As a concerned Filipino Catholic, I read the statement - and then I remembered why I rarely read such statements. I thought about it, and rather than just comment here on the blog, I thought I'd attempt to engage my church's hierarchy in a bit of dialogue. Let's see if anything comes out of it.
I think I got my main issue about the statement off my chest, but here are a few minor points I'd still like to raise (though I didn't do so in the comment, since I didn't want to distract from my main point):
First, this bothers me. A lot:
Asked whether the statement is a call for the public to organize a move to oust President Arroyo, Lagdameo said it is up to the public to decide on what course of action they want to use.
“Kailangan ang taong bayan ay magsama-sama kung paano sila mag-response together dun sa sulat namin na sinabi naming communal discernment and communal action," he explained.
Now, I am a fan of nuanced responses and shades of gray, but there are some issues wherein you simply cannot take a position on the fence. If someone asks you, as an influential religious leader, whether or not something you yourself wrote means that you are asking people to "organize a move to oust" a sitting President, I don't think you should be allowed to wash your hands and basically say "bahala sila."
Second, why did they subtitle the piece "Quotes from Prophets of Hope"? The people they cited do, I think, qualify as performing a prophetic function, speaking truth to power and all that - but, er, none of the quotations used seemed particularly hopeful. I don't think I'd call a doctor who diagnosed me with cancer as a "prophet of hope."