Letter to Rodrigo Rodrigues

Epistolarium (25)

Aurelio Porfiri

Dear Sir,

You were a governor of Macau when Macau was under the administration of Portuguese. I wonder what it felt like to administer a city where the majority of the citizens are from a different ethnic group. I think, now that I am spending my last days in this city, that Macau is just a big contradiction; it is just a marriage that was never supposed to be. Certainly your fellow countrymen were not interested in Macau for humanitarian reason at the very beginning of Portuguese exploration of this part of the world. They wanted to expand their business and they used all their strength to conquer lands and territories that can help them fulfill their purpose. Incidentally they also brought Western culture and civilization. We could talk on and on about the good and bad of what happened, but in any case that is past and we cannot change it.

Now the table has turned: the other side is using the strength to impose their own agenda and fulfill their political agenda. So we should not be surprised about what is happening today in Macau. We may disagree and be critical about it, but this is how the world goes. We cannot be surprised that some people just pursue their bare interest – it once was our turn. It reminds me of the joke of the drunken man with a pint of good wine in his pocket. One day he was going home and fell down. Then he started to feel his leg wet. So he started to pray to God: “Dear God, please let it be blood!” And this is how we are, even against the logic of what is really good, we just pursue our interests. Every tribe tries to impose their own agenda, directly or indirectly. I always say, I am not sure if evolutionism is sound science, but I am sure that applied to societies it works perfectly. Unfortunately also religion is often used to dominate others and not to announce the good message of the Gospel. How many people are privileged because of their religious status. They enjoyed protection and when caught in crime they are just moved to another place. That is what we are. But not only clergy use religion for their own ends – we all do. There was a man going to confession. He confessed to having committed adultery. The priest asked: was it with Mary Smith? The man answered that he preferred not to reveal the name. Then the priest insisted: with Kate Anderson? And the man still insisted he did not want to say the name. So the priest absolved him. Outside the church the friend of the man asked him if he had received absolution. “Yes,” said the man, “and also he gave me two very good leads!” Now, this is just a joke, but there is great truth in this.

What is Macau going to be in the coming 10 years? I don’t know, but I guess it will be something that I will not like. Never mind, let God work His ways and let us pray that we may be able to discern a little of what is going on so as not to walk in the deepest darkness.

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