Vidal: Oppose bill banning religious rites, iconsCebu Daily News
CEBU’s retired archbishop called on Cebuanos to oppose the House bill that seeks to ban the display of religious icons in government premises or holding Masses or religious rites there.
“You must stand up for your faith,” Ricardo Cardinal Vidal told reporters.
“Everybody should know that venerating the Sto. Niño is part of Cebuano culture. And no civilization will develop without culture.”
Fr. Carmelo Diola, overall steward of the Dilaab Foundation, added his voice to criticism of the Freedom of Religion in Government Office bill (HB 6330) filed by Kabataan party list Rep. Raymond Palatino.
Diola said the bill was “short sighted, discriminatory and unFilipino.”
While the bill claims to prevent the State from favoring one religion over the other, “in truth it seeks to relegate religion and the church into the purely private sphere making them irrelevant in public life,” said Diola in a Dilaab statement.
“Religion is a positive influence in society and very much a part of our culture. It is part of who we are. Religion provides ultimate values from which the State derives ethical and spiritual boundaries. Without it, the State becomes a free for all. We call on all Christians and Muslims to resist this move.”
Meanwhile, Cardinal Vidal recounted the “peculiar experience” of an unnamed police official who “kept on removing every image of the Sto. Niño he saw. But when he visited Talisay City, the people surrounded him and refused to let him in.”
Vidal said Cebuanos should do the same thing against the bill.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama earlier expressed opposition to the proposed legislation./Correspondent Jessa J. Agua