Monday, October 22, 2007

Here's something to upset Senator Arroyo more

American cardinals boast growing influence (Analysis)

When Archbishops John Foley and Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston receive their red hats from Pope Benedict XVI on November 24, the US will boast 17 natives in the College of Cardinals: the largest representation for any country other than Italy.

Last year Senator Joker was lamenting on the dearth of Filipino Cardinals. I dunno if the Pope ever considered his plea for more Pinoy Cardinals but his observation is quite revealing of the stature of Filipino clergy is in the eyes of Rome. The fact is that although Rome recognizes that some good men are in the Pinoy clergy, and sees it fit to elevate them to cardilatial sees, Rome doesn't find enough of them in the Philippines.

Americans are rising in the College of Cardinals because they've been contributing heavily to the universal Church in terms of wealth, talent, academics, etc. I mean when have you heard lately of a Filipino cleric that did something that visibly benefited the universal Church? Instead, the trends that affect the US Church are usually enthusiastically imported by Pinoy priests to the Philippine Church. Of course the choice of fads has been selective, usually of the progressive type that makes my stomach sick.

In short, there's really no strong reason to reward the Philippines with another cardinal.

1 comment:

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Consider these random facts about the Catholic Church, and the crisis facing the Church will become clearer:

1) The Philippines is the world's 3rd largest Catholic country, with some 69,630,000 Catholics, served by a mere 7,335 priests, according to figures from 2005 published on This means that, contrary to the boasting of many of our fellow Filipinos, the Philippines actually has one of the worst priest shortages in the whole world. My own calculation from the chart linked above indicates that we have the world's eleventh worst ratio of priests to number of faithful, and of the ten countries with worse records than us, nine are countries where the Church has either suffered bloody persecutions in the recent past or has gone through war and civil strife. Among countries where the Church has experienced relative calm in the last few decades or so, only Honduras has a worse record than the Philippines. What does that say about the level of faith formation among us Filipinos?

In contrast, the US (as of 2007) has 41,449 priests serving 64,400,000 Catholics (see

2) The Philippines has 3 cardinals, one of whom is above 80. In comparison, Japan (with a mere 600,000 Catholics) has 2 cardinals eligible to vote, the Chinese (HK plus Taiwan) have two cardinals eligible to vote, and India has six cardinals of whom three are eligible to vote. Where a conclave to be held today, Japan and China (including Taiwan) each has as many votes as the Philippines while India will have one more vote than our country. I addition, Korea has two cardinals, of whom one is eligible to vote.

If the largest Catholic countries where to be lined up by size and number of Cardinals, the Philippines's situation becomes even starker and more humiliating. (Numbers in parentheses refers to number of cardinal electors)

Brazil -- 9 (4)
Mexico -- 6 (4)
Philippines -- 3 (2)
United States -- 17 (13)
Italy -- 42 (22)
France -- 9 (6)
Colombia -- 3 (3)
Spain -- 10 (6)
Poland -- 8 (4)
Argentina -- 4 (2)

Granted that Italy, France and Spain have always had charmed positions in the Church, one still has to wonder why we are so underrepresented even when compared to Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, not to speak of the much younger US Church!

Philippine Church, WAKE UP!