Carlos Celdran, sort of a hero but also not

Tour guide and reproductive rights advocate Carlos Celdran was arrested today for interrupting a homily at the Manila Cathedral by supposedly shouting “bakit mahihirap lang pinagbabawalan sa family planning (How come only the poor are prohibited from doing family planning or similar)?”

Supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill,which has been languishing in Congress,and of reproductive rights in general have been praising him for the ballsy move against what many see as a new frailocracy (or the same old theocracy).

Mr. Celdran’s stunt was ballsy indeed and deserves praise. But only on sheer ballsiness.

As a way to open up dialogue with the Catholic Church, and to spread his advocacy, not so much.

That he is in jail, and reportedly charged with an ancient law on offending the religious beliefs, is unfortunate and probably a little silly. But what he did was pretty offensive in a country of secretly-lapsed Catholics (this writer included).

Sure, what he did probably falls under freedom of expression but there is no excuse for barging into a church and interrupting what many people consider a sacred ceremony.

Sort of less of a bad guy

The Catholic Church, for all its faults, is an institution that still means something in this country and his stunt may have done more damage than aid to getting contraceptive use accepted in this country where people still believe children are a gift from God. (They are, but they don’t appear magically.)

Now all the priests need to do is point at him as an example of how people who want the right to determine how many children they’ll have hate God. To be fair, there is no evidence that Mr. Celdran does hate God, but religion sort of requires you to believe without seeing, etc, so.

If the objective was to show how illogical the Church stand on reproductive rights is by showing how reasonable the RH crowd is in contrast, then Mr. Celdran failed miserably.

If the idea was to drum up support for the RH Bill, then it may have alienated more than it brought into the Pro-RH fold. Right now, there are more than a thousand praising him and pushing the passage of the RH Bill.

Thousands, who, even if Mr. Celdran did not interrupt a Catholic mass with his slogans, would probably have pushed for the passage of the RH Bill and gone ahead and gotten their contraceptives at the pharmacy as they always have (this writer included).

But how many thousands will fail to see that birth control just makes sense and instead focus on the sort-of-justified act of one man who interrupted Friday mass?

Mr.Celdran should not go to jail for expressing his beliefs, even if he did so in a manner that was pretty offensive even for incredibly liberal websites like Indolent Indio (we make dick jokes and everything).

What the Church can do is interrupt pro-RH rallies and fora by doing lightning masses and interrupting them by performing random sacraments unannounced. It seems only fair.

(There’s more: Protestant leaders were also at the mass. It was a joint ecumenical service for a project to give Bibles to the poor. I’m surprised he didn’t slap a few children around to show how mistreated and miserable unplanned babies are.)

41 Comments

  1. Celdran was wrong in his manner of protest. He should have done it OUTSIDE not INSIDE like what I did before. Just the same my ass was hauled to the precinct just by asky “what happened to our prayers for the past 480 years”?

    They had checked my mental state.

    In America, they sue, protest and never spend a minute in jail.

    Philippines is Catholic Afghanistan!!!!!

  2. How dare these Catholic Talibans. I supply them women from my House of Pleasures.

    Guys, do you know that Prostitutes around Vatican became scarce and expensive when bishops around the world descends in Rome?

  3. Yes, indeed. The Catholic Taliban. I agree with you completely.

    Why, just this evening, I was almost stoned to death for forgetting to say the Angelus.

    • Oh yeah, that Catholic Taliban! Tell me about it.

      Just last week they gave my cousin 20 lashes for making a cartoon about Jesus.

      I hope to make up for it by strapping myself to a bomb and blowing up a mosque as the bishops trained me to do.

  4. I forgot how to make the Sign of the Cross and the Catholic Taliban cut one of my fingers off and brutally beat up my youngest child.

    I dream of the day when we shall be free of the hated Catholic Taliban. Our time is coming, my brothers.

  5. Rip those Baptismal Certificates as a sign of Religious Disobedience.

    I will sell condoms in different colors, flavors and sizes at deep discounts on Sunday in my local church.

  6. Today is First Friday, a Catholic day of fasting and abstinence.

    If you must eat, avoid meat. Our neighbor was taken away last month by the Catholic Taliban for eating pork on a Friday.

    We have not seen him since.

  7. Thanks, Dementia.

    Neither the priest celebrating the mass nor the Catholics attending it deserved to have their ceremony interrupted like that.

    I wonder if people would be reacting the same way had Mr. Celdran done his stunt at a mosque or some other place of worship of a religion not as ubiquitous as the Catholic Church.

  8. Exactly. I’m not Catholic but Celdran’s action was offensive.

    My friends and I were discussing the mosque situation last night and we all agreed that he wouldn’t be able to get out alive if he pulled that stunt there.

  9. Look, you are a priest, and you go outside and talk to the press and threaten the President with excommunication based on a religious teaching, and then you expect that when you go back to your church, you will stay safe?

    These priests, who in my opinion cannot control their hubris and need to show power, are the number one reason why so many of Catholics no longer go to mass.

    These same priests bully the younger priests, who are more in tune with the people, into quiet submission. Many of these young priests quit because of frustration.

    And finally, I hope people will realize the message that this event is sending: that despite its own teaching of tolerance, and turning the other cheek, and loving thy enemies, of talking things over, that in this day and age, the head of the Bishops can still threaten a democratically-elected and well-received President, and send a man to prison because he happened to disagree with them.

    Blame Mr. Celdran? Of course. He just got himself banned for life in Intramuros. Sure, he’s obviously gone the deep end, and this is according to him, because a religion just tried to threaten his President.

    But why not blame also the priests who can stop playing politician and who keep creating problems for the Church?

    The end does not justify the means.

    Protesting while people are celebrating mass does not justify your message.

    Sending people to jail despite your own teachings does not strengthen your moral position.

  10. Pinoy Catholic;

    I’m not saying that the Church in the Philippines can cast the first stone, either.

    More often than not, it has been a repressive institution and has a tendency to play power politics.

    But the Church also has the right to voice its stand on reproductive rights. Holding protests and talking to their flock about the Church stand on reproductive rights is not meddling and does not violate the separation of Church and State (which, I think, only really means that the State cannot oppress the Church or make laws prejudicial to a certain religion.)

    RH advocates are just as free to hold their own peaceful demonstrations.

    The Church sees the issue of contraception as a moral issue. Passing the RH Bill or creating government programs promoting artificial contraception is largely a political issue, and lies with our politicians.

    Mr. Celdran was not sent to jail because he disagreed with the Church stand. Saying that is a bit unfair.

    Merely disagreeing with the Church’s stand is not a crime. Apparently, offending religious sensibilities by interrupting a Church ceremony to air your disagreement is.

    Also, Bishop Odchimar says he never threatened to excommunicate the President: http://cbcpnews.com/?q=node/13291

  11. Muslim excuse abound in the internet. Lookit, Musliminism is a medieval unreformed church of the masochists. Fortunately, for Muslims majority in this world are civilized people. Because if it were not Muslims will not be free roaming the streets and strapping bomb to themselves.

  12. Lookit, again. Even if Celdran did it outside the church his ass is still Imam’s and the Caliph’s just the same. May it be inside or outside the results and charges will forever remain.

  13. forget the Muslim excuse. Muslims are like idiot peryodistas. You kill 52 of them or just one hair of one idiot peryodistas all peryodistas all over the world will descend on the PHilippines without them knowing what is happening. That is why idiyot perydoistas runs the Philippines with impunity like the Ampatuans.

  14. Lookit, people do not go to mass for following reasons:

    1. 480 years of prayers didn’t do Filipinos any goot;
    2. Flippinas corrupt politicians has better batting average in fulfilling their promises than God’s “Ask and you shall receive”
    3. Flippinas corrupt politicians fulfill their promises without people working for it. The corrupt politicians just fix your lamppost even not called.
    4. Flippinos are busy looking for money for food on the table because their God canot provide and do not answer prayers;
    5. Flippinos do not go to church because only near-death old people go to church no more hotties
    6. Your purse or your pocket will likely get picked or slashed in the church when you close your eyes for prayers. In Basilica del Santo Nino de Cebu it is posted in every post “Beware of Pickpocketers, they pray, too”
    7. People in the church do not close their eyes or roll their eyes to hgeaven because the moment they do that their bags, purses are gone with the help of God of course because thieves believe in God, too.
    8. Priests are child-fuckers and if you are not looking they steal your girlfriends, too!
    9. Church demand minimum tithes or you get ex-communicated
    10.Church is hot. Verry hot inside because sinners go to church 100% of them.

  15. The church is vaccilating in excommjunicating Benign0 afraid of Filipno’s wrath who gets pleasure from protected sex.

    Even church, like idiyot peryodistas, are liars. It is a chicken or the egg conundrum. Either the church learned from lying idiot peryodistas or the idiot peryodistas learned from the church.

  16. Why go to church when the church go to SM to hold mass. SM is better to attend church services. It is cool. Safe. Plenty of security guards.

    The church said, if you do not come we will come to you …. in SM Malls.

    The beauty going to church in SM is plenty of hotties in tight jeans and miniskirts.

  17. As an idiyot peryodista and a member of the worldwide conspiracy of idiyot peryodistas, I feel cheated.

    I should be making much more money for much less work.

  18. Give Filipino a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish. — Renato Pacifico

    Religion is the source of all subliminal evils.

  19. @onetamad

    “… the Church also has the right to voice its stand on reproductive rights.”

    – SWS and Pulse Asia surveys clearly show that majority of Filipinos support the RH Bill. Sure, the Bishops has a right to say what they want. What they don’t have the right is to FORCE what they want against the wishes of the majority.

    “… Holding protests and talking to their flock about the Church stand on reproductive rights is not meddling and does not violate the separation of Church and State”

    – like threatening the President with excommunication and civil disobedience, or calling him an agent of the CIA?

    “… (which, I think, only really means that the State cannot oppress the Church or make laws prejudicial to a certain religion.)”

    – or FAVOR one religion over another.

    “…Also, Bishop Odchimar says he never threatened to excommunicate the President: ”

    – Yup, I read his excuse. He says he did mention it’s a possibility, but not a “proximate” possibility. It’s like saying “I can punch you in the face. But not right now.”

  20. “SWS and Pulse Asia surveys clearly show that majority of Filipinos support the RH Bill. Sure, the Bishops has a right to say what they want. What they don’t have the right is to FORCE what they want against the wishes of the majority.”

    –And by forcing what they want do you mean making contraception disappear from pharmacies and convenience stores? Because, yeah,you’re right. That’s totally what they did.

    “like threatening the President with excommunication and civil disobedience, or calling him an agent of the CIA?”

    –Civil disobedience like in 1986 and Edsa II, right? So, when the Church is on our side, that’s cool? Well, okay,they didn’t threaten to excommunicate other Presidents. And they didn’t threaten this one either.

    “or FAVOR one religion over another.”

    –Have other religions gone out and said, “Hey, guys. Our God thinks contraception is all right.”? Or make a similar announcement?

    I really don’t know. Maybe the Muslims have declared their support for the bill. Maybe Iglesia Ni Cristo has. Did the government say, “Hey, shut up you heathens! We only want to listen to the Catholic Church,which is the best church and the only one that this government recognizes!”

    “Yup, I read his excuse. He says he did mention it’s a possibility, but not a ‘proximate’ possibility. It’s like saying ‘I can punch you in the face. But not right now.'”

    –I think he meant that it is a possibility in the sense that abortionists can be excommunicated.

    So, basically, I can punch you in the face if you’re a douche bag. But you’re not being a douche bag and the process of both certifying you a douche bag leading to me punching you in the face for being a douche bag is not a proximate possibility.

    That’s really not much more of a threat than being told you’ll go to hell for jerking off to porn.

    Listen, I’m for RH and I’m not saying the Church hasn’t meddled in politics for centuries. But demonizing the Church isn’t helping the cause at all. We’re not even talking about why we need it any more, just that the Church is evil for opposing it.

  21. In civilized nations, if the church meddle in politics they are taxed. That is why in America, church are afraid to dabble in politics because IRS, equivalent to BIR here, will swoop down on the church.

    Since the Roman Catholic and the christians in general are Filipinos and their leaders are Filipinos, therefore, they are oblivious, clueless of the meaning separation of the church and the state.

  22. Philippines is joining the 3rdworld countries hand-in-hand when it comes to religion. The poorest states in America are the bible belt states. VERY POOR!

    Since Filipinos are fanatical believers in religion, they are poor! Poor in mind. Poor financially. Poor physically. VERY POOR TALAGA.

    And who made them poor? YOU ALL KNOW THE ANSWER.

  23. Once the RH bill is passed and the country has reined in the balooning population and its corresponding economic progress, Jesus Christ, the God, and the idiot relihyon would bask in glory that God made this happen.

    And dumb, stupid, clueless idiot Filipinos would say “Amen” “Gob Bless” not knowing the tumult before. HESUS MARIA JOSEF. KAILAN PA MA TOTO ANG MGA FILIPINOS

  24. These anti-RH Filipinos go to America which is pro-RH. They reap the glory and wealth from the pro-RH Americans of what they have sown. Fortunately Filipinos are so dumb to know this. They just go to America because as what they say “THEY ARE BLESSED WITH U.S. VISA” How extra stupid can they get!!!! THEY ARE SIMPLY NOT IN THEIR RIGHT LOGICAL MIND.

    HESUS MARIA JOSEF TABANGA ANG MGA FILIPINOS TO THINK LOGICALLY.

  25. The church is being attacked by Benign0 dogs in the idiot papers. The idiot peryodistas needed to attack the church, else the idiot peryodistas will look like idiots because they are wham-bang for Benign0 thru-and-thru. They have to protect their media darling from downfall or they’d look like fools. AS USUAL.

  26. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state in our constitution, yet the church cannot seem to stay out of Philippine politics. Therefore, what Carlos Celdran did was merely bring the concerns of the state to the church that refuses to refrain from interfering in matters of state. He did what he had to do to get the countries attention with regards to church and state, similar to what our national hero Jose Rizal did.

    NO MORE DAMASO! YES TO CARLOS CELDRAN! He actually stands up against the large, powerful entities merely because his cause is just and benefits the greater good of our country. Does he gain anything besides possible jail time and unwanted religious fanatics and bloggers like onetamad hating on him? No, he doesn’t.

    Anyone who bashes him while remaining hidden behind a pseudonym is a coward. Celdran is a hero and did what needed to be done. Draw attention to the cause.

    • And so, now we have an RH Bill! Oh, we don’t?

      Listen, legislation is about consensus building. Alienating Catholic lawmakers, or lawmakers friendly with the Catholic Church, causes more harm than good. Alienating devout Filipinos makes them less receptive to the valid reasons we should have an RH law.

      The RH bill has been through so many Congresses and who still isn’t aware of the cause? It’s no longer about that, it’s about getting the message across. Did dressing up in period clothing accomplish that? Not at all.

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