MANDALUYONG City, Jan. 23, 2015—Haters and bashers who use everything the Pope says against the Church as an institution, completely miss the point of his prophetic words, a Catholic priest-educator believes.
In a recent article posted on social media site Facebook, Fr. Chito Dimaranan stresses that when the Holy Father mentioned corruption during a recent press conference he gave aboard “Shepherd One,” he did not single out people in the government .
“He simply did his right and duty to teach his flock. And that includes me, you, and everyone else, whether cleric or lay, in and out of government,” Dimaranan notes.
Not just the government
According to him, what the Pope said about the need for public servants to reject corruption is well-known and well-understood by all.
“It is also well-known that when he referred to corruption, he does not condemn others while condoning the same within the Church. He clearly accepts the fact that corruption is not a monopoly of public servants. He has never, and does not intend to deny that given the complex bureaucracy and layers of governance in every institution, including the Church, corruption is not just a remote possibility,” the priest explains.
But this is precisely why he speaks of it as a pastor and teacher. There is no need to turn the tables against the Church and harp constantly and one-sidedly about the corruption of clerics and lay people alike,” he adds.
Dimaranan shares the Church has never declared herself to be a community made up solely of saints, but also of sinners.
“And Pope Francis is the first to declare himself a sinner. The Pope is a pastor. The Pope, too, is a catechist. But the Pope, above all, is a prophet. He speaks to everyone, cleric or lay,” he states.
While it is true there are clerics guilty and involved in corrupt practices, which is basically called sin, Dimaranan emphasizes personal corruption is an altogether different plane from institutionalized corruption.
“There is a distinction between personal sin and social sin. When individual sinful acts or attitudes lead to sinful collusion, or what Pope St. John Paul II calls sinful solidarity, or solidarity in evil, and translate into sinful social structures, then we talk more of what we commonly refer to as corruption of the institutional kind,” he says. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)