Manny Pacquiao is wrong about same-sex marriage

Last night, after taking dinner and surf on the net via Facebook, my newsfeed pooped up with a video with Manny Pacquiao being interviewed by the TV5 and asked whether he is for same-sex marriage or not. He said that it is “common sense” that a male should have romantic or sexual relations with a female and vice versa for humans and then he elicited that same-sex relations for humans are worse than animals. Netizens are divided with the his sentiments based on comments posted under the comment section of the FB video using religious and scientific grounds.

Obviously, he doesn’t know the history that human homosexuality and same-sex marriage have had predated Christianity because of our human affection to attach with someone else regardless of his gender and if he and everyone carefully history, homosexuality and same-sex marriages had already been present in ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China, or even in Mesoamerica. In regard to same-sex marriage, it was already recorded in Ancient Egypt history that Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, two royal servants during the Fifth Dynasty of the pharaohs around 2400 BCE, became couples despite of having already families respectively and when both of them died, they were buried together and their tomb was discovered in 1964. The most famous same-sex marriage in the ancient times happened during Roman Empire era where one of the infamous emperors, Nero, married a freedman named Pythagoras in a public ceremony. Homosexuality and same-sex marriages had been frowned upon for almost 2000 years because of global predominance of Abrahamic regions particularly Christianity and Islam and have only gained their modern acceptances in the 20th century due to the emergence of the concept of equality and affirmative action.

Also, he doesn’t know the fact about animal science or zoology that homosexuality is not uncommon within the animal kingdom because animal hormones are designed to make sex with whosoever they meet and since they are not sapiens unlike humans, they are not clouded with any certain moral norms and could do sex with their fellows freely. The argument about animal sexuality was cited by the American Psychiatric Association and other groups to argue for the removal of remaining sodomy laws in the United States in 2003 over the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas which paved way for legalization of sex-same marriage in Massachusetts, a year later, and eventual legalization throughout the United States in 2015  over the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

I understand his religious and social beliefs, but expressing those in public especially this election campaign season would get an ire or ridicule from citizens who have understood the imperfections of current marriage laws which have been based from certain misinterpreted verses of the bible. I think we need to reassess our judgments or sentiments regarding this issue because we tend to think irrational if we discuss issues that affect our moral and religious beliefs because social irrationally hinders long-term development of our culture and society in general through repressing beliefs of someone which are considered “heretic” by the society.

I rather have him lose the upcoming elections and stick with his basketball coaching career and preaching Christian doctrines as minister in order to save the country from further ridicule and degeneration of our current rotten political system because if he wins as senator, his presidency would be inevitable given the fact that most electorates, unless there are systematic political reforms, elect candidates who are already well known for years instead of electing someone who is capable and qualified for certain elected posts. His future presidency would be disaster because of his erratic decision-making tendencies during the height of his boxing career and have persisted throughout his current political career and I don’t see him to correct his tendencies not because of him per se but his political and religious advisers who are expected to be part of hypothetical Pacquiao’s presidency in 2022 or 2028.

Remembering the Mamasapano massacre

Fallen_44_PNP_SAF

Oplan Exodus PNP Special Action Force Fallen 44 members. (credits to Wikimedia)

Today is the first anniversary of the partly ill-fated Oplan Exodus operation to capture terrorists Marwan and Basit Usman, who were wanted by the United States government for terrorist activities threatening the security of the United States. The operation had postponed many times before it was executed due to fear of the government to alienate the representative of the Moros in the peace talks with the Philippine government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as Marwan and Basit Usman were hiding within the territories controlled by the MILF.

The operation was finally executed on January 25, 2015 because the government had to support the efforts of its American counterparts in fighting extremist Islam terrorism in exchange for military and economic aids expected by our country from the United States. The government had two dilemmas, whether to honor the MILF or the US government, and the dilemmas resolved by choosing the latter and the operation was executed. When the PNP Special Action Force entered the MILF territory where Marwan and Basit Usman hid, MILF told the media that the PNP SAF didn’t ask a permission from them and the MILF’s statement had angered the public arguing that the MILF as a rebel group, the government should do force to capture terrorists at all costs without following the rules of engagement like asking permission from somebody’s controlling the area where the terrorists hid. The chain of command was not followed like preempting DILG secretary and now Liberal Party presidential candidate, Mar Roxas, and instead, the operation was executed mostly upon the orders of PNP chief Alan Purisima and SAF chief Getulio Lapeñas while the president was on a visit in Zamboanga at the time of the operation.

These lapses caused the casualties of 44 PNP SAF members committed by the MILF and the immediate and lasting result of the mishap have been the increased skepticism of the general public with the peace process and the Bangsamoro Basic Law because the representative of the Moro people is the MILF and people cannot anymore trust their sincerity as they have perceived that the MILF would eventually break the proposed peace agreement thru BBL and pursue their long-time dream for independence from the Philippine Republic. For me, had both parties followed the realpolitik not just during the Oplan Exodus operation but for the entire deliberation of the peace process, 44 PNP SAF members would have survived, the people won’t give a fuss about the operation, and the peace deal would have been achieved by now. The Mamasapano massacre basically brought the dream for everlasting peace in Muslim Mindanao into a brink of collapse due to mistrusts by the Christian Filipinos with the peace deal and the false hopes by the Moros that peace deal would be achieved under the representation of the MILF on behalf of them after the massacre. For me also, to achieve the everlasting peace in Muslim Mindanao, I think both Christians, Muslims, and Lumads should be given their desired political autonomy equally like delegating the power to make economic, political, social, and cultural policies to them for their own benefit while at the same time, maintaining the territorial integrity of the country. In other words, evolving federalism should be the route for everlasting peace in our country.

The responsible of the partly ill-fated operation should pay the consequences of their actions so that the soul of slain PNP SAF members would be laid in peace and the people can move on and pursue the dream for political autonomy for everyone for the future welfare of our country.

Habemus Papam, Franciscum

Jorge Mario Bergoglio or Pope Francis I

Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I

Two weeks after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stood down the Papacy, eligible cardinal electorates unexpectedly elected a non-contender for the Papacy in the person of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires in Argentina with the papal name of Pope Francis, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. His election was not expected for several reasons: first, there were many contenders vying the papacy including his compatriot, Leonardo Sandri; second, his advanced age of 76 did not gave him an edge over other papables like Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo or Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila; and third, he was the runner up according to insiders in Vatican during the 2005 Conclave that elected his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from 19 April 2005 to 28 February 2013. I myself was surprised with his election as hours before the white smote came out from the Sistine Chapel, I was anticipating the Archibishop of Milan, Angelo Scola as the new pope, but unfortunately he wasn’t due to the allegations of having ties with the notorious Italian mafia.

Let me introduce who Pope Francis I. Pope Francis I or Jorge Mario Bergoglio in real life was born on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Mario José Bergoglio and Regina María Sílvori, both were Italian immigrants to Argentina. When he was teenager, his lung had to be removed due to infection. He studied and received master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires before he decided to pursue an ecclesiastical career.

Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus on 11 March 1958 and studied to become a priest at the Jesuit seminary in Villa Devoto. In 1960, Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo San José in San Miguel; in 1964 and 1965, he taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada, a high school in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

In 1967, Bergoglio finished his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 13 December 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano. He attended the Facultades de Filosofía y Teología de San Miguel (Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel), a seminary in San Miguel, Buenos Aires province. Bergoglio attained the position of novice master there and became professor of theology.

The Society of Jesus promoted Bergoglio and he served as provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979. He was transferred in 1980 to become the rector of the seminary in San Miguel, and served in that capacity until 1986. He worked on a doctoral dissertation at Sankt Georgen in Germany and returned to Argentina to serve as confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.

Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and was ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca, with His Eminence, Antonio Cardinal Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator.

Bergoglio succeeded Cardinal Quarracino as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on 28 February 1998 and was concurrently named ordinary for Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who had lacked their own prelate.

At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino. As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to several administrative positions in the Roman Curia:

  • Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  • Member of the Congregation for the Clergy
  • Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  • Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family
  • Member of the Commission for Latin America

Cardinal Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. A simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility. He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop’s residence. He gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation.

On the death of Pope John Paul II, Bergoglio was considered one of the papabile cardinals. He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. La Stampa reported that Bergoglio was in close contention with Ratzinger during the election, until he made an emotional plea that the cardinals should not vote for him.Earlier, he had participated in the funeral of Pope John Paul II and acted as a regent alongside the College of Cardinals, governing the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church during the interregnum sede vacante period.

During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, he was elected a member of the Post-Synodal council. Catholic journalist John L. Allen, Jr. reported that Bergoglio was a frontrunner in the 2005 Conclave. An unauthorized diary of uncertain authenticity released in September 2005 confirmed that Bergoglio was the runner-up and main challenger of Cardinal Ratzinger at that conclave. The purported diary of the anonymous cardinal claimed Bergoglio received 40 votes in the third ballot, but fell back to 26 at the fourth and decisive ballot.

On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–2008) by a large majority of the Argentine bishops, which according to reports confirms his local leadership and the international prestige earned by his alleged performance in the conclave. He was reelected on 11 November 2008.

As a cardinal, Bergoglio was associated with Communion and Liberation, a conservative Catholic association of the faithful.

His relations with the Argentine government especially with the Kirchner governments from Nestor to Cristina was frozy at its best as he opposed some of the initiatives of Cristina Kirchner like the legalization of same-sex marriages in Argentina in 2010, his suspected ties with the last military junta of Jorge Videla where he was involved with the kidnapping of 2 Jesuit priests by the Argentine Navy during his stint as the Superior General of Jesuits in Argentina according to Horacio Verbitsky, an Argentine investigative journalist.

His views on social issues are no different from his two predecessors of the late Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, although he showed his affection on dealing economic inequality and poverty.

I would like to congratulate the new pope, Francis I, the Catholic Church, and the Argentine people and I wish to have the Catholic Church able to deal with the growing social and economic changes of the increasing globalized world.

VIVA PAPA FRANCISCO!

VIVA LA ARGENTINA!

NOTE: Most of the contents are derived from Wikipedia.

Surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI first appearance as a Pope, 19 April 2005.

Pope Benedict XVI’s first appearance as a Pope, 19 April 2005.

While I was checking the news feed of my Facebook account, less than a hour ago, I saw the shocking news of the resignation of Benedict XVI as the Bishop of Rome or more known as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the largest single Christian denomination on Earth. When I saw the news of Benedict XVI on my Facebook news feed, I did not believe the news and I had to verify through Google and I found out that he has resigned from the papacy which will to be effective on 28 February 2013.

His resignation was surprising as the Pope never hinted an intention to resign from the papacy although there were speculations way back 2010 that he would resign which he did today. On his resignation letter, he stated that his strength could not cope up with the burdens of governing the 1 billion Catholics due to his advancing age and declining health. Probably, he had a reason on why he stood down the papacy as the Catholic Church leadership needs youth to cope up the challenges facing the church of this 21st century like increasing number of clergy people being involved in sexual molestation, and the hardline stand regarding population and AIDS/HIV control that the Pope has been inheriting since his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

His resignation was surprising too as he is one of the most conservative leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in recent generation and Catholics and non-Catholics were expecting that he would lead the Catholic Church for life amidst of the rapid social, economic, and political developments of the 21st century.

For me, his sudden resignation will have a long-term repercussions of the Catholic Church. First, the next Pope will be lesser conservative than him. Second, the next Pope will have to address the pressing concerns I’ve mentioned above.  Third, the next Pope will have to address the Catholic doctrines in order achieve reconciliation with the conservative factions of the Anglican and Lutheran Churches. Fourth and the last will be addressing the long-time differences with the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Here’s the resignation letter of Pope Benedict XVI:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

BENEDICTUS PP XVI