by Gordon Nary
Gordon: When did you attend Immaculate Conception Major Seminary, and what was the most challenging course that you took, and why was it so challenging?
Archbishop Martinez: I entered the seminary after I graduated from high school at the age of 16 in 1987. In 1992 I finished my studies in Philosophy and subsequently completed my Theology studies in 1997 with a degree of Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. The major challenge for me at that time was how to incarnate the Theology that we were studying into actuality. Example - service to the poor. It was so challenging because I needed to humble myself and perform tasks which were inconvenient for me.
Gordon: When and why did the ConciliaristChurch break from the Vatican?
Archbishop Martinez: In 1958 after the death of Pope Pius XII, John XXIII called for the Second Vatican Council in 1962. From there the Conciliar Church was born. It was a break from the Roman Catholic Church in as much as it drifted from the Roman Catholic faith. Examples are Novus Ordo Missae New order of the Mass), New Code of Canon Law, and New Rite of Ordination. All are inspired by semi- Protestantism.
Gordon: When did you found Sacrae Crucis Franciscanum and approximately how many members do you have in your parish?
Archbishop Martinez: A year before I was appointed and eventually ordained as bishop, I founded the Sacrae Crucis Franciscanum (SCF).in September 2009. The purpose is to create new deacons and priests who will celebrate the sacraments in the traditional Catholic Rite. And at the same time to form a congregation that will adhere to Tridentine Latin Mass and traditional Catholic customs. Currently there are more or less 200 families as members.
Gordon: What are the major societal challenges in the Philippines?
Archbishop Martinez: Job opportunities are the number one concern by many Filipinos now days. Because many people have no work, many resort to drug pushing and prostitution and other criminal activity.
Gordon: What impact has President Duarte had upon these societal challenges?
Archbishop Martinez: The Duarte regime is also like the other presidents after Corazon Aquino which advances the neo- liberal policy under the title globalization. Though President Duarte is populist in his style of leadership, he continues to apply liberalization, privatization, and deregulation in economic agenda which results to joblessness vis-a-vis the Covid-19 pandemic results.
Gordon: What can Filipinos who object to President Duarte leadership do to prevent him from being reelected?
Archbishop Martinez: Election is the customary form of Filipinos in changing the people in the government to effect change. But election changes only the people not the system. Thus the cycle continues and no breakthrough reform is inadequate. The real change comes from revolution, especially revolution from within.
Gordon: Thank you for an incisive interview.