentious issue.
The main celebrant did not deliver the homily, but did a mini-homily before the final blessing. He mentioned going to the cemetery where a lady in her sixties or seventies said to him “Father, forgive me for I have sinned”. If I recall correctly, the lady was crying, so the priest asked why. Apparently, she was hurt because right beside or on top of where her father was buried was put the remains of his querida or mistress. And that angered her. As he recalled this incident, the priest discussed issues raging even after the death of certain people, especially those they left and loved them, in this case, a daughter. The priest said, with a smile, that we should forgive. I don’t agree.
Yes, I know, that Christ forgave and continues to forgive our sins is always invoked when we are told to forgive those who have wronged us. But forgiving isn’t easy. And we aren’t perfect. We can always easily say we have forgiven, but have we, deep inside? Don’t the memories continue to rankle? To hurt? Perhaps that lady in her sixties or seventies who cried when she saw what she did, first experienced the hurt wreaked by her father’s infidelity to her mother when she was a child, or maybe later. But chances are, this lady’s life was affected by it. Perhaps, she saw her mother hurt, cry, sleepless, unable to eat, sick – because of her father’s betrayal. And in witnessing those, she hurt and hurt deeply, not only for herself, but for her mother and siblings.
So, forgive? Cory Aquino herself said “how can I forgive someone who hasn’t asked for forgiveness?” And even if that person has asked for forgiveness, will that erase the pain? Ease it perhaps, but erase? Easier said than done, really.
On the other hand, yesterday as well, I read a post of a friend and gleaned from it that her parents had been separated and her father had taken on another partner (which came first, I don’t know). And her father died. Both the wife and the second partner were at the funeral. The wife stoic, the second apparently grieving. The daughter said something about her mom holding her father’s hand in the coffin for the first and last time, after a long while. Those words must have been written in pain…
As one priest said, the pain may go away, but the scar remains. I like the priest that said this. He is real.