Only human*

CATHOLICS widely believe and accept that priests are representations of the Divine Creator on this earth.

They are anointed to preach the Word of God and guide the people to the right path towards a blissful existence that would unite them one day with the Lord.

Still, it cannot be denied that priests are also human, like each and every member of the flock, subject to mistakes in life.

This is the reason why there are priests who have broken both God’s and man’s laws. Some are found to have had sexual relations with girls, single and married women, and even fathered some of their children. Some even allegedly abuse and maintain relations with young boys.

The issue has surfaced not only in the Philippines but in different parts of the globe as well. A lot of priests, it turns out, could not uphold the vow of celibacy and weak to resist the feeling of deprivation to release their natural desires as a human being.

And these uncontrollable needs of some priests are seen by some people as the reason why they are being slain as in the case of three of their colleagues in the past seven months of the second year under the leadership of President Duterte. In Iloilo, Duterte has claimed that some of the priests who were recently killed had affairs with women.

The President said he respects the priests. Yet, he has displayed his animosity towards the priesthood and has hurled curse-laden insults at clergymen whom he accused of corruption and abuse of power. This anger has been attributed to a foul experience that Duterte allegedly had gone through as a young student in the hands of a priest. At one point, Duterte told an audience not to trust priests and instead address their problems straight to God.

Some people believe that the President should refrain from hurling invectives at the Church. Seeing that Duterte himself has no liking or regard for clergymen could embolden some criminals to strike at and victimize priests whenever they want to.

And as for the many of our honorable, respectable priests, how can you successfully lead a congregation and show them the true path if your fellow shepherds are seen involved in illicit activities and forbidden relationships?

Some shepherds need shepherding.

*              *              *

During my sojourn in Japan last week for some Lions Club meetings, I met Shoji Masamichi, my friend of 27 years, who, I have learned, now has a gyoza (Japanese dumpling) business in Yokohama.

I tasted his Appare gyoza. It’s delicious. It already has a fine taste even without dipping it in soy sauce.

I encouraged him to bring his business to the Philippines. Yoshi! (All right!)

*              *              *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/


* The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.


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Robert Roque Jr.
Robert B. Roque Jr. is a veteran journalist who started out as a correspondent for Manila Bulletin's tabloid TEMPO in 1983. In 1989, At age 27, he rose to become the youngest associate editor of a newspaper of national circulation. In mid-2000, he took the helm of the paper as its editor until his voluntary retirement in 2012. He currently writes a syndicated column for TEMPO, Remate, and Hataw newspapers, and for this site, Beyond Deadlines. A former journalism lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas from 1992 to 2002, Roque is also an active member of the Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world, having served as head of the Philippine Lions (council chairperson) in Lion Year 2011-2012.

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