Filipinos, except running “priest” Robert Reyes, look forward to today’s one-on-one meeting between President Rody Duterte and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles with a lot of expectations.
Reyes, active in the yellow oust-Duterte movement, suggested that a witness must be present during the meeting as he doubted the dialogue “among friends” Rody and Valles would amount to anything.
It was strange that Reyes was even questioning the integrity of a similar man of the frock, Valles, who is also among the members of the Catholic hierarchy.
Reyes was the same priest with a penchant for being an obstructionist and who was the subject of former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s query about being “conspicuously quiet” over issues linking priests to sexual molestation cases.
“Maybe it is just me, but I cannot help but wonder,” Aguirre said then.
The clerics are expected to practise faith, hope and charity regarding the dialogue since it is them who drill such basic Christian virtues to 80 percent of Filipinos.
Despite Reyes, Catholic bishops were hopeful about the outcome of the meeting.
A non-issue which was Rody’s “stupid God” comment that the yellows and their scheming cohorts, in the mold of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, immediately seized and branded as an attack to the Catholic Church, triggered the call to liaise with the prelates.
Rody, in his usual thinking-out-loud moments, posed questions about Creation and the original sin which many devout Catholics also ponder on in their quest to strengthen their faith.
“Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work,” Rody said in one of his Davao City speeches.
Who among Catholics who regularly commune with God have not posed the same question?
Rody’s most recent musings on faith was about the existence of God itself, saying he is willing to stake his presidency if anybody, including Reyes, can prove His existence through a “selfie.”
“I never said I do not believe in God. I’m not an agnostic and I’m not an atheist. I just happen to be a human being believing there’s a universal mind somewhere which controls the universe,” he said.
“And if there is anyone of you there, the noisy ones, who would say that you have been to heaven, talked to God, saw him personally, and that He exists, the God that is yours, I will step down from the presidency,” Rody said.
The bane of Reyes is that his being a yellow activist, for some corporeal reasons, had overtaken his being a servant of the faith.
Reyes, the obstructionist priest, said Duterte might offer Valles “P100 million for his silence” about issues hounding the present administration.
He added the dialogue is a mere “gimmick” since it is being held “among friends” which is a leap of logic.
Rody points to a “personal God” to whom he can pose tough questions and from whom he expects to get an answer without the pontifications.
Daily Tribune columnist Fr. Larry Faraon said Rody’s questions prove he believes in a God he could relate to, personally, and one who is real, truthful, down to earth, devoid of hypocrisy “and, therefore, more authentic.”
For sure, more such questions on enlightenment of the faith will be thrown about in the Duterte-Valles meeting. Priests had professed to enlighten the Lord’s flock, anyway, instead of running on the streets in shorts and sneakers.
Regarding Reyes, he should hasten his plan of being a monk in Palawan to rejuvenate his priestly beliefs.