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Austin Cline

Church and State in the Philippines

By July 13, 2005

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There is no real separation of church and state in the Philippines and that's why the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines felt they had the authority to give President Arroyo a "reprieve" and not ask her to resign... yet. Arroyo is caught up in an election scandal, so it's not as though criticism is unwarranted, but the Conference is acting in a manner that other national conferences would never do.

RSI has an interview with Dr. Asiri Abubakar from the Diliman Asia Centre at the University of Philippines:

How does the bishopís support effectively lend credibility to the President, amid the scandals?

Dr. Abubakar: Thatís the problem. In the first place, they are not supposed to be in politics. They are not supposed to interfere in governance. But that separation, between the church and the state, in the Philippines, is a myth. All politicians here, particularly since 1986, always seek the support of the church, but some of them have become an embarrassment for the church; embarrassing, in the sense that the church is not supposed to support corrupt politicians. They are not supposed to intervene in politics. But since the time they started to intervene, 1986 till now, our situation has remained the same.

Worse than the absence of church/state separation is, perhaps, the presence of laws that should mandate separating church and state which are not heeded ó and that appears to be the case in the Philippines. One of the main problems with failing to maintain a separation of church and state is, however, also evident in the Philippines: churches that align themselves with the state become tainted when government corruption is revealed (or even jut believed to exist).

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Comments
July 13, 2008 at 11:33 pm
(1) fudtrip says:

i need a good article about amalgamation of church and state.. its my report on history,, ^.^

August 16, 2010 at 9:13 am
(2) Dave~~-= says:

This is my report in hist. i need also a complete article about this topic..?/

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