Disappointed was the word a few priests used to describe what they felt about the silence of the Archdiocese of Cebu on the deceptive move to gather signatures for a people’s initiative to change the constitution.
Many bishops and dioceses have already spoken out and issued statements calling on people to be vigilant and circumspect in affixing their signatures on petitions being distributed throughout the country. The petitions have also been distributed throughout Cebu and several parishes have reported this.
In their discussions, some priests raised the need for the Archdiocese of Cebu to also issue a pastoral statement. But the archdiocese has been silent even up to now. Only the Cebu Archdiocesan Social Advocacies released a statement on the issue. But it’s not the archdiocese and it doesn’t have its platform and reach.
Several observers say the Archdiocese is unlikely to issue a statement. The archdiocese under Archbishop Jose Palma never issued statements on important political issues in the past. It was silent during the bloody drug war under President Duterte. (If it spoke out then I will stand corrected and edit this part of the post). It will likely be silent on this sham of a people’s initiative.
How do you explain this aversion to speaking out on important social issues? Not Palma’s style? Too busy with Sugbuswak or breaking up the Archdiocese of Cebu?
Journalist Leo Lastimosa has another explanation. He said in his “Baruganan” show on YouTube that the reason the Archdiocese won’t speak out is because its top officials have been “heavily compromised” by their closeness with people in power. Watch below. (The video should load the segment when Lastimosa discussed the archdiocese but if not, the segment is at the 58:27 mark.)