MANILA, Philippines — It would seem that things are looking up for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as various churches around the country are busy making preparations for this Sunday’s mass, when churchgoers are expected to give much larger donations amidst the guilty verdict that was handed down recently on tour guide and performance artist, Carlos Celdran.
On January 28, Celdran was found guilty of “offending religious feelings” by the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court.
The decision was in reference to a one-man protest Celdran held in September 2010, when he called for an end to the Church’s opposition to the now-passed Reproductive Health bill.
Dressed as Jose Rizal, Celdran disrupted an ecumenical service—not a Mass—in the Manila Cathedral attended by ranking bishops and city officials by holding up a placard bearing the name “Damaso,” in reference to the notorious priest in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere.
Celdran has since apologized, but maintained that his protest was within his constitutional right to free speech. (from GMA News)
“We think that our brothers and sisters would be more generous this week, more than ever in their lifetime,” said Manila Cathedral rector Monsignor Nestor Sebo. “We shall use the expected influx of cash to better advance our efforts in meddling with state affairs.”
Affairs that doesn’t include paying for lawyers handling the petition filed at the Supreme Court (SC) stating that the Reproductive Health Law is unconstitutional; and certainly affairs that doesn’t include the funding of certain party-list groups not affiliated with the CBCP whatsoever; clarified the priest.
For his part, Arturo Dimaculangan, a taho vendor who attends mass regularly, promised to give more than he can.
“Ibibigay ko na ang lahat ng kita ko sa lingong ito, at baka mangutang pa ako para madagdagan ang donasyon (I’ll give them all that I have, and would probably loan some more , so that my donations would increase)“, said Dimaculangan, who earns eight hundred pesos a week. “Mahirap na. Baka masaktan ang damdamin ni father (It’s difficult. I don’t want to offend father’s feelings).”
When asked about this, Monsignor Sebo explained that anybody who gives paltry sums of money need not to worry, as they will be forgiven eventually.
“But they must pay,” added the priest quickly. “God forgives the sins of the faithful but they must still bear the penalties for their misdeeds.”
With the court ruling in their favor, the CBCP is pushing their luck, filing a case against an unnamed altar boy, who refuses to obey orders, and as a result, offended a priest’s feelings
Kindly read this petition: ‘President, Senate and House of the Representatives of the Philippines: #FreeCarlosCeldran‘ and:
- Sign if you agree.
- Ignore if you don’t and return to the status quo.