Monsignor Achilles Dakay, who has been a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cebu for a long time now, has been so used with the perks, appurtenances and style of living by an archbishop of Cebu, who is usually a cardinal, that when he heard the simple life of Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, before becoming Pope Francis, it simply baffled him.
I really don’t blame him. His association with high ranking Philippine Catholic church official has made him believe that they, especially those managing an archdiocese, have earned the right to live opulent lives.
It did not surprise me, therefore, when I read in the news that Dakay, when interviewed over the radio and told about the simple, yet reputable virtues of Bergoglio as Archbishop of Argentina, expressed his skepticism over the latter’s preference of taking the bus to work and cooking his own meal in a rented apartment.
To Dakay, perhaps it was the most preposterous tale he has ever heard about a cardinal, for he immediately countered that “Cebuanos couldn’t expect their priests to take the Ceres bus and do what Pope Francis did.”
He must have thought that for some priest to have attained that stature in the Catholic hierarchy that he should be deserving of no less than a palace to live in, an expensive car to ride on, fine dining to be prepared and served three times a day and all kinds of helpers at their beck and call. Pampered with attention, they are carried away and got sucked into the system of false pretenses and arrogance.
For sure that is Dakay’s opinion and does not reflect in any way, shape and form the sentiments of Cebuanos and the Filipinos, in general.
Now that Dakay has read everything about the true character and nature of Bergoglio, more known all over as Pope Francis, perhaps Dakay has come to realize already that not all cardinals and popes are born and treated the same. That others, like, Francis, are born with high sense of propriety and walks the talk of the Catholic faith, belief and practices.
Sadly, we put too much emphasis on titles, more so in the Catholic Church hierarchy, and favor and flavor it with ridiculous attention and concern as if they are above ordinary human beings.
Gladly, we have Pope Francis now who can show inspiration among the high ranking church officials that one can be more God-like by being simple, humble and true to their vocation.