Welcome to our community of hypocrites!

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino

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Welcome to our community of hypocrites!
You either don't know the nature of the Church or you know exactly what the Church stands for, and condemn it for doing what it's supposed to do


I’ve reached the limit of my tolerance for those who bash the Catholic Church as hypocritical when our bishops ring the alarm bells about egregious violations of human rights.

The usual invective against the Church – hypocrisy (which is of course an echo of the President’s earlier tirade).

But exactly how has it been hypocritical?

Hypocritical because it condemns wrongdoing while many members of the clergy and its laity are engaged in wrongdoing? Then, you don’t understand the Church. It speaks not because its leaders and its members think themselves a cut above the rest of humanity, but because the Church has been constituted “to root up and to tear down, to build and to plant.”

When Jesus chose the Twelve, he knew they were not the best of material. Judas and Peter were traitors. James and John were impetuous. Matthew was an extortionist. But he sent exactly these to turn people away from evil to good. If this is hypocrisy, then Jesus was the author of hypocrisy.

Hypocritical because many chapters of its history are dark and shameful chapters? It has never concealed these, as some are wont to conceal their wrongdoing. In humility it acknowledges the sins of the past and of the present, but it cannot silence itself, nor be silenced by others because it is sent forth precisely to teach, to reprove, to admonish to warn, not its own righteousness but the righteousness of God, a righteousness it cannot come close to approximating.

Ever wondered why the Mass always begins with “I confess?” 

Now, how many times have we heard that from government, no matter how egregious the error?

So, here’s what I think of those who call the Church hypocritical whenever it sounds a note grating to the ears of sycophants: You are either stupid, because you do not know the nature of the Church, or you are hypocritical, because you know exactly what the Church stands for and what it must preach, and condemn it for doing what it is supposed to do.

And, yes, you are always welcome into the Church that you call a community of hypocrites, because there is always room for one more hypocrite – and you perfectly fit! – Rappler.com


The author is dean, Graduate School of Law, San Beda College, and professor at Cagayan State University



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