Monday, November 28, 2011

Parol ng Halina: Homegrown Advent Wreath

So, I heard from some wall post at KP about this "Parol ng Halina". Well, we found out that this is a Filipino version of the Advent Wreath which the Christians in the Western world use, including Catholics. Here's a repost from one of Kuya Caloy Palad's blogs which I'm following: 

And yeah.... I'm back for the side-comments. 


The "Parol ng Halina", a Filipino twist on the Advent wreath
The "Parol ng Halina" ("Lantern of Invitation") for every Sunday of Advent, with the parols for the 1st, 2nd and 4th Sundays colored purple or violet while the parol for the 3rd Sunday is rose or pink, that Sunday being Gaudete Sunday, when the liturgy of the Church assumes a restrained joy in anticipation of the exalted night of the Nativity [So that the whole structure becomes the wreath.... Cool enough]. The four parols are hung from the roof of the church, directly above the main aisle, with the newer parols being hung nearer to the altar (or to the place prepared for the creche). These could also be hung from different corners of the church. 

How is the series of parols concluded? In one variation, the fifth and final parol, which is white, is hung on Christmas Eve above the creche. In another variation, the white parol is made to slide from one end to the church, stopping right above the Nativity scene, before or during the Mass of Christmas Eve [I'd prefer the latter]

I don't know when the current five-parol custom started. It is basically a Filipino adaptation of the symbolism of the Advent wreath, and since the latter began to be popular in Catholic churches only in the 1950's and 1960's then the five-lantern combination couldn't be older than that. However, it was already observed in Sta. Teresita Parish (the headquarters of the Capuchin Franciscans in the Philippines) at Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City when I was a parishioner there in the 1990's [So the custom was existing for quite some time now]. Then and now, only a small minority of parishes observe this; the Advent wreath continues to be the dominant way of marking Advent inside Filipino churches [Because of Westernization(?)].

Furthermore, many Filipino parishes tend to use parols as mere Christmas decorations, without any discernible attempt to relate these to the liturgical cycles of Advent, the Simbang Gabi, and Christmas [In a way, this Parol ng Halina is uplifting the parol in the Filipino tradition of Advent and Christmas. That's nice].

However, already prior to Vatican II, during the Mass of Christmas Eve, many Filipino parishes observed the custom of having a white parol slide from one end of the church down towards the creche, stopping right above it, thus symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi to the Christ Child. (A related custom observed in some Filipino parishes or communities is that of having an altar server bear a large white or multi-colored parol at the head of the entrance procession for the Mass of Christmas Eve. I have no idea how old this custom is, either; alas, there is so little information on the history behind so many Filipino customs and traditions!) [Now that really means, this is quite old already!]

At the beginning of this month, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan gave a boost to the custom of "Parol ng Halina" by strongly endorsing it as an alternative to the Advent Wreath [A Filipino version could be another term]. His letter on this matter can be found on the website of his Archdiocese (Circular 2011/35: Alternative to the Advent Wreath) and he has provided a ritual for the blessing of the "Parol ng Halina" as well (Order for the Blessing of Parol ng Halina). 

As usual, some Philippine secular media outlets misreported the Archbishop's directive as a denunciation of the Advent Wreath as "Protestant", and as advocating that parish churches hang parols instead. The fact of the matter is that Filipino parishes need no prompting to hang parols, as these are ubiquitous in the Philippines in the days just before and after Christmas, and no parish ever goes without these. Furthermore, the Advent Wreath is truly Protestant in origin (German Lutheran to be exact) [Despite the veracity of the info, the media have called a wrong emphasis, then]. German-speaking Catholics began to adopt it only in the years before World War II and it began to spread to Catholics outside of German-speaking communities only in the post-World War II era. The Archbishop merely alluded to this origin, and explicitly stated that he had no intention or desire to ban the Advent Wreath from the parishes within his jurisdiction [much like the misinterpretation that the Novus Ordo takes the place of the TLM, which in reality, only exalts the TLM as the Extraordinary Form].

It should be noted, though, that the "Parol ng Halina", while an "alternative" to the Advent Wreath, is basically a variation upon the latter's usual American form (three purple candles and one rose or pink candle), and would be unintelligible to most Filipinos without the Advent Wreath as a point of reference [Of course, the faithful will be asking about it]

(Photo source: link


Well, why not? It's our homegrown Advent Wreath. Maybe next year, I'll be designing a DP with the parols taking the place of the candles, aside from starting the use of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal in English.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Actually, I have missed out Atty. Mars' series in refuting Armando Ang in his book "The Dark Side of Catholicism". To those who want to see the whole series of Atty. Mars' defense to the Blessed Virgin Mary, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, this is Part 6 of his refutation:


Marwil N. Llasos, O.P.

Anti-Marian Armando Ang begrudges the honor given by Catholics to their Blessed Mother. Ang deplores that “[a]s people become more enlightened, the cult of Mary seems to grow instead of fade away.”[1] Given his warped sense of thinking, And sees a problem where there is none. Of course, the cult (which we mean honor) of the Blessed Virgin Mary grows. Ang himself gives the reason: because “people become more enlightened.”

The light of the Holy Spirit: "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (Jn. 16:13)

From where (or from whom) does this enlightenment come from? From God Himself – and no one else as Sacred Scripture clearly teaches: “The eyes of your understanding being elightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” Psalm 28:28 likewise states,“For thou wilt light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”

Scripturally, enlightenment comes from God. And since as Ang says people become more enlightened, we know that is God who enlightens them. And it is because of the enlightenment that comes from God that the cult of Mary grows and it will not fade away because “the memory of the just is blessed but the name of the wicked shall rot” (Prov. 10:7). Mary’s memory shall remain blessed; it will be Armando Ang’s name that shall rot in infamy. And while we are being enlightened by God, Armando Ang stays in darkness because he who does evil hates the light.

Mary and the Holy Spirit

As we have already noted, Armando Ang is fond of generalization without substantiation. A clumsy writer, Ang claims that “Popes and theologians have written books and conferred on more superlative attributes than anyone on earth.”[2] But one looks in vain for Ang’s proof for that statement. The author of The Dark Side of Catholicism does not show any statistics to back up his claim. He aggravates the situation by also claiming that “[m]ystics have given her a new life to her where there was none.”[3] Does Ang bother to name who these mystics are and how they have given Mary a new life? Ang simply takes it for granted.

Without having proven anything yet, Armando Ang moves in for the kill: “From a simple woman chosen to be the mother of the Incarnate, she became a goddess with unprecedented power soon to eclipse that of her Son.”[4] Here I must cry foul!

Armando Ang denigrates Jesus' mother by regarding her merely as a simple woman contrary to what the Bible calls her as "highly favored" and "most blessed among women"

Mary was no simple woman. The Bible does not picture her that way. To regard Mary as a “simple woman” is to be not in keeping with what Sacred Scripture says about her. If Ang bothers to check what Sacred Scripture says about Jesus’ mother before he trains his guns on her, he would have easily ascertained that she is “highly favoured”(Lk. 1:28, KJV) and “most blessed among women” (Lk. 1:42, KJV). To call Mary as a “simple woman” is not being true to God’s Word in the Bible. Here it is once again demonstrated that Ang’s denigration of Mary is anti-Scriptural. Protestants, Evangelicals and all those who consider themselves “Bible Christians” have yet another reason to reject Armando Ang as their mouthpiece.

Mary, the mother of Jesus and our mother 

Evangelical writer John MacArthur says this of Mary, the mother of Jesus:

“Of all the extraordinary mothers in Scripture, one stands out above all others as the most blessed, most highly favored by God, and most universally admired women. Indeed, no woman is more truly remarkable than Mary. She was the one sovereignly chosen by God – from among all the women who have ever been born – to be the singular instrument through which He would at last bring the Messiah into the world.”[5]

The Extraordinary Mother by Jon MacArthur

Armando Ang mentions “mother of the Incarnate.”[6] Incarnate what? Why doesn’t Armando Ang say “mother of the Word Incarnate” or “mother of God Incarnate”? Is it perhaps because he would have to admit that Mary is the “Mother of God”? Ang can never get more clumsy.

Finally, Ang contends that Mary “has become a goddess with unprecedented power soon to eclipse her Son.”  Really? What is his proof? As a Catholic Mariologist, I know for a fact that the Church has never and will never ever teach that Mary is a goddess because that would mockery of the Incarnation; hence, of our salvation. Mary is a human being and will always remain so because she is the guarantor of the full humanity of her Divine Son. In the history the Church, it is established that the Catholic Church has consistently and relentlessly fought any attempt to make Mary a goddess. St. Epiphanius of Salamis fought the heresy of the Collyridians who worshipped Mary as a deity.  In his Panarioin, St. Epiphanius wrote: “According to her nature, Mary remains human and feminine. Hence, like other saints, she is unsuited for adoration, though as an elect vessel, she is glorified in a higher degree than others. In like manner, neither Elijah … nor John the Baptist … nor Thecla may be adored.”[7]

Armando Ang pierces Mary's heart by his lies and insults

On a personal note, readers of my blog will know that I have crossed swords with local heretical cults that make Mary a goddess – as some sort of an “incarnation” of the “divine feminine.” I opposed and resisted these cults with much intensity in their inane and blasphemous attempt to make Mary an additional member of the Trinity or as a quadrinity. I ran a series of articles in this blog onMary is God Heresy.[8]

Along with the Church, I have personally waged war against the new-fangled doctrines of the New Age Movement who teach that Mary is the “divine feminine” or “mother goddess.” The Church condemns this movement that seeks to deify almost anything and everything as heretical and blasphemous.[9] The Catholic Church consistently holds and teaches that despite the many glories and privileges of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she remains to be human, a creature, and never divine. Hence, Armando Ang’s accusation holds no water.

Mary, the woman clothed with the Son

Armando Ang also alleges that Mary’s “unprecedented power”soon “eclipse[d] that of her Son.”[10] As usual, Ang does not provide the basis for his allegation. At any rate, there is nothing in Catholic doctrine and devotion that justifies Ang’s unsubstantiated claim. Catholic Marian piety views Mary as the “moon” which derives all her light and beauty from the “sun” who is Christ. Far from eclipsing the sun, Mary is the “woman clothed with the sun” (cf. Rev. 12:1). All true Marian devotion does not end with Mary but leads to her Son as Mary herself would have it: “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn. 2:5).

Armando Ang makes another claim: “Millions of men and women including popes and theologians extolled her with virtues and miracles unheard of.”[11] Where does Ang get his statistics? Again, he’s mum on it. The implication, however, is clear: only Catholics extol Mary’s virtues. Catholics do extol Mary’s virtues[12] – and these virtues, contrary to Ang’s claim, are not “unheard of.” The virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary are expressed right there in the Bible! Mary’s faith, hope, charity, humility, kindness, generosity, etc. are all mentioned in Scripture. For Ang to consider these as “unheard of” simply shows that he is not reading his Bible.

Mary's soul magnifies the Lord

We extol the virtues of Mary and of the saints. We do this because we want to imitate their virtues. And to imitate the virtues of the saints is a Biblical imperative. In the Letter to the Hebrews we are told:

“God would not be so unjust to forget all you have done, the love that you have for His name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same earnestness to end, to the perfect fulfillment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:10-12, NJB).

Mary, embodiment of the "virtuous woman": "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies"  (Prov. 31:10)

Similarly, we venerate the prophets as the saints of the Old Testament and extol their virtues so that we can imitate them. These holy people of God are held up by the Church, like Mary, for our example and remembrance as the apostle James instructed us:

“For your example, brothers, in submitting with patience; take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord; remember it those who had the endurance that we say are the blessed ones” (James 5:10, NJB).

So, Catholics, in extolling (and imitating) the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints are doing the Biblical thing. Armando Ang does not.

To Martin Luther Mary is more than an empress or a queen

Armando Ang seems to suggest, only Catholics are extolling the virtues of Mary. He could never be more wrong. Let him listen to Martin Luther:

“She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must … have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for St. John the Baptist, like a servant girl. What humility! It would surely have been more just to have arranged for her a golden coach, pulled by 4,000 horses, and to cry and proclaim as the carriage proceeded: ‘Here passes the woman who is raised far above all women, indeed above the whole human race.”[13]

“She was not filled with pride by this praise … this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! Thou art more than an empress or a queen … blessed above all nobility, wisdom, or saintliness!”[14]

Reformed theologian and successor of Ulrich Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger would rebuke Armando Ang saying, "to reject Mary is to be an enemy of Christ"

Ulrich Zwingli’s successor, Heinrich Bullinger, preached hisSermon on Mary defending her perpetual virginity and offered these words of praise: “In Mary, then, everything is extraordinary and even more majestic, because it has sprung from the purest faith and burning love for God.”[15] Bullinger would rebuke Armando Ang: “to reject Mary is to be an enemy of Christ.”[16]

Armando Ang's father the devil (cf. Jn. 8:44)

[1] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) p. 1.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5]John MacArthur, The Extraordinary Mother (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007) p. 98.
[6] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) p. 1.
[7] Ibid., 79:5.
[9] Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Primer on the New Age (Quezon City: Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc., 2004).
[10] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) p. 1. 
[11] Ibid.
[12] Virtues should of course be extolled! Why, does Armando Ang want us to extol sin? I wonder if he’d say that. 
[13] Jaroslav Pelikan, ed., Luther’s Works (St. Louis: Concordia)  36:208.
[14] Ibid., 45:107.
[15] Heinrich Bullenger, “Die Marienpredigt,” in Walter Tappolet,Das Marienlob Der Reformatoren (Tubingen: Katzmann, 1962) pp. 274-302, quotation at 290.
[16] Mary for Evangelicals (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2006) p. 218.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Youth: The Transition Blog Post

This would be the last day this blog would be called "Media, Society, and God". Tomorrow, it will have a new name, and I hope a new format would be expected here. But before I bid goodbye to the old title, here's what I can say on the recently-concluded National Youth Day, and also a reflection on it.

My Youth: The Final Post as Media, Society, and God

Being young is, traditionally, being underestimated or inexperienced by most of your older peers, and even by your own age bracket. I feel this. All of the time.

Ever since I failed to become an honor student, teachers and fellow students never expected something out of me other than graduating High School. In college, it’s the same thing, but I felt that it was already jaded too much that I said to myself “Nah. A lot of people happened to be in the position I am in, so why should I worry too much?”

But there was a significant change in my life.

Joining the two most practical organizations in UST isn’t just actually mere choice of org or what; I initially based myself on what will I learn from them, and eventually, how I would face the world with all that I have. 

I admit: I’m an attention-hungry person.

But it all changed when I realized “Why should I grab the attention of others than being you? Why should I even care about it?”

Until I realized there’s a lot of things I can excel, maybe not in academics, though I should keep it top priority, and I could master it little by little. I found about Katolikong Pinoy, and I became active ever since.

But the inferiority complex remains, being the youngest of its five active Administrators. And with a background in media, since I’m a Communication Arts student, I feel that they’re expecting me to be more than just a Facebook admin, which a lot of people are taking for granted. Besides, some pages on Facebook are just nonsense.

Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is that I feel blessed that I covered the final event of National Youth Day for an episode on our YouTube program “TSEKPoint”, currently on post-production. Being one of the admins is one great task. I thought most of our core members are available on that day; it turns out, only me and my fellow admin, Kuya Ryan Rayos, were there—the latter as part of the documentation staff on one of the festival sites on the recently concluded event, making me, technically, representing KP. There were also some friends whom I happened to meet at the Cuneta Astrodome: Kuya Mark Vertido, one of KP’s former admins who now works on the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth; and Paolo Cobangbang, O.P. from the Rosarian Youth Movement, the youth arm of the Company of St. Dominic in which I long to become part of.

I brought with me the Philippine flag which became the rally point of our members on that Pro-Life rally last March 25, expecting that some of them would come and join in the celebration. But the opposite happened. Actually, one of our fellow members tried to come, but he’s from Bulacan, so he told me he can’t make it, and I understood why.

Being alone out there was actually scary. Good thing I noticed Brother Paolo during the Mass before the event, especially in Communion where he kneeled in front of a priest in order to receive the Body of Christ. After the Mass, the areas near the delegates were opened for the non-delegates to buy food. I was one of those who took the opportunity to get in and interact with the delegates, as well as rendezvousing with Kuya Ryan and Kuya Mark. One of the people in the ECY, Ate Nirva, asked me “Papaano ka nakapasok dito?” taking into consideration that non-delegates are hands-off in the area where the stage is realistic, if you know what I mean. I answered her, “Ewan ko nga po eh! I found the gates open and hindi naman po ako nasita ng mga taga-security.” She replied: “You are meant to be here!”

Well, I was shocked when I heard it, since I never showed up in ECY’s prep and planning—actually, only once—due to my ma-trabahong subjects, as well as my other duties as an organization officer, a student, an admin of a more-than-125,000-likes-strong Facebook page, and as a son. The night went well for me though the setbacks. And besides, it does not matter. I can still catch up with the next NYD in Visayas, wishful thinking that I can finance my trip there. I’m still considered young until I reach 30. My mom told me “Bata ka pa. Marami ka pang opportunities para maging involved.” And I guess she was right all along. But I’m never too young to do extraordinary things out of ordinary circumstances.

This leads me to the last line of the chorus of NYD’s theme song this year: “We are never too young to come as one. We can make a stand!” For the record, I am one of the youngest affiliates in Filipinos for Life, a pro-life group behind the Facebook page “I Oppose the RH Bill”, aside from being the youngest KP Admin. I’m even invited to be part of the Manila South core group of Defensores Fidei Foundation, a non-profit apologetics organization in which my apologist idols, Fr. Abe Arganiosa and Atty. Marwil Llasos, O.P., are part of.

Too many expectations. Too many opportunities. I cannot turn them down, but since I’m still a college student, the best thing that I can consider is to postpone their offers if and when it will still be available in the near future. I’m still young. I should be making the most out of my youth without compromising my duties and interests, because, as they say: “minsan lang maging bata”.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


by Atty. Marwil Llasos, O.P.


Marwil N. Llasos, O.P.
ARMANDO ANG opens his anti-Catholic book “The Dark Side of Catholicism” with a letter to his “friends in Christ” – his intended readers, i.e., Catholics. With a seeming friendly gesture, Ang started by begging the “indulgence of all Catholics who feel offended by the title or its content.”[1]
The Dark Side of Catholicism: Armando Ang's anti-Catholic bestseller
What else is new? The allegations, attacks and accusations of Armando Ang are nothing new. Ang simply lifted from anti-Catholic polemicists and repackaged them with additional lies and absurd conclusions. What is more appalling in Ang’s version of anti-Catholicism is that it is laden with sheer ignorance and plain hypocrisy. In the succeeding articles, I will debunk Ang point by point, especially the first two chapters of his book which viciously attack Catholic teachings on the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Armando Ang justifies the title of his book that it “seems appropriate because very few know the dark side of their Church history to arrive at an informed decision.”[2] But what is Ang’s basis in concluding thusly? Does he have any statistics showing how “few” are these Catholics who do not know the “dark side” of their Church history? None. In short, Ang’s claims are utterly baseless and founded purely on guesswork.
Catholics are free to consult the history of their Church from readily available sources. Scholarly sources like The New Catholic Encyclopedia are available on-line (see: Books, publications and journals on the history of the Church are extant. Catholics can read for themselves the history of the Church straight from primary sources.
Armando Ang says that it “is incumbent on every believer to know the truth and the truth shall make us free”[3] (citing Jn. 8:32). I fully concur with Ang in this regard. However, it seems that truth is the farthest consideration of Armando Ang in writing his magnum opus The Dark Side of Catholicism. The book is not concerned with the truth at all. It is replete with falsehood from cover to cover. To look for error in Ang’s book is like looking for sand on the beach.
Most of Armando Ang’s references cannot be verified. Ang heavily relies on anti-Catholic sources. He seldom, if at all, allows the Catholic Church to speak for itself. If ever Ang quotes a Church document, he does so by taking it out of context or twists its meaning and interprets it with prejudiced anti-Catholic mindset. In the succeeding articles, I will document how Armando Ang stifles the truth, covers it up and substitutes it with downright lies.
When Ang claims that he is after the truth, well, he does not walk the talk.
Armando Ang packages himself as a Bible Christian. But nothing can be farther from the truth. For instance, Ang holds that “[i]n seeking the truth there is no substitute for reading the Bible.”[4] This statement definitely lumps Ang with the Reformation “sola-scriptura”promoters. However, gauged against this man-made sola scripturabelief, Armando Ang would not be able to cite a single verse that says precisely “in seeking the truth there is no substitute for reading the Bible.”
Another scriptural blunder that Armando Ang makes is his statement that “[t]he Bible is the foundation of Christianity and it alone holds everything necessary for salvation”[5] – a teaching nowhere claimed by Scripture. Noteworthy is the fact that Ang does not even bother to support his statement with verses from the Bible.
Truth to tell, the Bible never says that “the Bible is the foundation of Christianity.” That is an Ang-made dogma not supported by a single shred of scripture. Ang’s statement would seem that Christianity originates from the Bible and not the other way around. I wonder what happened to Ang’s history. What Armando Ang conveniently forgets is that the Church already existed long before there was a complete Bible!

To repeat, Ang’s teaching that “the Bible is the foundation of Christianity” is unscriptural and anti-Biblical. Nowhere in Sacred Scripture can we find that assertion. If Ang made his homework on the Bible, he would have easily ascertained that the word “foundation” is never - ever – applied to the Bible. To whom (or what) does the Bible apply the word “foundation”? First, of course, is Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:11 that “For other foundationcan no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”[6] How dare Armando Ang rob Christ of that honor!
The Lord Jesus Christ founded His Church on the rock that is Peter: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18).
The Lord Jesus Christ gives the keys to the apostle Peter
And to what else does the Bible ascribe the word “foundation”? To the apostles and prophets as categorically stated in Ephesians 2:20: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles andprophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”
Finally, Armando Ang must have also forgotten that the Bible itself calls the Church as “foundation.” According to the apostle Paul,if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15, NIV).
The Church: The Pillar and Foundation of Truth (1 Tim. 3:15)
Let me ask Armando Ang anew: where in the Bible does it say that the Bible is the foundation of Christianity? Chapter and verse, please, Mr. Ang.
If Armando Ang cannot give me a verse, then he is guilty as charged for teaching an un-biblical doctrine. What credibility does Ang still have to preach about the Bible when his teaching has been demonstrated to be anti-Biblical?
Armando Ang lies through his teeth when he says that“[n]othing in the book [The Dark Side of Catholicism] is written against the Catholics.”[7] If Ang’s book is not written against Catholics, then against whom? Muslims? Buddhists? Mormons? Atheists? Protestants? Baptists? Evangelicals?
What do you take us for, Mr. Ang? Your book is written againstus Catholics – and no other. What makes it even more offensive to us is that it caricatures us and attacks the caricature it makes of us. Armando Ang passes off the caricature as though it is one and the same with the Catholic Church. Anent this, the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen is apropos –
The Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen
There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church – which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues;” because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God;” because they “say indulgence is a permission to commit sin;” because the Pope “is a Fascist;” because the Church “is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things, it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.”[8]
Armando Ang pathetically claims that his book “is meant to enlighten them.”[9] No, Mr. Ang, your book is meant to deceive Catholics, especially the unwary. The Dark Side of Catholicism is nothing but a pack of brazen lies, heaped with fabrications and laced with innuendoes, speculations and accusations that are expertly woven so as to appear factual and veracious. And for how much do you sell your book?
A frustrated historian, Armando Ang unabashedly claims that “[u]nder the present circumstances, there is a shortage of reading materials regarding the evolution of the Catholic Church that each Catholic should know.”[10] What is Ang’s basis in saying so? None, as he does not even cite a single shred of evidence to prove it. Given his limited bibliography, Ang is unaware of the cornucopia of materials on Church History starting from St. Luke’s The Acts of Apostles, down to Eusebius’ Church History and so on to modern authors and historians, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The Internet provides a limitless resource for Church History that is readily available to anyone. If there’s anyone who is ignorant about Church history, it is Armando Ang.
Armando Ang self-righteously claims that he “would be remiss as a Christian to keep the truth away from the faithful.”[11] The reality is that Ang does not only keep the truth away from the faithful; he distorts it. He is thus not only remiss; he is culpable. Thus, for Ang to use James 4:17[12] as a pretext for his falsehood is an abominable sacrilege – a gross abuse of God’s holy word.
"The Spirit of Truth ... will guide you into all the truth" (Jn. 16:13)
Armando Ang likewise asserts that there “are many teachings of early Catholic Church that have been contaminated by new doctrines that serve no salvation value.” But such an assertion can easily be made.What precisely are these teachings of the early Catholic Church that have been contaminated by new doctrines? Ang does not say. How were these teachings contaminated by new doctrines? Ang keeps us guessing. And what are these new doctrines that serve no salvation value? Ang does not point them our. Bottomlineyou have to buy his book. What an effective sales pitch! I feel sorry for those who will buy and be deceived by Ang’s book.
Armando Ang states that the purpose of his book is to separate the truth from the myth. Well, he seems to have succeeded in doing so. He keeps the truth away and retains the myth against Catholicism and passes it off as Gospel truth – and sells it to the public. Ang’s book is a masterpiece of distortion of truth; a magnum opus of bearing false witness against one’s Catholic neighbor.
Jesus Christ remains with His Mystical Body, the Church
Armando Ang avers that the Church has enough saving grace to save Catholics.[13] But the appropriate statement is, the Church has the plenitude of grace from Christ Our Lord to save Catholics. It, too, has the fullness of truth – whether Armando Ang realizes or not. The Church has the promise from Christ that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mt. 16:18). All hell and Armando Ang may try everything in their venal power to destroy the Church but they will never succeed. Jesus Christ promised us that that He will be with us always until the end of time (Mt. 28:20).
Hell and its cohorts attacking the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Finally, Armando Ang claims that his own children are devoted Catholics and ne has never tried to convince them to join another Church.[14] I have no way of verifying the veracity of this claim. But it is certain that Armando Ang does not have credibility even to his children. Otherwise, Ang’s children will join him in his new-found church if they see the quality of their father’s witness. Obviously, they don’t. And here is where Ang’s hypocrisy and inconsistency are painted in bold relief. Earlier he claimed that he would be remiss as a Christian to keep the truth away from the faithful and furthermore said that it is a sin not to do what you know is the right thing to do.[15] If Ang really believes that his devoted Catholic children are on the way to perdition because of their religion, why doesn’t he, as a good father, do the right thing to do to persuade his children by precept and example to leave the Catholic Church? Only Armando Ang can tell.

[1] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) flyleaf (the first page after the cover).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture citations are from the King James Version, Protestant translation of the Bible, which is the favorite translation of Armando Ang.
[7] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) flyleaf.
[8] Fulton Sheen, What is the Catholic Church, available at:
[9] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) flyleaf.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
[13] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) flyleaf.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.


Heads' Up!