Friday, October 1, 2010

Carlos Celdran: Dauntless or Dimwitted?

My Christian Ethics professor at UST told our class that there are times that freedom, though a right, is misused and abused. Carlos Celdran's case is a blatant and current example.

The drama unfold at the second anniversary of the "May They Be One" Campaign of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Bible Apostolate and some Protestant denominations in the country. Celdran, a tour guide who, under the mocking guise of the execution dress of Jose Rizal, protested inside the See of Manila in what he called "interference of the Church in politics" which goes against the separation of the Church and the State, disturbed the solemnity of the Eucharistic celebration by showing a placard with the name "Damaso"--remembering the character of Rizal's novel "Noli me Tangere"--which is pointed to the bishops and priests: among them, Cardinal Rosales, Metropolitan of Manila and Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, Apostilic Nuncio to the Philippines.

Two points clearly manifest in this conflict:

1. The barbaric approach of persons who blatantly oppose a controversial issue; and
2. The wrong portrayal that leads to misinterpretation.

Celdran, probably an Atheist or Agnostic, had no idea (or did not care if he had an idea?) that a place of worship is not an agora--in this case, the Cathedral is being kept from secular conflicts. As a civilized person, I would not let myself be THAT desperate just to be seen on TV and on the Internet. I should say that what Celdran manifested was barbaric behavior; one of my closest professors told me through chat that good manners is universal, even if you object religion and spiritual thought. This is what Celdran lacked.

For Filipinos, Rizal is a man of calmness and does not get arrogant easily. The perversion Celdran showed only certifies his ethical lunacy; not only because of the above-mentioned point, but also in what he wore. Rizal NEVER made an in-the-face protest against some of the friars, though he sarcastically spoke and made literature condemning their secularism; and Rizal died a Catholic--repenting and retracting EVERYTHING he said and wrote against the Church or its clergy. With what Celdran wanted to tell everyone present with his three-pieced dress, there is somehow a contradiction.

Well, if you ask me, what Celdran did was insane; not because I am Catholic, but because what he did was unethical: an abuse of the freedom to express. In short, he did not placed his protests at the right place and at the right time; if he had done it, he wouldn't have been jailed.

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