On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn in Jericho and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”  (Luke 10:25-37)

Vatican’s admonition of Gawad Kalinga’s focus on social action rather than evangelization reeks of religious selfishness. Now, they even want Meloto and company to issue an apology for the good acts they’re doing.

And so Vatican was so spiritual and Gawad Kalinga is not. Then, so be it. I’d rather be relevant than religious. I’d rather be the Samaritan (someone hated by the Jews during Jesus’ time) than the Levite (said to be a chosen tribe of the Jewish god) or the priest.

Though I maintain my opinion that GK’s developmentalism is way far from my liberationist ideals, I still believe that GK’s way is better than mere philanthropy of most sections of the Catholic Church. Way better than giving fish, of course, is teaching people how to fish and way way better than treating people as a mere fish to catch (evangelization was compared to fishing when Jesus was talking to Peter during their first encounter).

I do hope that Meloto and the GK people will stand up for what they’re doing and won’t submit to the irrational and callous religious imposition being imposed by the pontifical hierarchy.