Monday, July 11, 2005

'It's not your job to save the world...'

Looks like someone got their collective hand slapped with a scolding from the Papal Nuncio and backed by Papa Ratzi's Vatican.
Two bishops confirmed NEWSBREAK’s information that [Papal Nuncio] Franco scolded them Saturday (July 9) morning over what he described as excessive political meddling of some bishops. He gave his piece of mind in his traditional address at the opening of the CBCP’s annual plenary assembly in Pope Pius Center. (Newsbreak Online)
Thank heavens for small blessings. Finally someone from their own spiritual institution had the right idea and decided to, at the very least, set the score between the church and the state. What is the score between the church and the state, you may ask? That they are two separate institutions, hence, the separation of church and state. In years past, the country blithely has blithely ignored this constitutional truth. Now, though, it takes "excessive political meddling" to get a rise out of Franco (not that I don't mind).
In his July 9 address, Franco told the bishops he “cleared” his message with the Vatican, which is monitoring how the local Church is behaving in the current political crisis. Franco said the Vatican is displeased over too much political interference by the local Church and would no longer tolerate it. (bold mine)
If this is the direction that the new Vatican is taking, then thank God. In Sassy's similar posting, a reader asked a question: Were the bishops castigated because it was an ‘adverse’ decision? The Vatican had all the power and authority to stop them before, or during the said meeting? A good question, yes, although others might say that the Vatican was monitoring the Philippine situation and decided that now was a good time as any other to make a point.
Franco pointed out “that bishops are out of their place when they get into direct action, attending rallies on political issues, siding with one group or another, being used by parties with hidden agenda for purposes of grabbing power… I am convinced that this direct action is being exploited for partisan politics and it is wrong for the Church and for the country.”
Franco has underlined, in one simple statement, the behavior of the Catholic church in the last decade or so. Wouldn't you agree?

In another article about academics, Stanley Fish talks about the role of academia and why we built the ivory tower. I'll write about this more in another post, but his introduction in this article needs to be said.
After nearly five decades in academia, and five and a half years as a dean at a public university, I exit with a three-part piece of wisdom for those who work in higher education: do your job; don't try to do someone else's job, as you are unlikely to be qualified; and don't let anyone else do your job. In other words, don't confuse your academic obligations with the obligation to save the world; that's not your job as an academic...In short, don't cross the boundary between academic work and partisan advocacy, whether the advocacy is yours or someone else's. (bold mine)
Substitute the word "academic" with "spiritual" and maybe we've just hit the nail right on the head.