Quantcast
Latest Stories

Editorial

With respect to faith


In one of its more famous passages, the author of the book of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything and everything has its time.

Tour guide and performing artist Carlos Celdran should have been guided by this adage in determining whether or not to barge into the middle of a religious ceremony at the Manila Cathedral a year ago to protest what he felt was the interference of the Catholic Church on a matter of State, that is, the then Reproductive Health bill.

Otherwise Celdran before his sacrilegious intrusion should have at least been enlightened by his friends and fans among the self-styled culturati about the acceptability of faith-based opinion in the public square.

Note that not a single envoy branded Pope Benedict XVI’s speech at the general assembly of the United Nations a few years ago as ecclessiastical meddling into global civic affairs.

Even advocates of secularism like University of the Philippines sociology professor Randolph David agrees that persons of faith are entitled to publicly manifesting their opinion on pressing issues.

With the right counsel, Celdran would not have come to grief as he just did.

Sadly the thespian is just one among millions in this world who imagine a wedge between Church and State, as if these two realms cannot possibly converge in pursuit of the common good, as if they were worlds isolated from each other, incapable of mutual dialogue.

Such a mindset ignores for instance the parade of heroes in the history of nations who drew strength from their faith, from Buddhism’s Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar to Catholicism’s Lech Walesa of Poland.

One year ago, Celdran stepped into the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Intramuros. Posing as Dr. Jose Rizal, he stood in front of the church’s main altar and raised a placard with the name “Damaso,” a reference to the abusive Franciscan friar in Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere.”

This happened while members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and the non-Catholic Philippine Bible Society held a ceremony to launch a free Bible distribution project.

For his act, Celdran was convicted last Monday of disrupting worship and offending religious sensibilities in violation of Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code. He was sentenced to up to a year in jail by Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Juan Bermejo Jr.

Celdran now claims that his conviction is the result of the vengefulness of modern-day Damasos in the Catholic Church who purportedly want to get back at him for his reproductive health advocacy.

But the man or woman on the street simply sees the case as a matter of basic decency and respect for peoples of faith, (virtues that inform our Constitution); a question of determining the correct place and time for, and way of airing one’s convictions.

Celdran knows very well that in this country, free speech and free expression on reproductive health or whatsoever issue are and will always be protected.

But he must not pretend that such protections constitute a license to screw up worship sessions and mock freedom of religion.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Carlos Celdran , Catholic Church , Damaso , Dr. Jose Rizal , faith , Manila Cathedral , Noli Me Tangere , Religions




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • No tsunami to hit PH after 6.9 quake jolts Solomon Islands–Phivolcs
  • Search resumes for bodies in Everest avalanche
  • 6.6-quake hits off PNG’s Bougainville – USGS
  • Bus passengers foil bombing in Sultan Kudarat
  • Traffic from provinces to Manila light on Black Saturday
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement