(Offshoot to the Article, Change: Resistance Hidden in Sheep's Clothing)

By: The Rev. Fr. Hermogenes P. Verano, DPA
Mission Priest, Diocese of Greater Manila Area

A choice or an informed choice will bring us anywhere. Anywhere means progress or status quo or maybe even stagnancy. Stagnancy connotes mediocrity, as in no substantial development or change. 

Progress is a dynamic, pro-active transformation. To be the leader of approximately 47 dioceses and 55 bishops and to six million members (latest data) or adherents of this "Pro Deo et Patria" nationalist Church, or being an Obispo Maximo is not a "stroll-in-the park" job only waiting for perks and ample pecuniary considerations. Election means putting on his shoulder the yoke, like the beast of burden, and thus bringing the fate of the Church in the leader's six-year term, “Quo Vadis?” Where are we going?

A meritocratic leader is a person who has a VMG -- Vision, Mission, Goals. Having a visionary picture of what this Church should become during his reign as the Supreme Bishop, he has the blueprint of progress and development. Meaning, he is like an airplane pilot who will announce to the passengers, "We are cruising at 1,000 feet above sea level and above the Antique province. But brace yourselves for sudden jolts; the storm is coming." He knows where we are heading and is familiar with the humps on the road. He is a person of assertiveness, diplomacy and political will; without sacrificing love, mercy, equality and justice. Meritocracy is a system in which the talented is chosen and moved based on his achievements. He is a brilliant manager as well as efficient administrator. Is this possible in our Church? Yes, it is, because managing is partly a political endeavor and both require talents put to good use.

Being a popular man as a leader, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a person who characterizes the following traits: (1) He has a laudable or blameworthy feature; (2) He is suited to the tastes of the general public; (3) He is liked or demurred by people in general; (4) He has a character or conduct deserving reward or honor; and (5) He is praiseworthy. Therefore, he is good -- good in pleasing the majority of people. But the problem is that the majority want only to stay in their comfort zone. They don't want change; they want the status quo. So they will opt to vote for someone who will satisfy their comforts or pleasures. "Don't rock the boat," as the song conveys. So, should we expect any metamorphosis?

In this connection, the Church has just celebrated its 119th foundation anniversary. What's up? The same problems and the same issues are encountered by the Church.  Are these personal, religious, economic, governance, or whatever?  There is a need to move on by considering a person who has the guts and will to spring us from mediocrity to pro-active change. We must stop electing people whom we feel are winnable because they are popular. It’s time to change paradigms by choosing an achiever not from the "nuno sa punso" who considers the position as fiefdom. Our Church needs a visionary leader in the molds of Obispo Maximo Aglipay who dared to be different. Let’s make a difference, even if others cannot, do not, and will not.



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