‘The Exorcist’: No to Lenten ‘Crucifix-Show,’ Self-Torture

Posted on Mar 28 , 2015 in Archdiocese of Manila News

Manila’s chief exorcist has raised doubts about the orthodoxy of some popular Lenten rituals like crucifixion, flagellation, and other physical penances which he believes already approximate self-torture and violent exhibitionism.
In a recent interview on the Catholic apologetics-catechesis show “Know The Truth,” Fr. José Francisco “Jocis” C. Syquía, head of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Office of Exorcism, dismissed such folk practices as “extreme” and “exaggerated.”
“Never crucifixion!” he exclaimed, referring to a Lenten custom penitents, mostly males, in San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga, as well as in Kapitangan, Paombong, Bulacan observe each Good Friday during which they have themselves flogged and crucified in “imitation of Christ.”
Wrong Motives
While he granted there are forms of mortifications the Church accepts, the priest stressed never does she teaches nor approves of those motivated by the wrong reasons, especially when performed in public.
“Many do this as a way to expiate their sins for the whole year, so that they can sin again the next,” Syquía told Know The Truth host Marwil N. Llasos.
According to him, this disposition is borderline “pagan”, given that the intention is not because the people doing these things sincerely want to repent and change their lives for good, but only to validate the sins they have previously committed.
“Focus on people who really seek conversion. Their energy must be spent on striving to amend their ways, instead of on exposing themselves to the eyes of all,” he said.
“The important thing is to check the disposition,” he added, underlining the need for constant re-evangelization.
Syquía stated conversion is not a one-day thing.
Courage to be unknown
Moreover, the priest pointed out saints never crave attention for themselves, let alone desire to be a public spectacle.
“Men and women of unquestionable holiness always do mortification in a hidden manner,” he explained.
Lord alone
“They cringe at the idea of others seeing them do mortification, that’s why they only do so always in secret. They prefer the Lord alone to know what they do,” he added.
Syquía said those who make a show of their penance, automatically forfeit their Divine reward.
Holy Week special
Interested parties may watch the full interview on Know The Truth’s Holy Week special starting Monday until Saturday, 6:30 a.m., 3 p.m., and 11 p.m., on TV María. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

Vatican to PH Faithful: No Banners of Pope Please

Posted on Jan 13 , 2015 in Archdiocese of Manila News

Vatican to PH Faithful: No Banners of Pope Please
To welcome the Holy Father, raise up banners with the faces of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and the saints instead.
This was what Vatican officials told the Archdiocese of Palo in a set of instructions for Pope Francis’ motorcade set on Jan. 17 in the province.
According to Fr. Amadeo Alvero, head of the information and social communications committee of the Papal Visit to the Archdiocese of Palo, the faithful should bear instead tarpaulins with the images of Jesus, parishes’ patron saints or that of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Vatican’s suggestion is perceived as a sign of the Pope’s personal disposition of humility and submissiveness to Christ from whom his official title stems.
Engr. Dalmacio Grafil, a member of the Papal Visit local information committee member and publisher of Leyte Samar Daily Express, said the Vatican, however, will allow greetings in text form mentioning the pastoral visit’s theme “Mercy and Compassion” and images of Jesus, Mary or the parish patron saint.
Palo Archbishop John Du encouraged all the families who are survivors of typhoon Yolanda to join in welcoming the Pope, the papal Mass, and the motorcade, optimistic that this once in a lifetime experience will be an experience of “healing and hope.”
“This is a rare opportunity to experience the mercy and compassion of God through the apostolic mission of the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Pope,” he stressed.
Du particularly called on the faithful to carry banners that that say: “God is merciful and compassionate”.
The Holy Father will be spending an entire day in Tacloban and Palo, Leyte on Jan. 17. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCPNews)

Vatican Urges PH to Minimize Papal Visit Spending

Posted on Nov 22 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

Vatican Urges PH to Minimize Papal Visit Spending

The Vatican urged the Philippines to minimize papal visit expenditures and devote more resources to help victims of recent calamities. Speaking at a press briefing Thursday, papal visit media relations sub-committee chair Fr. Anton Pascual said the Vatican wants a simple papal visit to create savings for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda and other disasters.

That is the primary purpose of his visit,” Pascual said in Filipino.“The call of the Vatican that this visit not be costly is important because the desire of the Holy Father is that donations be given instead to the victims of calamities.

Pope Francis earlier said he wants his visit to the Philippines on January 15 to 19 next year to be “pastoral and simple.”


Netizens Wage Online War vs. Bench Show

Posted on Sep 24 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

Netizens Wage Online War vs. Bench Show

“Pornographic”, “dehumanizing”, “cheap” and “misogynistic”. This is what a lot of Filipino netizens, most of them women, are calling local clothing brand Bench’s recent “The Naked Truth” fashion show.

Alaina Lenox Becroft stresses, “Fashion isn’t porn. You dont know the real meaning of fashion. Fashion isn’t stripping … Fashion isn’t immorality.”



‘Sexual objects’

Several netizens like Anne-Di Victorino Berdin questioned the motive behind a particular segment where two female models kissed each other onstage.

Berdin explained, “…Female models were seen making out to titillate men were a reflection of how misogynistic our society is…We objectify women to satisfy the male gaze which creates an imbalance between the two genders…It’s not about being conservative or prude. It’s about calling out an act which ‘commodify’ women and treat them as sexual objects so it won’t be repeated again.”


CBCP President on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted on Aug 28 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

CBCP President on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

THE ‘ice-bucket challenge’ seems to be the most recent rave with national personalities joining in. Throughout the world, and now, even in the Philippines, people recognize the nobility of the cause: research on the dreaded Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Act of Compassion not a Fad

Mitch Albom poignantly chronicled the deterioration of one stricken with the disease in his very popular book “Tuesdays with Morrie”. Those from older generations may recall how Lou Gehrig bade the world of baseball — and the world — a moving farewell after having been diagnosed with the disease. It is therefore disturbing, to say the least, that some have trivialized the ‘ice-bucket challenge’ by making of the act of dousing oneself with iced water a fad, rather than a gesture of solidarity with all who suffer from the disease and with those who do research on its alleviation.