We are a people of dialogue. As such we have the moral obligation to search for the truth in freedom, the truth about God, about life, about ourselves, our country, our society, our world and the events around us.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Answers to Questions on CBCP Press Corps

CBCP President Archbishop Capalla’s (FRC) answers to some questions from the CBCP Press Corps

1. Will the stand of the CBCP on GMA change in the wake of the new developments (witnesses accusing her of electoral fraud, bribery allegations)?

FRC’S ANSWER:First of all, the CBCP Pastoral Statement is not a “stand on GMA”. If it must be called a “stand” at all, it is a stand for sobriety, for upholding constitutional processes, for the rule of law, which everybody is subject to, whether one is a president or a pauper. It is very clear in the Statement that bishops are not supposed to tell the president what to do or what not to do. We are supposed to be moral guides, not king makers or king bashers. Under all circumstances, and especially in the present, decisions must not be made in terms of political loyalties but in the light of truth, justice and the common good, which are all Gospel values, and which we as bishops must uphold and promote, not only in CBCP statements but from the pulpits. Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales put it very well in his recent press conference, “We are here to evangelize, not to politicize.”

2. Do you think GMA will be able to finish her term as president?

FRC’S ANSWER: I can not predict the future; only God knows. But more important than the issue of whether the president will finish her term or not is the question of the people’s willingness and preparedness to help themselves. If she stays until her term ends, are the people going to cooperate with her in a spirit of trust and confidence, with an eye towards the country’s good? If she is not able to finish her term, are the people ready for whatever may come, or will they just keep on electing public servants and deposing them when they prove to be unworthy or worse, not to their liking after all? As a people of God we are to be so formed that we will choose our leaders with intelligence and guided by Christ’s light.

3. GMA has been reported to be considering “reconciliation” with the opposition. Considering your experience at reconciliation and your reputation as a “negotiator” and a man of peace, would you be willing, if invited, to act as go-between this time?

FRC’S ANSWER:My role has been a facilitator of meeting, not negotiator or go-between. But if invited? As long as they are meeting on moral, not political grounds, perhaps I will consider it—it depends on the tenor of the invitation. If they want a retreat together I can conduct it for them. Do they want to go to confession? I can also hear that.

Archbishop of Davao
CBCP President

August 2, 2005