Carlos Celdran imprisoned for challenging the power of the Catholic Church

Carlos Celdran is a celebrity Manila tour guide and a staunch advocate of the controversial Reproductive Health Bill, which the Catholic Church completely condemns. On September 30, 2010, Celdran was arrested for staging a protest during a mass at the Manila Cathedral.

This event made me review my thesis back in college which was about the ideological power of the Catholic Church as manifested in the EDSA People Power events. I used genealogy or Philippine church history to prove my problem statement that the Catholic Church is a potent social force effective in swaying the public to its volition.

History can attest to the powerful influence of the Catholic Church in Philippine society. In the olden days, it is said that the parish priest would whisper to the ear of a dying parishioner to have his properties donated to the church for a sure place in heaven.

In 1717, a friar-led revolt resulted to the murder of  Governor General Fernando Bustamante, which Felix Resurreccion-Hidalgo immortalized in a huge canvas that is now displayed at the National Gallery. Historians reported that Bustamante had enforced the law, pursued, arrested, and often violated the sanctuary offered by the Catholic Church to corrupt officials resulting to his excommunication.

In the 300 years of Spanish colonization of the Philippines, the church and the state walked hand-in-hand in running the country. The separation of Church and State was introduced during the Aguinaldo Government and became firm during the American period.

The 1986 and 2001 EDSA People Power revolt has catapulted the Catholic Church as a strong political force capable of bringing about social change. Church leaders have been criticized by many because of their involvement in a jurisdiction not belonging in their sphere –Politics.

We have disagreed with how our church leaders behaved and how they used their power in influencing politics. But we remain faithful and respectful to our religion and the sacredness of the Holy Mass. We go to church to pray and to have a moment with God. Celdran desecrated our place of worship and that is unacceptable. But Celdran has already apologized for the method he used to gain attention. We hope this will not happen again.

Our church leaders on the other hand, should take this event as a warning. The faithful has become critical and practical. They are no longer the indios that Padre Damaso can bully and threaten with eternal damnation.

Published in: on October 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The church is Pro-life. People really misinterpret the church. The church wanted the people to be responsible Filipinos and the church opposing the RH law doesn’t mean that the church wants us to be like rats multiplying. The church condemns the use of artificial birth controls because it destroys the dignity of our human nature. Artificial birth controls will make us sexually promiscuous and that’s what rats like. The church only reminds us that humans are different from other animals. We have reason and dignity that’s why we should use them in making wise decisions in family building _maintaining our self control NOT pills etc.

  2. Church is reacting now because RH Bill is a MORAL, not just a civil, issue. A HOT DEBATE is sure appropriate , but I just want to make it clear to many na nagsasabing “hayaan niyo na ang gobiyerno. magturo na lang kayo (Simbahan) ng kagandahang asal”…hello, values ang sisirain ng RH Bill…

    • There are more PRACTICAL and MORAL ways to progress, anyway..PNoy MUST know that…

    • the philippines is composed of muslims, non-catholic christians, agnostics, atheists, and a lot more others just to name a few; the catholic church should stop emposing its rules on a nation they are not fully in control of; the state’s responsibility is to provide solutions to problems of the entire nation not only to the catholic community; if the catholics thinks that such solution will be a threath to the catholic family values, then it is not the state’s failure; family values is the church’s responsibilities; a person’s failure to adhere to a church’s prescribed value, or a person’s immorality, should not be taken against the state. If there is one institution that should fix that problem of subjective immorality- it is the church; At least, with an encompassing solution, the state provides options for the whole nation that will surely solve a problem even up to the worst case of all scenarios, even with the lack of family values that the church should be fixing in the first place…

    • values are subjective; what may be right for you may not be right for a person; think of it this way- without the RH bill, there will be more unwanted pregnancy, and thus more abortion; without the RH bill, there will be more poverty, you will see more hungry children in the streets; do the catholic church want these? if the church is really secure with the values of its members, then an RH bill should not be a threath to them since all of their members will not mind it anyway (knowing that it is immoral to use contraceptives); informed choice is the key- if your members still use condoms after your homilies, then you (church) failed to instill your subjective values… do not point your finger to the state

      • Well said, I love it. Carlos Celdran? lol🙂

  3. More power to Celdran!

  4. totally agree that Celdran’s gimmick was disrespectful but the Catholic church should not stand in the way of the RH bill.


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