EDITORIAL - Actions speak louder than words

The Freeman

If Cardinal Vidal did not wish to be associated with calls for the resignation of President Aquino, he shouldn't have associated himself with calls for the resignation of President Aquino in the first place. It is as simple as that. With all due respect to the good cardinal, when you talk and walk like a duck, chances are you get mistaken for, well, a duck.

So how did Cardinal Vidal get "mistaken" as being associated with calls for the resignation of President Aquino? Here is what happened. And you be the judge. Last Friday, February 13, Cardinal Vidal called for a press conference. In that press conference, and in the presence of several archbishops and bishops, Cardinal Vidal read a letter from a group that called itself the National Transformation Council. The letter Cardinal Vidal read called on President Aquino to resign.

Now, Cardinal Vidal is not the kind of person anyone can force to do something against his will. Neither is he the kind of person who would involve himself in an undertaking he wishes no part of. So when Cardinal Vidal called for a press conference to read the NTC letter, the only inference anyone can derive from his act is that he agreed with what the letter said and wanted to be known by it.

And yet a controversy has erupted over the resulting story. There now seems to be some effort to stress the point that the letter Cardinal Vidal read was not his own. But of course it was not his own. All the news stories that emerged from the conference clearly pointed to the NTC as the source, just as it was unequivocally pointed out that Cardinal Vidal called a press conference in order to read the NTC letter. Nothing was added or taken away from those basic facts.

Cardinal Vidal did not have to categorically say he supported calls for the president to resign. The body language needed no qualification. It was not as if the media merely chanced on the cardinal. No random meeting or chance encounter transpired. Cardinal Vidal called in the press because he had a specific think he wished conveyed to the public.

If Cardinal Vidal did not wish to be misunderstood by anyone, he could have easily done so by keeping to himself. He has been in retirement for quite sometime and was therefore out of the loop. But no, Cardinal Vidal emerged from retirement and called in the press. That is not a chance occurrence. That is a very deliberate act that can only proceed from a very deliberate decision.

The press did not pry something out of Cardinal Vidal. It was Cardinal Vidal who served up something to the press. There shouldn't have been any controversy regarding the matter because Cardinal Vidal must have surely been aware of what he was doing, as well as the consequences of his actions. For a man who has dealt with the press for much of his life, his reaction to the flap generated by the story is rather surprising.



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