Friday, October 01, 2010


The catholic hierarchy today said that Celdran was jailed not because he exercised his right to free speech but because he "committed a sin against the church". First off, in my humble opinion, having such a law as Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code is in itself a violation of one's basic human rights.

Art. 133. Offending the religious feelings. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful. source:

In a nutshell, Article 133 means that the Church or any religious organization can have you imprisoned if they feel you performed an act offensive to the "faithful", but not vice versa.

In the United Staes Bill of Rights, it says:

Amendment I-- Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Freedom of Expression must include being able to express one's feelings inside the church. If the church pulpit can be used to demonize, accuse without evidence and lambast the government (like what they did during GMA's administration), then i say with conviction that it is also the right of every catholic to speak out against its church and its hierarchy INSIDE that church.

Remember history, my friends. Many of these old churches, including the Manila Cathedral, were built by our fellow Filipinos, some working for free in exchange for what the Frailes call "salvation". It is the people, the Filipino people under the oppressive Spanish regime who built these churches, not the bishops, not the priests and not the Pope. It is our Church, and if priests can call a person evil using the pulpit, then we, the people, can certainly use this church built by our forefathers' blood, sweat and tears to call the church hierarchy whatever we want.

What is good for the gander should be good for the goose. The church cannot have double-standards and say "we can speak against anyone inside the church but the people cannot". This goes against the teachings of Christ where He is the Head and we, the people, The church, is the body. Christ never mentioned anything about Popes, Bishops, Cardinals and excommunication.

Then, of course, there is that argument made by Carlos Celdran which I agree with -- the Church cannot, according to our Constitution, involve itself in matters of State, to wit:



Section 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.

I commend Carlos Celdran for having the balls to speak out against the Catholic Church, a taboo though it may be to some, but judging from the reactions of many people in the world wide web, I'm sure many share Carlos' sentiments about the separation of Church and State.

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