Friday, April 18, 2008

CFC admonished, chastised, corrected, guided, ano ba talaga kuya

A top story item over at ABS-CBN News online had my eyebrows rising and my jaw dropping:

Vatican admonishes Couples for Christ over Gawad Kalinga


The Vatican has chastised the Couples for Christ (CFC) group supportive of Gawad Kalinga founder Antonio Meloto for the "erroneous steps [it has] taken" when it decided to shift its focus from the spiritual to the social. The group was instructed to make a public apology.

Central to the concern of the Vatican was the direction taken by CFC-founded social action group Gawad Kalinga (GK). The Vatican disapproved of CFC’s "overemphasis on the social work" and GK’s openness to donations from groups that promote artificial family planning...
I immediately took out my dictionary to get the precise meaning of “chastise” since it seems like a very strong word…

Chastise (\chas-tīz\): to inflict punishment on; to censure severely

Gosh, I cringed on that one. Imagine being chastised by the Vatican. Chastised. By the Vatican. It feels somehow close to excommunication. But wait, a related news item now comes up in the Inquirer just now.
Vatican ‘corrects’ Couples for Christ’s ‘GK’ focus

By Jeannette Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The Vatican merely intended to guide and correct Gawad Kalinga’s “overemphasis on social work” when it sent a letter to Couples for Christ (CFC) chiding it for its “erroneous steps,” according to an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
.. Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chair of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, Thursday told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the Vatican had the authority and duty to remind and guide lay groups.

He said he did not think that the letter from the Vatican referring to Gawad Kalinga—a social action group that was founded by the CFC and which has become hugely successful in building homes for the poor—was an admonition…

“It is more of a guidance, a correction. It is merely correcting the overemphasis on social work. It is correcting receiving funds from pharmaceutical companies [who support or manufacture contraceptives]. It is saying, stop acting like that,” he said.

.. Asked if the Gawad Kalinga had placed the CFC in a bad light, Reyes answered in the negative.

He said the letter was probably intended to prevent a similar conflict from occurring in other CFC organizations in other countries.
So there. From the chair of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity himself, bishop Gabby Reyes, who has personal copies of the Vatican letters. Thank you, dear Bishop Reyes. My eyebrows and jaw has now settled back to normal. My blood pressure though will take a while to simmer down. Interesting how piecemeal quotations can be cleverly structured around a staged message. No suprise really, as they say you can even make the bible itself say anything.

Maybe that "journalist" at ABS-CBN should take a break for a while. Here’s a tip: I heard they need good literary talents over at Marvel comics.

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