SOURCE: THE KNIGHT OF MARY - In today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer (October 5, 2010), columnist Conrado de Quiros lauded protester Carlos Celdran’s act of desecrating Manila Cathedral and disrupting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as “brilliant.” De Quiros went on to “canonize” Celdran for having “done this country the not inconsiderable service of drawing its attention to the real problem, which is not just reproductive health but the health of the country itself.”
The issue is no longer about reproductive health but the proper limit of protest and dissent. To De Quiros, it is alright to violate the law as long as you are able to dramatize your protest against the Church and its prelate. It is perfectly justifiable for you to disrupt the liturgical services of a religion and bring your protest inside the confines of its sacred temple as long as that religion is the Catholic Church.
Journalists, like De Quiros, are known to be jealous of their rights. But when it comes to the Catholic Church’s right not to be molested or disrupted in its religious services, De Quiros would hear none of that. This is hypocrisy and double standard in the highest order.
To follow de Quiroz’ logic to the extreme, the terrorists who attacked the Twin Tower on September 11, 2001 were justified in doing so. Those terrorists were exercising their freedom of expression anyway. Like Celdran, they wanted to effectively send their message across. To be consistent, De Quiroz should praise those terrorists to high heavens for jolting the US to its senses.
It is clear that to De Quiroz, the end justifies the means. He sanctions taking the law into your own hands. He approves of lawlessness and commission of a crime as long as it is directed to “unaccountable” prelates.
Another columnist who lambasts the Church and its leaders at every opportunity is Rina Jimenez David. For David, “the arrest and incarceration of Celdran speaks of the lingering vestiges of Church power and influence in this country.” David forgot that Celdran violated the law and he was arrested by elements of the police in flagrante delicto. Celdran committed a crime, plain and simple, for which her was arrested and detained. The “lingering vestiges of power and influence” of the Church has nothing to do with it. By deploring the arrest and incarceration of Celdran, David clearly wants impunity for the criminal acts of her pro-RH Bill champion. She condones violation of the law as long as it is directed against the Catholic Church.
It is obvious by now that we can express our opinion, dissent and protest, even lawlessly, as long as our position agrees with the views of opinionated newspaper columnists like Conrado De Quiros and Karina Jimenez-David. If we do so, we would be reaping commendations from these columnists. But if the Catholic Church and Catholics loyal to the Church’s magisterium voice their opposition to birth control, they will be branded as ignorant and superstitious who abysmally fail to read the “signs” of the times. De Quiroz and David would want us to keep our mouth shut because we are infringing on the separation of Church and State.
Freedom in this country is only for those who approve of RH Bill. Crime is condoned so long as you protest against the Catholic Church. This is now what the rule of law means.
-Atty. Marwil N. Llasos