Cardinal Tagle’s ‘oratio imperata’ for Duterte


Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

It looks like president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership eccentricity is rubbing off not only on his appointees and existing government officials but, unbelievably, also on  the Catholic Church hierarchy.

How else could you describe Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s appeal to the parishes, shrines, chapels, religious communities and Catholic schools, following a recommendation from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), that an ‘oratio imperata’ or obligatory prayer be recited before a new set of government officials assume office on June 30?

Let us not kid ourselves. For reasons not to sound too obvious or confrontational, CBCP used the collective name of ‘government officials’ but in reality the prayer request is simply directed at no less than the incoming president himself.

Let me explain.

‘Oratio imperata’, a Latin word for obligatory prayer, is a set of Roman Catholic invocative prayers consisting of a liturgical action and a short, general prayer which the local ordinary or prelate of the church may publicly pray when there is a looming calamity or any grave public danger to society.

In fact it was explained in the papers, that in the Philippine context, Catholic bishops invokes the oratio imperata usually to address natural and man-made calamities, such as droughts and typhoons.

If that is the case, why would Tagle then be requesting the faithful to say an obligatory prayer for the incoming government officials? Why, are they going to cause havoc upon the population once they assume office?

Does vice president-elect Leni Robredo and the aging but competent and upright Cabinet family of Duterte need this particular type of prayer?

But why this kind of prayer for elected officials now? Yes, we had always been implored to pray and to wish new elected officials success, but not asked to supplicate as if they are going to make our lives chaotic and miserable.

I haven’t seen the substance of the obligatory prayer yet, as written by the collective members of CBCP, but I bet it is one that is reflective of the misdeeds of Duterte.

What a shame!

Better yet for the nation, CBCP should issue an ‘oratio imperata’ for their own selves and leave government to run the functions of the State.


8 comments on “Cardinal Tagle’s ‘oratio imperata’ for Duterte

  1. Love 2 Type says:

    Sa leader lang sana ng mga catholic ilaan yang obligatory prayer kasi may criticisms naman uli ang pope kaysa makisawsaw pa sa iba… righteous hypocrites talaga. Akala mo na perfect din yung kanilang organization..

  2. sentenil says:

    How does saying a prayer usurp the functions of the state? Is prayer that scary?

    • quierosaber says:

      Nothing about usurpation here. I just find the exercise absurd if intended for the person who wants to effect drastic changes in running the country through radical means.

      • sentenil says:

        But that’s not what you said. You are stating that prayer somehow interferes with government, hence your comment: ‘‘oratio imperata’ for their own selves and leave government to run the functions of the State” By praying they don’t interfere with the state.

      • quierosaber says:

        What I actually mean in the last paragraph is for the church to have instead their own oratio imperata so immoralities committed before by some of their members will not be repeated and leave the state to do its thing. Appreciate your comments.

  3. Tomato Guy says:

    – Are you aware of the internal efforts of the Church to correct the wrong doings inside it?
    – If person A has a problem, and person B has a problem, does it mean person A cannot pray or help person B?
    – If there is uncertainty, isn’t it proper to pray?

    • quierosaber says:

      Don’t get me wrong. I believe in prayers especially the way the Pink Sisters do it – in silence and unpretentiousness. Publicize it and it will leave a bad taste in the mouth.

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