Thursday, October 14, 2010


Carlos Celdran has become an instant celebrity for some weeks now. And if in case you’re not aware why, you must have been out of the planet. He disrupted the homily at a Mass celebrated at the Manila Cathedral, where no less than Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, was among the celebrants. He hurled up an improvised placard and at the top of his voice, shouted at the members of the clergy to “stop getting involved in politics.”

Upon his arrest, support for him has steadily been snowballing. Facebook accounts were set up in his honor and those who made their reactions publicly had generally only two things to say:

1. To free Carlos Celdran

2. To criticize the Catholic Church

Assessing the quantity and quality of the discourse, I was saddened by the great majority of those who have elevated Celdran to hero status for being brave enough to challenge the leaders of the Catholic Church.

In times like these, we don’t expect the members of the clergy and even the religious congregations to exclusively do the talking. They are very much identified with the Church,and for simple minded folks, it’s just that, the priests and religious are the church.

And so, I believe that the most effective stance against the passing of the RH bill is beyond us. We are against the present form of the reproductive health bill as it contradicts the very morals we hold and even if we try to sound objective and rational about it, people have made up their minds.

Amidst the clutter of comments, I found the insights of lay people most enlightening, if not comforting. These level-headed Catholics have been vigilant in taking up the cudgels in defending the stand of the CBCP against the passing of the RH bill and surprisingly, they seem to be well versed in the teachings of the Church. Some claim to have read Humanae Vitae, and they seem to have been enlightened with it.

My point is this.

We don’t only become evangelizers when we write our names with the initials SDB or when we are ordained for priesthood. Our ministry begins now. We have the privilege of meeting our students on a weekly basis. We have to give our best in catechizing them. This is especially true for public school students who may be receiving the last religious instruction in their lifetime.

The students we have at present, who have received the finest values and religious instruction, may not just become apologists in the future, but probably even more, saints.