Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Catholic Churches Staying Out of Partisan Politics?

The Star today carries under GE 13 this report, "Churches to stay out of partisan politics".

I have said previously, I do not concern myself how the other Christian denominations administer and conduct affairs pertaining to their churches in Malaysia.

The Star report carries a statement from the secretary-general of the Council of Churches.

I question the statement and comment in a Catholic point of view.

The report is published here verbatim and my comments are in red.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian church leaders will not attend political functions or accept donations from politicians until the end of the elections so as to remain neutral, said the Council of Churches.

Attending political functions and donations is not the issue here, is it? But it would be if it were so.

My highest church leader, Rev Father Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, in his election message to congregants, flashed on the video screen in church, makes specific reference to free and fair elections.

Whether I am making a mountain out of a molehill or being oversensitive, it is incontrovertible that this call for free and fair elections, is synonymous with opposition sloganeering.

The fact of the matter is our country has had 12 uninterupted elections since independence with opposition parties winning previously, prior to the 2008 elections, in Kelantan (1959 and 1990), Penang (1969), Sabah (1985) and Terengannu (1959 and 1999). And that 12th election edition of 2008 saw the opposition parties winning in 5 states - retaining Kelantan and taking over Penang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor.

The call for free and fair elections is nothing more than an opposition ploy, piggyback riding on the dishonest BERSIH bandwagon, to spread resentment and disatisfation among the electorate towards the governtment and by extension the Barisan Nasional.

Therefore, it is my considered view that our country practises free and fair elections and a view otherwise is an opposition contrived point of view.

Since Rev Father Archbishop Pakiam, as leader of the Malaysian Catholic church, shares this similar opposition point of view, I therefore cannot consider him to be neutral.

Its secretary-general Rev Dr Herman Shastri said this in response to allegations by certain quarters that churches, which were hosting forums with some politicians, were indirectly promoting them to its members.

This is not an allegation but a fact, I call on Bishops and priests in all Catholic churches, do not be hypocrites, shame the devil and tell the the truth. Do not hide the fact that the Church is looking the other way in this indirect and deceitful promotion of opposition propaganda among the Catholic faithful.

Dr Shastri said it was wrong for people to jump to such conclusions, adding that while church members were free to support whatever causes they wish, the establishments themselves have and always will stay out of partisan politics.

No jumping to conclusions here. The Catholic Church and its priest are part and parcel of the church establishment. Father Miranda and Father Lexson are priests who, I can unhesistatingly mention, practise partisan politics in church during mass.

Can my Catholic church confirm, or deny, that priestly members of its establishment will stay, or have stayed, out of partisan politics?

He added that politicians invited to speak in churches were Christians themselves or members of non-governmental organisations.

Well, I think Gobind Singh must have invited himself to a church in Puchong last Sunday then.

And once you are an NGO, even if its members are known opposition politicians, the criteria of being Christian to be invited is exempted, fair enough. Clever, but fair enough.

Dr Shastri said that such forums were geared towards informing members on issues related to their community.

Yes, I won't argue issues, for want of another word, pun intended. I will only say, do explain and take the Federal and State Constitutions into consideration, in these forums. The realities and complexities, if you will.

“There has been growing interest among Christians to be informed about the work of the government and the policies that affect the religious community. It is only natural for people to want to engage their leaders in the democratisation process of the country,” he said.

So all these while Catholics had little or no interests and were not informed "about the work of the government and the policies that affect the religious community". I don't think so.

"It is only natural for people to want to engage their leaders in the democratisation process of the country" but who or what leaders is the CCM referring to? Religious leaders or political leaders? I strongly recommend my Catholic church engage not unlike Gobind Singh above, PAS. With PAS you get religious and political leaders all rolled into one.

My mistake, reading the statement, its only Christians allowed, I wonder why that is so, now.

However, when you are being informed by a Christian DAP member, Catholics should ask whether the DAP and their dear leader, Lim Guan eng, can give their/his "word" on matters not specified in the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto.

When you are being informed by a Christian PKR member but I don't think so. PKR is also out. Take my "word" on this.

Natural "democratisation process" to turn the country into a PAS Islamic state is unacceptable, I guarantee that but Hudud is okay according to another of my church leader, Rev Father Bishop Paul Tan.

It was reported that members of the 1Malaysia People's Information Club had demonstrated against a church forum which featured Bersih co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, arguing that the religious establishment was being “misused to spread political messages”.

Fact. Dirty Ambiga does not even know how to lie properly. Ambiga tells, all who care to listen, she is impartial but you do not see her anywhere other than opposition organised events and now with the elections, election rallies.

The group also said that “mixing religion and politics would lead to chaos”.

Fact. And they should stress this in the so-called forums. And if they don't, they as are equally ignorant as Moonies were in Malaysia.

Dr Shastri said people and the authorities should respect the rights of church members to be informed, adding that churches were praying for all Christians in the elections.

How did "the authorities" come into this subject matter and when did anyone question rights to be informed?

My church should come clean on what they are actually praying for in this coming elections.

Other than calling for free and fair elections, "UBAH" is another opposition chant.

In the prayer for the faithful, this prayer was unequivocally asked in a mass, which I walked out off, - "WE PRAY FOR UBAH", period. Not a word lost, in any translation.

Talking about praying, a certain Chrissane Chin of CCM, comes to mind.

For my very close cousin who, like me, also walked out of mass on more than one occasion. Feeling strongly in regards to the present subject matter had texted me a message this morning to read The Star page 10.

Thanks G.


لف توف™ said...

They want to come clean at this stage. Men of principle! Smart move! Mf!

Snuze said...

Ah ... sounds just like the mosques with the PAS fellas coming over to give ceramah ...