Archive for the ‘Mother Teresa’ Category

US Presidential Election and the Catholic Vote

October 15, 2008


“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”—John Quincy Adams

Two weeks from the US presidential election, the economy is still the main issue that drives the choice of voters. With Sen. Barack Obama on the lead, Americans are still angry and confused. Months of explaining, he and Sen. John McCain have not really succeeded in making their platforms fully understood.

The Americans have a mouthful of promises from both candidates, but they aren’t sure. Partly because of the complexity of the issues, they rely on impressions and gut feelings to arrive on a decision. At the third and last presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, on October 15, 2008, the two candidates will try again. Amid fears of recession and global depression, they will convince the undecided voters who are likely to influence the outcome of this election.

Wall Street greed, Fannie, Freddie, and others have been accused of destroying our economic system. But few are willing to admit that without a firm commitment to restoring the foundations of our country – namely, a dedication to protecting life, faith, and families – no economic bailout will ultimately work. We need something more than money.

The common thread connecting bad loans, greedy bankers, and power hungry politicians is the selfish disregard for our fellow human beings. Our culture has reduced people to objects and playthings, to be selfishly exploited, profited from, and discarded when they are no longer useful.

Politicians who pledge to protect the “right” to kill innocent children are deceiving all of us when they promise to help the innocent unemployed and uninsured. Don’t fall for their lies!

Many people accuse pro-life advocates such as CatholicVote.com of being single-issue voters. The assumption is that we don’t care about the economy, health care, or the poor. But they have it exactly backwards.” CatholicVote.com (10/15/08, Bruch, B)

The Catholics of America comprising about a third of the entire Christians in the United States with whom many Filipinos are affiliated by faith doesn’t have a major sway on the votes.

However, they are encouraged to see issues not only through the contracted prism of the economy, but on the whole culture the United States is heading. Specifically, the American Catholic clergy preaches against abortion which makes the contraceptive debate in the Philippines look puny.

Unlike Filipinos, most of the American public doesn’t think of artificial contraception vs. natural family planning as problem to resolve. Catholics and other Protestant denominations are taught more against killing the unborn, dishonesty, corruption, materialism, stem cell research, gay marriage, exploitation of the poor and helpless—issues which have been sidelined by the urgency of the economic problems.

America is gearing towards the extremes of secular liberalism and it doesn’t augur well for the future of Christianity and its moral tenets. The financial crisis is likely to stay (whoever wins in the presidential election.) It will probably stretch the coping mechanisms of the United States and the rest of the world.

Like those who have been repeatedly put down by the empty promises of Wall Street, the citizens who get carried away by eloquent words without reviewing records of action and credibility will likely be disappointed. With a biased liberal media tipping away from core conservative values, Americans, like the rest of the world, have little to depend on except themselves. They need to understand the small print in the candidate’s resume and platform. With two weeks to go, there is still time to think so one can vote wisely. (Photo Credits: cstein96; http://www.mmpcharity.org) =0=

Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.“—Mother Teresa

Miss Sister 2008 courts one of Christianity’s deadliest sins?

August 26, 2008

Vanity is so secure in the heart of man that everyone wants to be admired: even I who write this, and you who read this.”-Blaise Pascal

Like the movie Sister Act, it’s an amusing tale that comes with the shaking of the head and a smile. As we get serious about organizing beauty contests for nuns, Fr. Antonio Rungi’s idea of an “inner” beauty derby for nuns seems very secular, even raunchy, especially if Christians consider vanity, along with pride, as one of humanity’s deadliest sins.

Fr. Rungi, a theologian and school teacher in Naples, Italy, believes nuns need a boost in visibility and an online voting contest may be the answer.

The “Miss Sister 2008” contest will start in September on a blog run by the Rev. Antonio Rungi and will give nuns from around the world a chance to showcase their work and their image….Nuns will fill out a profile including information about their life and vocation as well as a photograph.

We are not going to parade nuns in bathing suits,” Rungi said. “But being ugly is not a requirement for becoming a nun. External beauty is gift from God, and we mustn’t hide it.” AP (O8/25/08)

The controversial beauty contest gets mixed reactions. There are those who ask if there’s really a need to improve a nun’s visibility and if it needs a competition to do that. The liberals think the “pageant,” a part of modern life, is just fine, but some suspect it can can lead to a non-religious a business franchise like the Miss Universe contest.

Evil-conscious Christians fear the derby is Satan’s way of wagging its tail into the nunnery’s door. The beauty competition can become a butt of jokes and a topic of wild speculations. Another thinks beauty contests among the religious can be “habit-forming” and may be addicting.

“It’s an initiative that belittles the role of nuns who have dedicated themselves to God,” says president of Association of Catholic Teachers, Alberto Giannino, told Italy’s ANSA news agency on Sunday. AP (08/42/08)

The line separating propriety and vulgarity is thin. Whatever goes on in the minds of Catholics, Fr. Rungi might be subliminally touched by secularism, making him a bit cozy with the world. With Vatican’s traditionally conservative stance many wonder what the late Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI think of his idea. (PhotoCredits: Lovemetwee;Bsidez)=0=

Update: Facing strong pressure from the clergy and lay people against the nun beauty contest, on August 28, 2008, Fr. Rungi decided to stop the plan. Interested in projecting the inner beauty of nuns, he said he didn’t mean to have the nuns do a catwalk, like in a physical beauty pageant. He claimed he was misunderstood. =0=