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Mar 27th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency Filipino Bishop Follows MabuhayRadio Editorial and “Excommunicates” the President
Filipino Bishop Follows MabuhayRadio Editorial and “Excommunicates” the President PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 10:15

A ‘public sinner’ must be denied communion, as to give the sacred host to the President would be a mockery of the body and blood of Jesus Christ
  -- Archbishop Oscar Cruz


The Editorial of March 22, 2008, read: “The reality is – for this Easter Sunday and all the other Sundays, year in, year out – the bishops and the priests continue to administer the rites of confession and communion to the said crooks. The Filipino men of the cloth should instead threaten to excommunicate the crooks for continuing on with their corrupt existence.” To read the entire editorial, please go to:

Why Not All Filipino Catholics Are Christians

Four days later, a Filipino bishop did just what the said editorial asked of the Filipino clergy to do. Has Bishop Oscar Cruz gone ballistics? Either that or he has inside-heaven information. Maybe the priest confessor of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) has been talking to some of the prelates and discussing her sins. Whatever, the fact remains bishops have the authority to refuse communion to whom they think is a habitual, thus repentance-less, public sinner.


A shift to an accommodating ally-bishop is recourse for public sinners like PGMA who has been publicly "uncovered" by a bishop in good standing. The sinners concerned go "BISHOPPING" (sic), which is my short term for “Bishop Shopping.”

 Editor’s Note: Ogie Reyes is the Cebu-based moderator of the CebuPolitics e-group ( He is not related to Bobby Reyes, this website’s editor.
It is interesting to find out whether the other bishops, supposedly independent from each other, will honor Bishop Cruz's decision not to give PGMA communion.

Okay, what say you bishops of the presidential palace? Will Bishop Cruz be all alone in his condemnation of PGMA?

What do you think, Folks? Will the other Bishops rise to the occasion?


Here are excerpts from a report written by Sherwin C. Olaes. To read the complete report, here is the link:
The Daily Tribune <<< Without Fear or Favor >>>

By Sherwin C. Olaes. 03/27/2008. President Arroyo has been virtually excommunicated by an Archbishop, saying she is a “public sinner” who must be denied ...

* * *  
No Communion for GMA, a Public Sinner’ — Archbishop Cruz

Gloria ‘Excommunicated’
By Sherwin C. Olaes

President Arroyo has been virtually excommunicated by an Archbishop, saying she is a “public sinner” who must be denied communion, intimating that it would be making a mockery of the sacred host which, to Catholics, is the body and blood of Jesus Christ effected through transubstantiation, for her to be given any communion.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday made waves with his announcement of denying the President communion, which is a form of excommunication, or at the very least, a humiliating repudiation of a member of the Catholic flock, excluding her from the grant of the sacrament.

Wikipedia describes excommunication as a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. The word literally means putting (someone) out of communion.

In some churches, such as the Roman Catholic Church, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group. Censures and sanctions sometimes follow excommunication; these include banishment, shunning and shaming, depending on the group’s religion or religious community.

In olden Catholic times, for a member to be excommunicated the church denies the excommunicated Catholic the opportunity to enter heaven.

Predictably, Malacañang yesterday scored Archbishop Cruz for publicly stating that he would deny the President Holy Communion on account of her sins committed against the Filipino people, saying for him to give the sacrament to Mrs. Arroyo would mean that he is not performing the role expected of him by Christ.

This move by Archbishop Cruz is seen to impact very negatively on the President, even if it is only one bishop who has made public his intention to deny her the host, as Mrs. Arroyo has been portraying herself to be a very “religious and pious” President.

In an interview over ANC cable TV, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez said Archbishop Cruz is already overstepping the boundaries on the separation of church and state.

“Everybody needs salvation. What’s the reason Jesus Christ came to this world, if not to grant us
salvation? We are really hurt over the Bishop’s statement,” Mr. Golez said.

He added that “it is so stated in the bible. In fact, the role of the priests and bishops is to save the
faithful and not to separate them from the Church. And all of us sinners deserve salvation. It really is hard to believe that we have heard this (denial of the sacrament) from the good bishop,” he said.

Archbishop Cruz said he believes he is doing the right thing in denying Mrs. Arroyo the sacrament of communion and God help him if he is wrong in doing so, which he does not think so, because it is known that she is a public sinner.

Bishops are autonomous in the area and do not answer to any other bishop or cardinal, including the body of bishops, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for their actions, as they are accountable only to the Pope.

Pope Benedict is not expected to reprimand Archbishop Cruz since this denial of communion to a member of the Catholic faithful on the reason given by him is said to be part of a bishop’s duty.

But Mr. Golez said everybody is a sinner and predicted that the statement of Bishop Cruz would have a negative effect on the Church’s faithful but not on Mrs. Arroyo.

“This is a free country, but we want to state the observation of a lot of the Catholic faithful who are
already turned off when they see a priest leader or church leaders meddling in political issues,” Mr. Golez claimed.

The deputy spokesman stressed that even the statements of former senior government officials (FSGO) who had made calls before the international community for its members to be careful in giving donations to the Arroyo government because of its susceptibility to graft and corruption, are uncalled for because the President has been exhausting efforts to address corruption.


Editor’s Note: To read the complete statement of the FSGO, please go to Government Should Serve the Truth (The FSGO’s Manifesto)
“From the very start, our President had been very, very empathic and very forceful on this (graft and corruption) issue. She is for good governance. She has put in so much money in the bureaucracy particularly in the courts, so that those who plan to commit graft and corruption will be stopped and this would ensure that the bureaucracy will be rid of red tape. She has run after tax evaders. The President has been at the forefront of this campaign from the very beginning,” he said.

It is however on record that tax probes on both her children, Rep. Mikey Arroyo and her brother-in-law, Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, along with the probe on Agriculture Secretary Yap, on tax evasion were stopped, even when the Finance Department then introduced a run after tax-evaders program.

Mrs. Arroyo is also largely seen by the general public as protecting herself, her family members and her allies from investigations into corruption and charges of kickbacks and commissions.

For her part, the President, in a speech at the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga vowed to work hard to further improve the banking and finance system, strengthen tax collection and broaden its tax base, and reduce, if not eliminate, corruption and red tape.

The President made this pronouncement during the 2008 Philippine Development Forum this afternoon at the Fontana Convention Center here.


But the former senior government officials, numbering 90, issued an open letter to the donor community, focusing on how corruption “sucks scarce resources crucial to development that benefits the poor.”


The Political Economic Risk Consultancy, in a survey where expatriates were the respondents, showed the Philippines to have the “most corrupt economy in Asia.”

A Philippine survey also showed that a vast majority of Filipinos believe Mrs. Arroyo to be the “most corrupt president the country has ever had.”

The CBCP also stated in a pastoral letter that the Arroyo government is “morally bankrupt.”

The President, however, has most of the conservative bishops on her side.

This will, however, not bar Archbishop Cruz from denying her the sacrament of communion. # # #

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2008 10:36

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