While seated alongside my ever loyal personal secretary, I can’t help but notice her attentive gaze darting left and right. I stand up and approach her, “What’s wrong Goof?” at the same time checking what attracted her fancy. It was Dodoy our neighbor’s gay cat who frequents my wife’s garden ever since our recent adoption of a new member of the family – Katy (from Catgirl), a three colored she cat. As expected Katy softly gaits into and adds to our company. Goof notices Katy and Dodoy staring at each other and starts to bark like hell at Dodoy. Katy jumps out to meet Dodoy and both slowly climbs and lies down on my car’s roof. I check on them once in a while but it seems they’re just friends. I reassure Goof, “Don’t worry, friends lang sila” and I whisper, “Bakla si Dodoy.” I guess she understood and laughed wildly rolling over again and again and pushing her face against my sides. “Plus,” I added, “hindi pa kapatid si Dodoy, matitiwalag si Katy.”
The morning news on CNN carried Bro. Menorca and the difficulties he and his family endured during the alleged detention. Also the possible repercussions related to the issue insinuating a second EDSA rally. I couldn’t help but recall that news clip of presidentiable Grace Poe who quipped during station ID, “The buck stops with the President.” Yes indeed, everything, positive or negative, good or bad, stops with the President.
Likewise the same holds true for the Church. Whatever events unfolding, positive or not, the buck stops with the Executive Minister. Not the Council, not the General Auditor, or anyone else. The buck stops with the Executive Minister. And like the President of any country we hold the Executive Minister liable and responsible for the current status of the Church. And in same manner we expect him to defend it like a man, head-on, whatever obstacles he may face be it in the Church confines or in the Courtroom. A real leader pulls and pushes together with his people. He clears the cloud, not cause it, nor becomes the reason for it. He addresses any problem whether it affects him, his family, or his trustees and resolves it for the welfare of the whole. He does not use his authority to abuse nor shield himself from criticism or controversy.
Once when comparison is alluded to a Master who allows his minions to sacrifice their lives so that his may be spared, that is the ultimate realization of idolatry at play. This is when you rush into a razing fire to save a graven image of the holy one and having safely distanced yourself from the flame holds out this graven image and cries out exorbitantly, “Thank you Oh God for saving us, praise the Lord!”
The lingering question today inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo is not about which side is telling the truth. It’s about division and turmoil. This unrest which now cannot be contained with legal issues increasing by the day and social media taking due notice. Problems that should have been curtailed while within the internal jurisdiction of the Church; matters on corruption and irregularity completely disregarded by the Executive Office leading to disgruntled members seeking relief outside the Church boundaries with no resolution in sight.
Sometime we cannot help but admire other religious heads dealing with similar problems. In an excerpt from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 21, 2015, A14, Francis excariates bishops with ‘closed hearts’, it is stated:
“In his final address, [Pope] Francis appeared to criticize ultraconservatives, saying church leaders should confront difficult issues, ‘fearlessly, without burying our “heads in the sand.” He said the synod had ‘laid bare’ the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the church’s teachings on good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families … a church that [should be] more a ‘field hospital for wounded souls’ than an exclusive club for the perfect”
Such remarkable words of wisdom coming from the lips of one who we proclaim as the “father of all evil.” Maybe they should trade places and we might not be in this mess we’re experiencing. Even Minister Ka Mangunay could take the place of the Pope. He’s a dead ringer for him if you didn’t know.
Kidding aside though. I think it is high time that our Executive Minister take this restless horse of his by the reins and try to directly control it – if he still can. Otherwise, we’ll just have a wild beast waiting to be put out of misery by sideliners who fear for their own existence. If it has come to a point beyond that, then for the sake of the Church, turn over those reins to a Whisperer who can tame and calm down the unruly horse. Because no matter what or how far low we have come, sacrifice of self for the Church should always hold supreme. The buck stops with the Executive Minister and all consequences with it.