What Does CBCP Say About Gambling?
By +Oscar V. Cruz, JCD
ON January 23, 2005, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines issued the “CBCP STATEMENT OF GAMBLING”. The official Statement is the first CBCP made specifically on the matter of gambling. Among other things, this means that gambling in the country has already become a serious socio-moral problem.
As a matter of practice, when the CBCP comes out with an official Statement, this immediately implies that it considers it necessary to address an urgent issue brought about by existing circumstances in the country. And gambling is one of the existing and disturbing phenomena demanding the pastoral attention by no less than the CBCP itself as the collegial entity representing the Catholic Church in the Philippines.
The Statement carries three key integrated pronouncements. Each says what CBCP teaches about gambling in the light of the Gospel Truths, in the realm of morals and the force of reason operative in the sphere of ethics. Hereunder are the said three main pronouncements of the CBCP in conjunction to widespread corporate and syndicated gambling in the Philippines.
The CBCP renounces this manner of helping the poor in particular and/or in attending to Church plans, programs, and projects. Such acceptance and/or solicitation could be easily constructed as approving and even promoting the culture of gambling in the country. It could further readily scandalize the faithful.
The CBCP considers that all forms of gambling as undesirable and unacceptable specially so when they are corporate, systemic or syndicated, and organized. This hold true for both legal and illegal gambling forms.
The CBCP teaches that the culture of gambling seriously erodes the moral fiber of the people. In a special way and as an example of devious syndicated or organized illegal gambling, the CBCP categorically mentions Jueteng that has bred a network of corruption which feeds on millions of pesos lost by millions of poor people in particular.
The CBCP considers it necessary to make a collective anti-gambling policy. It reiterates the long standing moral principle that the end does not justify the means, viz., gambling monies used for charity and other alleged helpful agenda for the poor does not take away immorality from the vice of gambling.
The CBCP denounces not only illegal gambling in all forms and reproves its legalization, but legal gambling as well and its expansion practically all over the country. The CBCP considers the denunciation no less than a collective policy for observance of all men and women of good will, especially by the members of the Catholic laity, the men and women Religious, the Clergy.