Faith and Elections: Which Side Is God On?


BEFORE the main topic, a plug for two religious videos. One is this writer’s presentation on how Marian consecration effectively stopped World War and Communism ( Starting at 14.5 minutes in the video, the lecture also covers the power of Eucharistic adoration and devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Holy Rosary and indulgences for the living and the dead. .

About indulgences, it can be pointed out that by earning indulgences, we not only erase the ill effects of sin and reduce or remove the temporal punishment for ourselves and the poor souls in purgatory. The very acts of indulgence bring us closer to God and make us grow in faith and holiness. By the grace of God, we help ourselves and others to become saints. A helpful guide is the Manual on Indulgences published by the US Bishops (

The other video is a new online series, “Heart To Heart,” hosted by multi-award-winning film and television screenwriter and director Baby Nebrida. On YouTube every Wednesday from February 17, the first episode of the program features Fr. Francis Gustilo, President of the Don Bosco School of Theology (DBST) in Parañaque and former Provincial Superior in the Philippines of the Order of the Salesians of Don Bosco (bathroom).

The first episodes airing this week and the next deal with the spiritual and religious aspects of the pandemic, including questions such as why God has so allowed hundreds of millions of people to be sick and millions to die around the world. Certainly not as enjoyable as TikTok, but the man doesn’t live on laughing alone.

To approve or not to approve

Moving on to the main topic, no less than the President of the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops (CBCP), Bishop of Caloocan Pablo “Ambo” David, brought the Church into the campaign trail with a short video that went viral. In it, he praised the laity of his diocese for their process of prayerful discernment over which candidates to support and select in the May 9 elections. Supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo shared the clip.

Brother Mike Velarde, founder of the mass-popular Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai, endorsed the survey-leading tandem of former senator and governor Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte -Carpio. This prompted El Shaddai’s spiritual advisor, Bishop Teodoro Bacani, to clarify that Velarde was speaking only for himself, not for the congregation he leads. Its members remain free to choose who to vote for.

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), a group of thousands of Catholic schools, has criticized “brazen” efforts to portray the years of martial law as the country’s “glory days”, which obviously make reference to online and media statements and videos supporting Marcos’ candidacy. .

For his part, the Archbishop of Cebu, Jose Palma, reiterated his archdiocese’s decades-old policy, even under the late Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, of avoiding partisan politics. Church leaders like bishops and priests, the prelate said, “should be nonpartisan, but the laity…should campaign for those [who] would deliver for the good of the country. »

The President God Wants

The problem, of course, is that even devout Catholics are divided over the best candidates for the nation. Therefore, this author prefers to look to our Lord’s own words to guess whom he may wish to rule the land for the next six years.

It then quotes in part from the November 2015 article, “The President God Wants,” which reflects on the Eight Beatitudes and their usefulness in governance ( /columns/the-leaders-we-must-look-for-in-elections/1817400).

At the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven,” the article explains:

“The poor in spirit know that everything comes from heaven. Leaders following the First Beatitude would be careful not to misuse or misuse the power and resources available to them for personal gain. [Thus]the first Beatitude advances the mandate of the Constitution that public office is a public office. »

Then: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”

“It boils down to what we cry for, what we hunger for and thirst for. Even absolute monarchs and billionaires would cry if what they seek is far beyond even what their power and purse can provide. We need leaders who mourn, hunger and thirst with those who suffer deprivation, injustice, violence and other suffering, and who can mobilize society to face its ills.”

Gentle, merciful, peaceful – and self-sacrificing

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth…Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Now politicians are anything but gentle, merciful and peace-loving. But the Philippines can certainly use leaders who can defuse much of the discord that not only tears the political arena, but also the social fabric. And the first step to ending conflict is to renounce violence. In a word: sweetness.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God… Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. evil against you, falsely because of me.

“These Beatitudes are perhaps the most difficult part of holiness – and of politics too. To be pure in heart means total devotion and commitment to one’s ideal, religious or political, setting aside ulterior motives. And sacrificing everything for this ideal is the defining trait of both great saints and great patriots.

Poor in spirit, mourning and thirsting for others, building harmony and unity, and offering everything for the country – such principles in our leaders would bring immense good to the nation.”

Of course, it’s probably too much to ask for a candidate to have most or even some of these holy traits, and many may even violate some of the Ten Commandments. But let’s at least look for such leaders and pray that God will bless us with at least one.


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