I know that Joker Arroyo grieves deeply the passing away of Dulce, and prays that his good friend Rene would recover from such tragedy.
But one wonders what possessed Joker to suddenly author a resolution "expressing the concern of the Senate that the number of Filipino cardinals is grossly disproportionate to the huge number of Catholics" in this benighted land. Joker further notes that the Philippines has the second largest concentration of Catholics in the world.
While I do not think Joker’s resolution violates the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State, as expressed on the floor by one of his colleagues, I wonder if he was asked (tasked?) by the Boss Lady in Malacañang to lay the predicate to her soon-to-be-made importuning to the Holy Father, for a fourth Philippine cardinal.
In 1999, there was talk in Church circles that then Pope John Paul II would name a cardinal from among one of the archbishops of Mindanao. My good friend Carmelo Morelos, DD, Archbishop of Zamboanga and before that Butuan, was prominently mentioned. But that did not come to pass, and with the death of the beloved pope, a new sovereign in the Vatican reigns.
Guess who the Boss Lady wants to see elevated by Pope Benedict to the College of Cardinals before her term is over, if it ever gets over? Her lord Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, the previous president of the CBCP who stood by her during the dark days of Hello Garci in 2005.
This is the same bishop who early in the days of Gloria tried to broker a solution to the impounded 40 billion-peso coconut levy, along with Norberto Gonzales, then presidential adviser on "special" concerns. That did not materialize when legitimate representatives of coconut farmers began to question the terms of their arrangement.
Sometime last year, after he had forgotten the slightly soured relations we had because I refused to support his bosom buddy FPJ in the presidential run, Erap told me that in April of 2004, this archbishop from Davao visited him in Tanay. Capalla supposedly asked him to withdraw his support from FPJ, and thus pave the way for a GMA victory. In exchange, Capalla said the Boss Lady would ensure his acquittal before the Sandiganbayan. Erap refused.
I mention this now, without leave from Erap, and pray that the CBCP or the newly appointed papal nuncio could verify this highly immoral intervention on the part of Capalla not only in secular matters, but in favor of his patroness Gloria, even to the point of promising that the "rule of law" could be so easily thwarted by the political compromise he proffered.
And this is the man who the Boss Lady would want to be the next cardinal from the Philippines?
I was schooled in the thought that "Deus" precedes even "Patria". It would seem that in the illegitimate reign of the Boss Lady in the stinking palace, where she arrogates "patriotism" to mean her self-interest, even matters of the Church are within the sphere of her habitual "transactions".
I scratch your back, you scratch mine.