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Ramil D.

Tolentino

24 November 2014

Social Teachings of the Church

Reflection Paper

It was indeed quite enlightening and at the same time inspiring to watch the documentary cum
tribute to Cardinal Sin. I think the writers and producers did a splendid job in making it more as a
documentary regarding the role of the Church in the politics rather than a single tribute highlighting the
greatness of Cardinal Sin. Every aspect was presented in clear details, clarifying the misconceptions that
the people has regarding why the Church meddles in the politics. Many people are quite insistent that
there should be a separation between Church and State, and that means, as what most Filipinos
understood, the Church should distance herself (or maybe to be totally passive and indifferent) from the
realm of politics. With this, imagine what would happen to the country and to the Filipino people if the
Church remains frozen from meddling in the affairs of the State. Probably, many people have already
died; economically, we would be at the peril of ultimate poverty as the elected officials dredge the purse
of the country; injustices are everywhere; and people are merely treated as an object and not as a
human being. Chaos and sufferings would be far and wide, and there would be no peace and harmony
among the people and even with other nations. Therefore, as then-Bishop Tagle have said, Not all
meddling is bad. There is right meddling and there is wrong meddling, and judging about it now, I would
say that the Church have made a good decision and an act of meddling in order to guide the people
towards the right path.
Previously, it certainly happened that the Church seems to be distant from the people and their
concerns. This is quite evident in the celebration of the Mass during Pre-Vatican II era, as the presider
celebrates with his back facing the people. It is as if saying that the Church has nothing to do with them
regarding their personal and social concerns, as long as the Church performs her duties in spiritual
matters. Hence, what only seems to be active in the three-ffold function of the Church was the priestly
function, and the kingly and prophetic function was never performed. We should be thankful to St. John
XXIII in initiating the Second Vatican Council that revolutionize and shaped the perception of the Church
regarding pastoral matters the Church that seems to be distant before is now beside and sometimes in
front of the people in their fight for freedom, justice and truth. She was no longer distant and unaffected
but became a loving and compassionate mother to all. As what Bishop Soc Villegas have said, The
pains, anxieties and concerns of modern man is also the pains, anxieties and concerns of the Church
Where there is suffering, uncertainty, doubt and confusion, the Church must never consider herself alien
on the concerns of the people., thus, the Church is always beside the people on whatever befell on
them whether in victory or in defeat. The Church now have a broader perspective on her purpose and

on the humanity of every human being, hence, it became her role to build bridges to those who are
estranged from her. The Church veered away from the focus on material things and moved towards on
what matters most her relationship with Gods people.
Indeed, the Second Vatican Council is quite successful in bringing heaven on earth, that is,
letting the people experience what seems to be the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church fights for the
people and with the people, not only on personal and spiritual matters but also on social and political
matters. She became instrumental in mending the wrong belief of the people regarding the absolute
separation of Church and State (whoever promulgated this kind of belief was probably governed by
dualistic thinking). The body and soul cannot be separated on a living person, but they should be treated
as only a single entity together. A song must be composed both of lyrics and melody, and not
independently, otherwise, it will not be a song at all. There should be a total human development not only
in spiritual matters but as well as on the dignity of the human being, which must be uphold at all times.
Moreover, the Church is firm on her stand that when it comes to the concerns that involves faith
and morality of the people, she will never be hesitant in leading the people towards the light of the truth.
Hence, It is not the task of the church to set political solutions but rather it is her duty to provide moral
judgment in temporal matters as required by faith or moral law. In addition, it is part of the duty of every
ministers to exercise his prophetic function by reminding the elected officials in serving the people with
truth and justice. By merely saying that Salvation is freedom from all kinds of evil, the Church has
correctly proclaim the ultimate objective of the Church total salvation not only of the soul but also of
corporal beings. Salvation is no longer Salus Animarum only, but rather it involves freedom from all kinds
of evil in this world.
In order to heed the call of her flock and cater for the increasing demand of her presence in every
aspect of their lives, the Church established the Media ministry Radio Veritas (as an efficacious means
of proclaiming the Good News to everyone, and the truth and justice), Election watchdog PPCRV (in
order to form the conscience of the people in selecting the right candidate), and the Labor Center (to
serve as a symbol of hope for everyone who struggles towards holiness).
In summary, the Church became a potent symbol of salt and light on the earth, responding in the
signs of the times in order to address the needs of the people, thus, acting like a good shepherd to his
flock, which then fulfills the desire of the Chief Shepherd, that none of them would perish but rather to
have an eternal life life not only in the after life but even right now here on earth.