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This is in reaction to Rina Jimenez-David’s Jan. 30 column (“The arrogance of ‘Damaso’”). When Carlos Celdran took the risk of pushing for the passage of the reproductive health bill (now a law) right inside the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion in Intramuros, during a ritual considered in the Catholic religion as the highest form of adoration, he crossed a line. As a Catholic he claims to be, he is expected to believe a dogma of our faith that declares the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the actual renewal of the Sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus, at Calvary, highlighted by His Real Presence during the consecration.
By Solita Collas-Monsod
There definitely is a Pontius Pilate flavor in the Catholic Church’s stance on the conviction of Carlos Celdran, who was sentenced to a prison term of two months and 21 days to one year and 11 days for the crime of “offending the (sic) religious feelings” under Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code (circa 1930 or 1932, and to my admittedly limited knowledge, last applied in 1939).
By Raul C. Pangalangan
The debate about the protest by Carlos Celdran exposes fault lines in the way Filipinos think. The reactions have been most telling: Filipinos still love their churches and their courts, however much and often they had been let down in the past.
We condemn the court’s decision convicting Carlos Celdran of “offending religious feelings” and we support the fight for freedom of expression. The ruling against Celdran is clearly a repressive act and an assault on civil liberties and free speech.
The recent conviction of Carlos Celdran by the Metropolitan Trial Court for the crime of barging into a religious activity inside the Manila Cathedral has once again been distorted by Catholic-bashers as an issue against free speech and expression. Columnist Rina Jimenez-David’s question reeked with sarcasm: When religious sensibilities intersect with public speech and expression, where should the favor of the law fall (Inquirer, 1/30/13)? She deliberately chose to miss the real issue: The court convicted Celdran not for what he said but for what he did—which constituted a scandalous disruption of an ongoing religious activity inside a house of worship.
In reference to Rina Jimenez-David’s column, “The arrogance of ‘Damaso’” (Inquirer, 1/29/13), I agree with her statement that Celdran did not attack the Catholic Church itself or its clergy. Celdran has openly admitted that he was sorry for the method he used but not for the message he pushed. I for one believe that he may have taken the wrong method, but I can totally understand his sentiments. I believe that there should be a clear line between the Church and the State.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
The Celdran Case. Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code punishes “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.”
By Rina Jimenez-David
Contrary to general impression, the Archdiocese of Manila did not pursue the case against tour guide Carlos Celdran, an official statement said recently. Convicted by a Manila court for “offending religious feelings,” Celdran faces up to a year in prison for interrupting an ecumenical service at the Manila Cathedral. Garbed in a costume reminiscent of national hero Jose Rizal, Celdran strode up to the altar while holding up a placard with a single word, “Damaso,” on it. The protest was Celdran’s way of denouncing Church interference in politics, specifically the pending passage of the reproductive health bill which local bishops opposed vigorously.
Who should go to prison for speaking his mind? In the modern democratic project, the answer is clear: No one. The conviction of social activist Carlos Celdran for the obscure crime of “offending the religious feelings,” then, raises many questions. Is the Philippines a modern democracy? Is freedom of speech a living civic virtue? Are [...]
By Florin T. Hilbay
In September 2010, Carlos Celdran, outraged by the Church’s intervention in the debates over reproductive health rights, did the unthinkable. Sporting a dark suit a la Jose Rizal, he went to the Manila Cathedral where an assembly was then marking the anniversary of the “May They Be One” campaign and launching a project aimed at [...]
By Conrado de Quiros
Of course I share the sentiments of most of the Tweeters, which are shock and outrage. That is on the jail sentence of Carlos Celdran for standing in front of the altar of the Manila Cathedral during a Mass dressed like Jose Rizal, shouting, and waving a placard that said “Damaso!” A Manila court gave him two months to a year of jail for it.
By Oscar Franklin Tan
Carlos Celdran’s jail term is blatantly unconstitutional. For shouting, “You bishops, stop involving yourself in politics,” he was convicted of the circa-1930 crime “offending religious feelings.” The judge never explained how religious dogma, the key to the jail term, was offended. We must decry how a court of law was hijacked as a tool of political persecution under an archaic law.