Being Church in the Time of War on Drugs

Keywords: Jurgen Habermas, Lode Wostyn , War on Drugs, Philippine Catholic Church, & Ecclesiology

Year Published: 2019

Research Promoter: Mr. Nikolo Panganoron

Babila, Z., Bunyi, J., Coronel, T., & Melliza, G. (2019). Being Church in the Time of War on Drugs. Retrieved from: http://poverelloonline.lsqc.edu.ph/research/research.php?id=27.


Being Church At The Time Of War On Drugs revisits the contested role of religion in the public sphere. The research reviews the changing views of Habermas with regards to religion and the public sphere. The study also includes a Wostynian diagnosis of the Church and the Church’s socio-political involvement in the Philippine context. While religion is now wel-comed by Habermas in the public sphere in discussing public policy, the Church is diagnosed by Wostyn as suffering from ‘hierarchology,’ or from the Neo-scholastic tradition of theolo-gy. The current times, specifically the War on Drugs by the Duterte administration, see the Church in the limelight. Gathering interviews through key informants and focus group discus-sions of those involved in Project Solidarity with Orphans and Widows (SOW), this paper identifies ecclesiological themes of being Church in the time of War on Drugs through theo-logical reflection. The Church, for those in Payatas, is a Church asserting faith through action, becoming a sanctuary for the wounded, and silently working without seeking attention. In the thoughts of Habermas on communicative action, experiences of the grassroots whose issues confront the institutional religion, are excluded from his theory because of the requirements of discursivity and argumentation; in Wostyn’s ecclesiology, the experiences of those in Payatas, retrieve the place of religion in the public sphere as it is established and begins from the experiences of the poor.


Babila, Z.

Bunyi, J.

Coronel, T.

Melliza, G.