Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Celdran's "Damaso Law"

Last night as I was browsing the web, I happened to had received a forwarded text message from our OCDS Community President.

The message was originally sent by Bishop Rolando Trias Tirona, OCD, Prelate of Infanta Quezon to OCDS Philippines President Celia Timbol, which she forwarded to our Community President Ampy Zerudo, and then forwarded to all our community members which includes me (that's technology at work).

The message is centered to all members of the Secular Order of Discaled Carmelites (OCDS).  Calling us to react on some commentaries and news reports that tends to attack the Bishops of the Catholic Church for filling charges  against Mr. Carlos Celdran, as a response to his action of  disturbing the celebration of an ecumenical celebration last Thursday, September 30, at the Manila Cathedral, in violation of Article 133 of the revised penal code  . 

I haven't really gave much attention to this matter when it was reported last week since, since I never had a glimpse of what really did happen then.

But last night, after having received and read the forwarded message and doing some research on the matter, and reading an article in Philippine Star, where reactions from Hon. Edcel Lagman, comments by Mr. Carlos Celdran and an excerpt of the statement of the Catholic Clergy can be found.  I know within my self that I have to make my comments on the matter.

But before anything else a brief on the importance of the Holy Mass.

The Holy Mass

I cannot find a better way of describing what the Holy Mass means to the Catholic Church and the kind of feeling that I'm having at this moment oher than what Atty. Jose Sison wrote in his column A Law each day, that can also be found on the Philstar on-line edition.

In paragraph two, he wrote
'For Catholicsthe Mass is the center of the Church. Nothing can compare to the Mass because it is the renewal of the Sacrifice on the Cross where Christ offers Himself up for all humanity. It is the moment when heaven and earth uniteDisrupting the Mass is therefore the most offensive act against the feelings of Catholic faithful'. - Atty. Jose C. Sison
Eventually the words that Atty. Sison used summarized the description of the Holy Mass as written in Article three of the Catechism of the Catholic Church  (CCC 1324 to 1327).

(I have already written a blog before on the importance of the Holy Mass, you can find it here)

My Commentaries:

‘Damaso’ law

Celdran, for his part, called Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code a “Damaso law.”

He said the law “is very alarming because of its power to curtail the people’s freedom of speech and put him in jail.”

“I couldn’t imagine the Catholic Church sending somebody to prison,” Celdran said.

- excerpt  from the article of Mr. Netor Etolle "Manila tour guide booked for 'offending religious feelings'". posted on Philippine Star on-line
  • Comment # 1 - If Mr. Carlos Celdran has done his protest outside of the Church during the Celebration, the Catholic Church Hierarchy would have simply let it go.  
  • Comment # 2 - When Mr. Celdran entered the Church and disrupted the Celebration, what he has offended was not only the Church as a whole as represented by the Cardinal, Papal Nuncio and the other Bishops, but "The King"  present in the Sacrifice of the Altar.
  • Comment # 3 - The Manila Cathedral is the home of His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, a member of the Papal Household.  Since the Cardinal was also present during the celebration, Celdran has not only offended Cardinal Rosales but the entire Papal Household whom the Cardinal belongs.
  • Comment # 4 - Mr. Celdran was not charged because the Church Hierarchy wants to curtail  his freedom. As I have mentioned in Comment #1, if he has done it in front of the Cathedral, by all means he can always express it in anyway he wants. Mr. Celdran is not being charge for expressing his freedom, he is being charge because of his action of disturbing a "Sacred Celebration".
"His act (Mr. Celdran) can never be justified by his deep resentment against the prelates who oppose the RH bill. It is willfully, willingly and feloniously done during a rite most sacred to Catholics and therefore punishable under the RPC. Muslims and Buddhists would also feel offended if such disruption was committed against them. There is no reason why disruption of a Catholic ritual should be treated differently." - Atty. Jose Sison in his article "Reprehensible"

“The Catholic priests are always using their abusive powers to meddle in government affairs, now on our population control,” Celdran said.

He said Catholic priests had been using the issue to “hostage” the country’s leaders.

“They held hostage the mother and now the son, President Noynoy because of his support for the Reproductive Health Bill and artificial methods of birth control. They had held hostages all other presidents of this country to follow their policies,” said Celdran.

He said the bishops had been offended by his comparing them to Damaso. 

“That’s why I am now in jail,” he said. - excerpt  from the article of Mr. Netor Etolle "Manila tour guide booked for 'offending religious feelings'". posted on Philippine Star on-line
  • Comment # 1 - The Catholic Church's stand "on the Regulation of Birth" has been the same from the time of Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Letter " Humae Vitae".  Which was promulgated on the 25th day of July, 1968. It Contains the "Magesterium's" answer to the question of Regulating Birth.
  • Comment # 2 - The Church does not have the power to interfere regarding political affairs. If this is true, I doubt if abortion, death penalty and the like  would have been legalized in other countries, including the Philippines in regards to death penalty.
  • Comment # 3 -  The Catholic Church cannot held hostage any leaders of this country, it never did. What the Church leader simply does is to remind our political leaders of their responsibility. If the involve person decides to change his/her position regarding matters of morality, it is a decision that the leader has made not by the Church.
  • Comment # 4 -  Mr. Celdran was was not jailed because the Bishops were offended when he called them "Damaso".  He was jailed because he broke the law.

2. In another article that I have read that was  posted at GMA news.tv , Mr. Celdran had said that 

"I'm a born Catholic and it hasn't been taken away from me yet...I'm going to try and practice the Catholic trait of turning the other cheek"

  • Comment # 1 - It will take more than turning the other cheek to prove of ones commitment to the Catholic Faith... there is a great difference in being "a born Catholic" and a "True Catholic".
  • Comment # 2 -  Martin Luther was excommunicated for posting a "letter of protest " in a cathedral.  Whether Mr. Celdran suffers the same faith is a matter of debate for the Bishops.

Well, time really flies fast. In my next blog, I will be commenting on the words of Hon. Edcel Lagman from the same column in Philippine Star.  Till then, to Jesus through Mary.

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Articles written in this blog, unless otherwise sourced, is the sole opinion of the writer and does not carry nor imply the opinion of the Entire order of Carmel, the Vatican nor the Universal Church. With this, all my personal writings, I hereby subject to correction by the teaching Authority of the Catholic Church, the keeper and Authority on Divine Revelations.

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