Who has her courage?

By tonight we will know the winners in the local elections and in a few days the new senators. Whether this mid-term election is really a referendum on President Duterte cannot be truly measured but no matter how we read the results, the real test will be how they will perform.

What I want to see is the courage that the elected will act once in office. Promises, after all are just that – the pessimist would say, to be broken. But in public office or out of it, what this nation needs are people who will live by their faith.

In a May 1, 2019, post, LifeSiteNews reported on a Brazilian representative elected to the country’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower legislative house. What surprised me was her reported “opening speech declaring her commitment as a Catholic to ‘Christ, the King of the Universe’ and ended her opening speech with the cry, ‘¡Viva Cristo Rey!’ (‘Long live Christ the King!’).

The legislative deputy, Christine Nogueira do Reis Tonietto, popularly known as “Chris Tonietto,” is a 27-year-old attorney and a member of the Dom Bosco Center, “a movement that seeks to instill Catholics with knowledge of Catholic doctrine and the practice of Catholic piety, particularly the regular reception of the sacraments.”

Tonietto was elected to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies last year as a member of the conservative Social Liberal Party, which also nominated Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro. 

“I want to consecrate this term of office, our term of office, to Christ, King of the universe, to Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil, the country that was originally named the Land of the Holy Cross,” said Tonietto to her fellow deputies. “I want to reaffirm here my moral commitment in the defense of life from conception, in defense of the family and Christian values, in the fight against abortion, gender ideology, corruption, and crime.

“I urge the Brazilian youth not to lose hope in our nation. I want to serve my country with all the love, all the ethical and moral commitment, and the vigor that so inspires my Catholic faith. I wish you all an excellent and blessed term of office, and may God bless our actions here in this legislative house. ¡Viva Cristo Rey

The cry “Viva Cristo Rey”, LifeSiteNews said,“became popular in Latin America and particularly in Mexico during the 1920s and 1930s persecution of Catholics by the Mexican government”. The Feast of Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925. Participants who fought to defend the Catholic faith in the ‘Cristiada’ or ‘Cristero War’ in Mexico in 1926, regularly used the phrase as a rallying cry.”

The Philippines as a country with a dominant Catholic faith, also celebrates this feast at the Sunday prior to Advent, or in earlier times in late October. When the elections were held in November, this was the opportunity for the Church to remind the faithful of their solemn obligation to vote wisely and for candidates to pledge to abide by the doctrines of their faith in public life.

Tonietto is part of a new generation of conservative Catholics who were swept into office with the victory of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, “who campaigned on a platform of rooting out socialist political ideology from Brazilian government and to replace it with Christian values.”

Tonietto also “committed to the overhaul of Brazil’s badly flawed educational system, which under the previous socialist governments has become a system of political indoctrination in favor of neo-Marxist political and social ideology, particularly gender ideology.

“We live in a time in which many people defend and approve, not the respect for religion in general, but the very negation of faith and relativism with regard to the truth.” She echoed the theme, Sempre Família (the Family Always).

“I am Catholic and I resolved to enter the race for federal deputy. Many times — if not every time — I have concluded my speeches with the resounding cry, “Viva Cristo Rey” for a very simple reason: I am Catholic and, as a Catholic, I defend the restoration of Christendom and I understand that we will only have a true culture of peace if we begin to recognize Christ again as King of our country,” said Tonietto.

Who among our Catholic politicians can publicly declare and live their faith like her?