We feel that the Filipino clergy sees the light at the end of the tunnel and they must do the controversial blessing as sparingly as possible. The reason is because Archbishop Socrates “Soc” Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan have defined what a blessing really meant. His first definition was that it is an invocation to God so that those who are being blessed could have a better understanding of God’s Love and Truth. His second definition is a blessing of sanctification or one that make one holy. And third, a blessing of mercy or pity.
Archbishop “Soc” does not shy away from controversies. He always makes a stand and can never be taken as one who is just a fence sitter. Working closely with Jaime Cardinal Sin during the 1986 EDSA revolution, he took to heart many of the issues concerned that gave way to the downfall of Ferdinand Marcos as a dictator and so with the return of the Marcoses to power he wrote his former Cardinal-mentor and voiced out his worries for the Philippines. During the reign of Rodrigo Duterte, he was very outspoken against human rights violations and condemned the extra judicial killings. He even criticized Duterte for allowing Marcos to be interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayan and wanted the International Criminal Court to investigate violations of human rights in the Philippines along with the extra judicial killings. Consequently, he was swamped with so many cases by the PNP-CIDG, but just as Amnesty International found them a way of the Duterte government to silence him, the cases were dismissed for lack of merit and evidence.
As an humble intellectual, he had published his homilies in a book and worked steadfast in the development of dioceses assigned to him. For his efforts, he was given by the Bataan Peninsula State College a doctorate in humanities, honoris causa and a by the St. Louis University, a doctorate in philosophy, honoris causa.
Archbishop Villegas’ definition can not be taken lightly. Any lay person would know what an invocation means, it is calling upon God so that this particular blessing, solemn to the occasion, would allow those that are blessed to understand God’s Love and His Truth. It is therefore, not just a mumbo jumbo of words that would allow one to feel good as in “blessed” in the manner that woke psychology makes one feel that good. Moreover, such blessing operates in the manner that those who are blessed approaches sanctity. Even in the fact that the sacrament is not meant as we find in matrimony, the act of blessing as a sacramental itself is meant to sanctify. Hence, the emotional theme of the lyrics of the song that goes, “how can it be so wrong when it feels so right?” does not have any place in this blessing. At the most, the Pope and his representative signatory are simply blessing, as the others who would follow them would of pity. But we wonder if it is really just pity they are after.
We were not born just yesterday to believe that same sex couples wouldn’t like the same dignity accorded them as in the sacrament of matrimony to be given by the Church. The Church hierarchy seem to be doing just that little by little until nobody notices anymore. It is not just possible, because a prerequisite to marriage is the divergence of two sexes as God created them and He could not stand as Witness to an alteration via human innovation.
Besides, can the Pope and his very efficient Prefect outdo the King of Mercy or even just His Mother, the Queen of Mercy? Or haven’t they heard that His pity is best described as an Ocean of Mercy?
So, therefore, my dear Filipino priests, we know you are being obedient to our Pope. But please don’t overdo yourselves. You are consecrated men of God, do not desecrate yourself by some silly artistic act of mercy!
Rico del Sol
Simon Fe Dolor