First, disclaimer from the author (Mr. Carlos Palad, a Catholic apologist)
"It has come to my attention that my [critique of] the speech of Tony Meloto in Ateneo has been forwarded [from a confidential mailing list] to the CFC-FFL of Frank Padilla, which has mass e-mailed my post to their supporters as well as to CFC members in order to defame the CFC-International Council.
"Now, because of the indiscretion of that mailing list member, the CFC-FFL is gleefully using MY GOOD NAME and is hiding behind MY REPUTATION in order to bring down Tony Meloto and the CFC International Council.
"As I took pains to point out in my original posting, it was NOT my intention to bring down Tony Meloto. Yes, he does have some theological errors IMHO, but these do not erase his dedication to service and his love for the poor. In pointing out certain weaknesses in his speech it was never my intention to denigrate his service, nor cast aspersions on his good intentions.
"I am ready to stand by my words and to face like a man whatever controversy comes my way, but it grieves me that my words are now being used in favor of a group (the CFC-FFL) that I have not ceased to warn people against."
Here's the forwarded (and supposedly confidential) critique:
Tony Meloto is a great man, and his deep love for the poor shines through. There is no denying his passion for our country, and his patriotism is something we would do well to imitate.
However, this speech of his only shows how deep he has fallen into the errors of liberation theology.
The errors can be seen in the following quotes:
Bishop Francisco Claver, SJ., comments on the reluctance before of the Church to address this issue in his new book The Making of a Local Church.
This is the classic criticism that the liberals have of the pre-Vatican II Church: that it allegedly lacked a social conscience. Those who know church history know that Catholic charity and social works were much more extensive and active prior to Vatican II than today, though.
Central to my being Catholic is Jesus' love for the poor. He saw the world through their eyes. His world-view was from the bottom up.
This is the classic error of liberation theology: the error that the Gospel is to be interpreted primarily through the eyes of the poor. Yes, the Church is the Church of the Poor: no less than Vatican II and the Magisterium said so. However, this does not mean that the poor are the privileged interpreters of the Gospel simply because they are poor.
The Jesus of history that I know, before he became the transcendent Christ to us, was a carpenter and the builder of both a physical and a spiritual kingdom.
The artificial separation between the "Jesus of history" and the "Christ of faith" is precisely the heresy that has been repeatedly condemned by the Magisterium, and which Pope Benedict XVI is thoroughly refuting in his book "Jesus of Nazareth." This heresy implies that the "Christ" taught by the Church is basically a construct of the early Christians which is different from the actual Jesus.
True Christianity is giving power to the powerless. It is about restoring human dignity and liberating God's people from begging and stealing....
At the heart of Christianity is social justice anchored on Jesus' love for the oppressed and the spirit of democracy is equality for all but looking at the vast social inequity in wealth and opportunity in our country clearly shows that we have been unfaithful to our core values and belief systems. God is not about structures and rituals but about caring.
These -- and many other passages in this speech -- clearly show that Tony Meloto conceives of Christianity basically as public service and as sociopolitical liberation. This is a terrible, terrible error.
I admire Tony Meloto as a man, but I really wish he'd be as good a Catholic -- doctrinally speaking -- as he is as a social worker and servant of his nation.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Posted by R.O. at 4:52 PM