Analysis By Raïssa Robles
The last time there was such a love fest over one man was two decades ago when Pope John Paul II visited Manila.
Pope John Paul and Pope Francis both defy the Hollywood notion of beauty and popularity. For instance, Pope Francis is old. Very old. He is nearly bald, vastly overweight. He speaks English with a terrible accent. And he wears no bling.
And yet, young and old, political left, right and center, and Muslims, too, are drawn to him. Many think he’s cool.
My hubby Alan told me that any Pope who came here would draw that kind of adulation.
Not the same shrieking, exuberant, touchy-feely welcome that Pope Francis invited.
When someone called Pope Francis a “rock star” on the social networking site Twitter, I commented that Pope Francis may turn out to be the rock of ages, the successor of St. Peter to whom Christ once said – “Peter, you are rock and on this rock I will build my Church.”
In the case of Pope Francis, he will have to rebuild. The Catholic Church is in deep crisis today with many of its beautiful cathedrals fallen into disuse as centers of worship and turned into museums for tourists to gawk at.
Aside from sex and money scandals hounding the papacy, Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict had also alienated Muslims big time by choosing to quote in 2006 that Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologos of the 14th-century the latter’s offensive view of the Prophet Muhammad: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
Muslims viewed these remarks negatively, perhaps not on the same scale as the Charlie Hebdo cartoons but close enough. The Pope’s view sparked anger and rioting.
And so when Pope Benedict abruptly resigned in 2013, the conclave of cardinals apparently went out of its way to choose someone who was the exact opposite of Pope Benedict. Not scholarly but street smart, not monastic but outgoing, not mainly cerebral but more emotional.
No two popes could have been so different in manner and temperament.
Both men chose to wear different papal rings – the symbol of divine authority. Pope Benedict wore the traditional gold one:
Pope Francis was given a similar one:
But discarded it for one in silver, a less valuable metal but more in keeping with his crusade against poverty:
Both men look different when they smile:
And have a different effect on children:
When 12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar asked Pope Francis why children like her were abandoned by parents and made to suffer, Pope Francis did not deliver a theological lecture that would have put his youthful audience to sleep. (I have a feeling the erudite Pope Benedict would have done that.) Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, surprisingly confessed he did not know the answer. And then he told the young girl and his rapt audience:
Only when we too can cry about the things you said can we come close to answering that question. Why do children suffer so much? Why do children suffer? When the heart is able to ask itself and weep, then we can understand something.
Dear young boys and girls, today’s world doesn’t know how to cry. The emarginated people, those left to one side, are crying. Those who are discarded are crying. But we don’t understand much about these people in need. Certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed by our tears. I invite each one here to ask yourself: have I learned how to weep? Have I learned how to weep for the emarginated or for a street child who has a drug problem or for an abused child? Unfortunately there are those who cry because they want something else.
This scene of a young girl crying and burying her face in Pope Francis’ arms, then Pope Francis uttering those words that were so simple to understand and yet so filled with meaning – for a moment, it somehow took you back to the time of Christ when he spoke in parables to his apostles. It was like peeling away centuries of ceremonies and tradition that had so weighed down and encrusted the Church. It was like going deep down to the essence of why we call ourselves Christians – followers of Christ who knew beforehand he would die an agonizing death if he persisted in delivering a very simple and yet very difficult message to live by – ‘love one another, as I have loved you.’
Catholics for a long time have been famished for this kind of leader – one who would not simply say don’t do this or that – but would touch the heart and offer consolation, and be their rock of ages.
But will the euphoria last long after that magical moment has gone?
Fortunately for Pope Francis, he is just a tweet away as @Pontifex.
Unfortunately for us, Filipinos, we have to deal with the same local prelates, many of whom do not have the charisma and empathy of the pope.
Pope Francis has left behind much food for thought. Digesting this will certainly occupy us for many months.
But living it will need a lifetime.
Joe America says
FREE MAYOR JUN JUN BINAY!
@JoeAm: Didn’t know you majored in psychology too. Now I have to be very careful, or you may see my innermost thoughts and desires (chilling thing, especially delving into the latter.)
Nice piece. “Farce” indeed.
Johnny Lin says
Only two votes needed to cite contempt. That is the Senate rule. No need for others to come since decision to arrest for contempt is moot.
JunJun refused to appear. He violated Constitutional mandate of Senate. He was taunting and challenging senators on their powers. He deserved to be punished based on his actions. He was extended many courtesies to appear. He could have appeared and claim his constitutional 5th amendment rights, not to incriminate himself, then he would not be cited for contempt. fairness is he could have appeared and exercised all his rights. Yet he refused!
Binay’s could cry for persecution and harassment but that does not diminish the fact that he challenged the power of the senate. He went to court, justices did not heed his request because there is separation of powers of the branches.
Freeing JunJun will send a message that senators are lame duck officials. Might as well abolish Blue Ribbon under the constitution by releasing him from responsibility.
Which is important, JunJun stubbornness or senate constitutional mandate?
Joe America says
What is important is that senators decide if they are going to continue to grant the Binays a platform to cry “kangaroo court” – that is empower the Binays – or empower the Philippines and the people who are tired of being jerked around. By not stepping up, they jerked the people around. The were not accountable and made a mockery of the committee’s purpose. Accountability.
They ran. They hid.
What, really, is Senator Poe’s stance on Binay, after all that evidence that has been set right on the table? The lies, the cheating, the failure to respect the Senate? The little girl is a coward and the rest of the bunch is stuffed shirt-blowhards shirking their duty with the finesse of Manny Pacquiao.
And if you really want to know how I feel, I’ll let you know . . .
“By not stepping up, they (Osmena, Poe, et al) jerked the people around. They were not accountable and made a mockery of the committee’s purpose. Accountability.” [Parenthetical insertions, mine].”
I agree it is a farce in that context. But I have to differ on the item — Free Jun Jun Binay.
I thought you were doing a Reverse Psychology, but it seems you are not.
Joe America says
No, I want Jun Jun locked up until he and his papa learn a little humility, which I rather suspect will be a long, long, long time. The Senate could have helped do that properly. Taught humility. But instead, they supported impunity.This relentless hiding, this silence about Binay gives him the platform to continue to make a mockery of the Philippines, kissing Pope’s rings and campaigning in the face of COMELEC rules. I was severely disappointed that the committee did not force people like Poe to reveal themselves.
We are on the same page then on the essentials. On Poe, I wrote much earlier on, my admiration of her. I have changed my mind about that. Unless something she does from now on reverses that, my adjusted/ recent attitude remains. I am an engineer or a man of science and the accumulation of facts are to be evaluated versus the old assessment with limited facts.
Ancient Mariner says
I’m with Johnny Lin on this one. Why use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut?
If the rules say two is enough then two is enough. Nothing wrong was done and the BRC continued on its merry way.
I’m sure if the other senators felt their vote would be needed they would have turned up.
Necessary procedures were just being followed and were a little bit overdue in my opinion.
Johnny Lin says
Senators including Nancy could ask for a meeting to reverse the contempt arrest order.
Will Nancy or her allies call for such vote.
If they don’t call, they do not have the numbers to reverse the order.
Guingona and Pimentel are aware of this rule, so do the other senators.
Two vote to cite contempt for refusal to appear in senate investigation applies to every witness called to the stand. Similarly majority votes to reverse the arrest order is also applicable senate rule.
Two votes is flexing muscle- who is powerful, senators or mayor?
Majority vote is revelations- “if you are not with me, you are against me”
Question to every senator now, Whose side are you?
He he he!
I’m with johnny lin too. senators’ silence is so telling. by their continued silence they’re letting binay free. all the hard work the blue ribbon committe is doing is going nada. senators sabotaged their own rank with the silent senators doing the sabotaging.
people ought to talk to their senators now, the ones who are supposed to represent them and make laws for them. tell the senators what their wishes are and make their wishes known. and that is for them to be there at the senate, be decisive and take a stand, like the promises they made at election that they will work for the people, for the common good, for katiwalian to flourish, for the wrongdoers to face justice, for the wrongs to be corrected, and not super impose their will on matters that count the most to constituents: binay’s issue about katiwalian. and if senators think binay has no katiwalian issues, they must say so and defend their stand. these senators were very articulated during election, they were not voted in for their silence and ability to play ‘dead’.
where is grace now, the senate’s and the people’s darling, the topnotcher laging UNA sa survey?
lest escudero is letting his opinion known, has finally found his voice and is asking the validity of contempt about to be slapped on good friend junjun binay.
maybe using sledgehammer to crack a nut is applicable this time as this is not your ordinary, everyday nut. use that sledgehammer and for once – crack that bloody nut.
this one nut that has been threatening the sledgehammer. I say, crack it. use any weapon availble and crack that bloody nut.
andrew lim says
NANCY CRIES FOR HIS BROTHER
Fatherhood or good parenting in general would have been observed if Junjun had shown up at the Senate hearing and proved to his sons they did nothing wrong.
If Pope Francis saw the tears of Nancy at the Senate and Imelda at the Tacloban airport you think he would believe those tears were for real?
“Senator Binay said the contempt citation against her brother was not the decision of the entire Senate but by two senators only. She was apparently referring to Guingona, who moved to approve the contempt citation recommended by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairman of the subcommittee, and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who seconded Guingona’s motion.”
MY DEAR SENADORA, WHY DID YOU NOT APPEAR THERE WITH SOTTO, HONOSAN AND OTHERS IN YOUR CAMP WHEN THIS MEETING WERE ALL IN THE NEWS FOR SOME DAYS?
A b–it of an excuse. If that is the only none-sense that you and your camp can come up with, you all deserve to go to jail.
This is easily remedied by Junjun Binay’s appearance at the senate. No crying; no more drama, no press con.
jorge bernas says
@ Nherrera and Marmee,,
Palagay ko ay may gagamit na naman nang WheelChair at magpapaospital na naman ang itong si dayunyor at nancy etc….
Ancient Mariner says
Back on topic.
England like the US, Canada and Australia will today ordain a female bishop.
The way to go.
Fingers crossed the link works.
just watched it on channel 11 gma news tv:
The SBRC delivered their promise of contempting the witnesses of the SBRC re Makati Anomalies. mainstar is Junjun B Anay! and the rest of the invited guests from the previous hearings except for tomas Lopes, the makati university president, due to tomas lopes sent a letter stating his committed attendance on the coming hearing of the said makati anomalies but with provision that his non-inclusion to the said contempt will be shelved if tomas lopes does not, will not attend the said hearing next thursday, jan. 29!
^Thank you, thank you Sen Guingona and the rest of the SBRC!
Makulong sana ang mga B Anay kahit konting panahon lang, and please no special priviledges!
That is good news.
The Senate orders its sergeant at arms to serve the detention order to Binay Jr and five others. Only Senators Guingona, Pimentel and Trillanes attended. (Cayetano must have been somewhere.)
As for the others, walang B..ls.
Indeed what will happen to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, if any two-bit mayor uses the b..it of a reason proffered by the Binay Camp.
Quick, Quicho, file something at the SC pronto. (Hey, that rhymes Quick — Quicho)
The question — whether Binay Jr and the five others will accept detention or try to resist and barricade themselves — is a no-brainer to me.
1. To resist and barricade, with the media swarming when the detention order is served by the Senate Sergeant at Arms with the PNP in tow, is politically incorrect for the VP. By its careful due-process (in fact over-careful deference), the Senate has calculated well their move. Resisting and barricading will result in little or no gain. Going to the SC will be an embarrassment — and politically damaging — if the Binay Camp fails as is likely. A no TRO by the SC if a complaint is brought before them, is to me already politically damaging. No, resisting will be a bad move.
2. To accept detention in the Senate Holding area, with all the comforts of home, is the better alternative. The Camp can thereby use the pa-awa strategy of not being given due process (but with little effect I might say).
3. To us at CPM, the cry should be “Strike, strike while the iron is hot.”
Off-topic but relevant
About 30 PNP Special Forces were massacred in an ambush by members of the MILF in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao Sunday.
As a result, bongbong marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government, “decided to suspend indefinitely all discussions and hearings related to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law until this is clarified.”
Reports disclosed that the SAF members were sent to the area to serve warrants of arrest against Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, known as “Marwan” in barangay Tukanalipao, and Basit Usman, a Jemaah Islamiyah bomb making expert.
Von Al Haq, vice chair for military affairs of the MILF claimed the SAF team did not coordinate with the proper authorities before they entered the area – saying the action of the SAF was a clear violation of the peace agreement entered by the Philippine government with that of the MILF.
Marcos countered Al Haq’s defense, saying that the SAF was given a legitimate mission and even without coordination, the MILF could have arranged to talk with the SAF. (Philstar 1/26/15)
What is lamentable is that some were reportedly mutilated – a sign of deep-rooted hatred. The BBL is not yet approved but the MILF is already showing ferociousness just like the recent bus-bombing that killed innocent civilians, many of them students, immediately after the bus left the gate of Mindanao State U in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon.
It seems the much-dreamed-of PEACE in large parts of Mindanao may remain a dream only. I cannot erase from my memory the time when Erap was the president and he ordered the siege and successful capture of Camp Abubakar, the former MILF stronghold in Maguindanao, to quell the boiling rebellion in the area.
In my case I have the OPPOSITE of “bite more than I can chew.” I would have wished I have more pieces to bite so I can chew and give a better comment except to say that this event puts a sad taint to the concept of BBL.
I want to hear more facts on this from the government and non-government side. Because I am a believer in the concept (and promising feature or dream as you put it) of the BBL.
Latest news is there were 50 or more SAF troopers killed including 6 officers of various ranks. It was a one sided massacre and MILF participated in it. Their version was SAF was pursuing Marwan, a Jeremiah Islamiah bombmaker with a $5 million US bounty on his head, and the troopers intruded and engaged a MILF base. They called for more SAF reinforcements who were ambushed and trapped by BIFF forces. The Military version is a MILF Imam was sheltering Marwan and the SAF troopers were in hot pursuit but were engaged by overwhelmining MILF forces when they fired upon the Imams house. In any case, heads should roll at the PNP for the tragic loss of life and military debacle, at the regular military command if there was a failure to coordinate and support the SAF during the 6 hour battle, and most certainly the MILF Imam and anyone else sheltering and protecting Marwan.
What do the BSP and DBP have in common?
Pareho sila na “IGINISA SA SARILING MANTIKA” ni ONGPIN na kakutsaba ang presidente ng BSP na si Jejomar Binay noong 2008 at former Chairman ng DBP na si Reynaldo David noong 2009.
On August 5, 2011 the new DBP Chairman filed graft charges against Ongpin, David, et. al. Ongpin, David et. al. were acquitted by the Sandiganbayan special division in a 3-2 decision on May 28, 2014. Justice MARTIRES penned the decision. Martires, Hernandez and de la Cruz, all GMA appointees, approved the decision while Herrera and Cornejo, both PNoy’s appointees dissented.
Ombudsman filed a motion for reconsideration.
Ah, Martires; that name again, he, lately mouthing a smoke-screen of a statement. Very difficult for me to pre-fix his name with “Justice.”
SHAME THE SANDIGANBAYAN SPECIES OF HIS KIND, WE SHOULD.
Would you know who owns the property in Itogon, Benguet that Alphaland wants to buy?
There are 17 listed landowners of the 68 hectares of Itogon property. Two of them are Roberto Ongpin and Deltaventures, Inc. DVI is also owned by Ongpin.
It appears that Ongpin is buying his own property. Of course Alphaland has separate juridical personality.
The question now is from whom did Ongpin acquire the Itogon property?
Ancient Mariner says
Repost after two days in moderation. In response to post 72.
VP Binay is by virtue of his position in HUDCC is ex-officio Chairman of HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board). HLURB is known to treat favorably the rich Developers. Frequently to the detriment of home and lot owners. I make the comment from personal experience.
With powers like this who needs friends.
The VP’s son Mayor Binay was the originator of the master plan.
Ancient Mariner says
I’m not sure that the link works. If it does it will take you to HLURB Board resolution 900, 2013. Approving Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance of Makati City 2013-2023.
Team work for future benefit?
I have not viewed the Land Use Plan.
A PAUSE AMIDST THE DAY’S TOIL
My wife was doing her calculations after a trip to the grocery store. She complained why I bought her that new CASIO calculator — after the old one broke — “why did you get me this calculator; the numbers look compressed.”
Sure enough, I checked; and it did. My riposte: “It is because that is a 12-digit capable calculator.”
“And pray tell, why do I need that — I am no Binay.”
Pope Francis was right — women can see what the men don’t.
true @NHerrera! women, esp mothers have eyes all over, too!
me: check on the kids, they’re too quiet.
husband: just enjoy the peace and quiet.
me: no, they’re up to something.
husband: no, they’re not. they’re even bickering.
me: that’s not bickering. those are the whispers of conspirators.
husband: you have a suspicious mind. i’ll go check but i tell you, they’re just on good behavior.
when the husband comes back…
husband: the kids need a bath. they smeared each other with diaper rash cream.
Thanks for the note. Talking about kids or children — and considering the lolo in me — I hope Raissa will allow this cluttering in her Blog. This is one of my favorites from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
The Children’s Hour
Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.
I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.
From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.
A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.
A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!
They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.
They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!
Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!
I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!
where’s the “like” button when you need one?
at sa wakas lumabas din.
isang maikling pasabi lamang: anay, anay, anay, tingnan kung saan pa nakapasok ang anay.
that is one big anay resistance to pesticide.
Religion is like bloodletting ancient medical practice, an old belief system that after 3000 years is found out that it was a malpractice and instead of curing, brings harm to the patient!
The most effective in curing the ills that plagued the nation. It brings instant relief if the blood was let out from the necks of corrupt politicians! Their blood is the poison that harms the whole body of the nation, letting it drip or gush from their necks rejuvenates the nation instantly!
On the Medical Field item — I agree 110 percent.
On the Revolution item: sounds good at first pass. However, aside from the great probability of bloodletting, the problem is, who will be the new master? Could we at CPM constitute the tribunal?
i agree with you totally. “on the revolution side sounds good at first pass”. very seductive this idea that you lcan let out or wipe out what is bad in one big swoop. too many incidence of people taking over and becoming the dreaded virus.i believe that with due respect to the people here, even the cpm is also not immune to abuse of power.
During the ouster of Marcos, there was no bloodletting!
His blood family is now back in power, poisoning our nation again.
The ones who took over learned that Filipinos ar chumps and a weak bunch, and can easily be manipulated! They know that they can get away with anything as impunity is the name of the game!
Whoever is in powerknows that they can negotiate with the next holders of power, it is just a matter of deal and tney will both screw the Filipinos who will be in the losing end.
They know that Filipinos like to forgive and forget without giving us justice!
Our tormentors and abusers will only fear us if we let the blood out of their necks while their kiths and kins watch and wait for their turn!
True and effective revolution requires sacrifices and it should be our abusers who should bear and forcibly contribute the majority of blood shed!
We should mete the required punishment to these serial criminals so as to acquire the evasive jjstice that we seek!
Don’t worry, the new masters will try to do their best to toe the line lest their blood will flood our nation’s thirst for justice!
France did not give us democracy by letting the monarchy left and banished, they cut their necks!
America was not handed by the British to govern themselves, they fought and died for it!
Slavery was not eradicated through negotiation, Americans killed Americans to end it and salvaged their nation’s conscience to get rid of their inhumanity!
So, yes, we need to let the bad blood out so a new generation of healthy ones can thrive!
the idea of an instant cure for “the ills that plagued the nation” is so attractive but reality does not support that idea. wish fulfilling fantasies like “the equalizer” and “the avengers” sell well and earn a lot of money.but reality unfortunately does not support the fantasy i am sorry to say. waking up and helping others to wake up are the work of a lifetime. hooray for raissa and the cpm in aiding this work.
Methinks, @Parekoy is just teasing us.
There are things I can do freely in my own house that I would not dare do when I’m an invited guest in a friend’s house. It is called respect.
Lucky for you and me because we can comment here freely protected with our anonymity but Raissa is the one exposed out there, if you know what I mean.
With due respect I do not want to be critical of fellow CPMers because we are brothers and sisters here, but I think we should be self-moderating to thrive.
So in your opinion I am not allowed to share my moderately radical ideas?
Why don’t you contribute your counterpoint, and let the readers decide for themselves?
Seems wecantdoit in a peaceful way! The game is rig and we surely lose! We need to change the rules otherwise we will be perpetual losers!
My ideas are not fantasies, these are known prescriptions and a very well known potent one!
We tried the farcical ‘peaceful’ way and we know we failed! Edsa failed and it high time to smart up!
the fantasy is not in the prescription. the fantasy is the instant nescafe part. “the need to change the rules” – what rules? . the devil as they say is in the detail paniwala pa rin ako sa pagtatagisan ng mga talino gaya nang nangyayari dito sablog ni raisa.
I would consider Parekoy’s stance harsh judgement with our corrupt politicians as a valid argumentation. When people are fed up, full of hatred and anguish, vigilantism stems out…that’s how the citizenry twice demonstrated it at EDSA…bloodless though.
As of now, overly aggressive actions is not yet the answer to our frustrations, especially when the government’s effort is slowly gaining ground. Violence begets violence, pero kung minsan, kapag puno na ang salop, dapat kinakalos.