While it is relatively easier to take to the pulpit, confronting a triumphalist government in this manner only backfires.
It is for this reason that the response of Catholics – ministers and ordinary believers – must go back to what they are good at. The relevance of Christianity, as its long history demonstrates, still lies in its small communities.
And many of its communities are now affected by both illegal drugs and killings.
Should the Catholic Church then shut up?
Not quite. But its response needs to be a little wiser.
Its communities at this point need more than just encouragement. More than ever, Catholics need to demonstrate that they are the light of the world. For this to happen they must go back to their communities - to bring back drug users and support families of murdered individuals. But at the same time they must not forget that illegal drugs have also destroyed families.
In the face of the enemy, Catholics cannot keep quiet. But they cannot just be noisy. Otherwise their message will fall on deaf ears and rendered invalid by the antagonistic figures they seek to critique.
The struggle ahead is going to be long and arduous. To fight back, the credibility of the Catholic Church must be unassailable.
Not just against its critics. But for people who have been rendered helpless by many. – Rappler.com
Jayeel Serrano Cornelio, PhD is a sociologist of religion at the Ateneo de Manila University and St Vincent School of Theology. He is the author of "Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines: Young People Reinterpreting Religion" (Routledge, 2016). He is also one of the authors of "Introduction to World Religions and Belief Systems", a worktext for Senior High School published by Rex. Follow him on Twitter @jayeel_cornelio.
Jayeel Cornelio, PhD is Associate Professor and the Director of the Development Studies Program at the Ateneo de Manila University. A sociologist of religion, he is a recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology. He i...