Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ecumenical Event During Papal Visit: Part Two of my Theological Reflection

This will serve as my post-papal visit reflection or part two of my theological reflection I posted the other day. If there is one thing that this papal visit was able to accomplish in this country was that it gathered religious leaders from different religious affiliations in this country at University of Santo Tomas last Sunday.

It seems good to be true that this event happened because even in our country, there are still tensions that are religious in nature. If the message of Jamie Rivera's song We Are All God's Children is clear, then all who recognizes God will understand that religion does not matter but faith since we are all worshiping the same God. No one can can say that their religion is true because religion is human-made. Show me any text from the Bible, Koran, Torah or any ancient religious text that mentioned the word religion.

The reason why I am saying this because a high school classmate of mine, a Roman Catholic, declared to me that their church was the only religion. I argued, Jesus Christ does not preached about religion and he is a Jew.

But this event happened and Pope Francis was able to meet with an Imam(Islamic leader), a Hindu spiritual leader, a Buddhist monk. I only saw it on the news but I am not sure if a rabbi(Jewish teacher), a Protestant pastor  or other religious sectors were present. There are many Protestant denominations in the country but not all are ecumenical.

History proves that religion can also be a primary cause in tension and wars. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust,etc. are among the many examples of religious wars and persecution. There are also racial persecutions and terrorism that are religious in nature.

Pope Francis delivered a very good message last Sunday. But will it fall on deaf's ears. When the Pope Francis fever subsides, will the message subsides too few month from now.  In my opinion, I never saw any change during the last visit in 1995 by the late Pope John Paul II; who is now a saint. Forgive me for being skeptical that change will not occur to most but maybe to some and the Philippines will be just the same until the next papal visit. I am a realist. I only wish my opinions were wrong. My opinions may be critical but it will be a challenge to all of us.

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