Pelayo: Losing Grip

HERE in the Philippines, our laws are often formulated around Catholic teachings. Say, for example, liquors and cigarettes are taxed for being sins. With majority of Filipinos calling themselves catholics, the Pinoy culture has generally been looped with what we've been told by the church.

For decades, the Catholic church has successfully shown a presence going beyond spiritual influence. In an exhibition of going farther along in degree, the religious leaders gave us a sample of this formidable force when they were able to guide the faithful to rally against the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. They repeated the same feat in 2001 against Erap Estrada.

But these days, things seem to be going rough for the Catholic officials. We still see a lot of churchgoers hearing mass every Sundays, we still see the huge campaign banner that covered the majestic facade of the Holy Rosary Parish, but the response its leaders are hoping for is still farfetched.

CBCP has even adapted the use of social media to relay the position of the church for a particular issue but some netizens can now fire back in disagreement. When the church exerted a lot of effort to demonise contraception, a lot of Filipinos still supported the contraceptive bill. When CBCP News on FB tried to illustrate a drawing of a man who looked like the president portrayed like man who loves to kill, the netizens called the image to be distasteful and low.

The Catholic church has been very vocal against the death penalty but most of those whose foreheads have been crossed last Ash Wednesday openly support the death penalty.

Even a notable personality who used to be a clergyman of the Catholic church has been antagonised when he posted a status on his FB wall a couple of days ago favoring the side of the detained Leila de Lima.

Time has indeed... changed. In the 70s and early 80s, the pulpit of the priest was the main source of information. Does this mean that people these days are becoming more socially aware?