Resignation of Ateneo theology faculty Rafael Liacco-Dy: the Unclean Spirit is behind the RH Law

Rafael Liacco-Dy

I read in CBCP for Life that Rafael Liacco-Dy, a faculty in the Department of Theology of Ateneo de Manila University, has resigned because of the RH Law:

“The Holy Spirit’s will and that spirit’s will are never the same (cf. CCC 676). It rejects God’s truth (cf. John 8:45). Moreover, when one becomes allied to it, one becomes like it (cf. John 8:44), he said. “Thus here the saying also holds: ‘No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other’ (Matthew 6:24). Because of these realities, I believe that my service to the Church and my service to ADMU no longer coincide, and I believe that I can no longer share the path that ADMU has taken. Therefore I hereby resign both my teaching position and my tenure at ADMU Theology,” he said.

I only knew him as Raffy and our road crossed several times years ago. We sometimes chat along the way. But I never knew he is the same person named Rafael Liacco-Dy. His leaving Ateneo is really a sad news. May his leaving be not in vain. May it spur us to reflect on where Ateneo is heading as Ateneo is redefining its Mission and Identity. Will Ateneo professors continue to insist on a parallel Magisterium contrary to that of the Catholic Church, especially on the issue of contraception and the RH Bill, while at the same time claim Catholicity? According to his resignation letter, the debate on the RH law “has manifested at an unusually high level of ferocity, even hatred. It has manifested in the wholesale denigration of the Church – of her teachings, of her bishops, of her catechists, and of her common lay faithful.” Christ said:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.k16l By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.” (Mt 7:15-17)

If the debate on the RH law has resulted to Ateneans badmouthing the Catholic Church, then the Spirit behind the RH Law, which was mentioned by Rafael Liacco-Dy, is not the Holy Spirit. As St. Paul said:

“But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.n
19* Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness,o20idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions,p21 occasions of envy,* drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,q23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:18-23)

It is clear from this statement by St. Paul that the RH Law is primarily the works of the flesh and its consequences are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, selfishness, sexual orgies.  These are the consequences of the Unclean Spirit. What the Law should have done is to instill discipline to the citizens.  Instead, the RH law gave them more opportunities for immorality, such as safe sex of unmarried couples.  And even if it is between married couples, it is still not moral according to the teachings of the Church.  Sexual intercourse must be a symbol of the the total self-giving of the married couple, and that is why they should be both naked.  There should be nothing getting in the way of their union.  But why is man’s little part still dressed in condom? Or why is a woman covers her uterine walls with chemicals or her ovaries with IUD.  They are not completely naked.  They are withholding something back, and that is their gift of self to the other.

A dead fish goes with the current.  A living fish swims against it.  What the RH law effectively says is that if we can’t stop the young from fornicating and the married from having extramarital affairs, then we might just as well provide them with “protection from pregnancy,” as if pregnancy is a disease that must be protected against through “essential medicines” like contraceptives.  Actually, out-of-wedlock pregnancies are symptoms of the society’s moral disease which contraceptives wants to hide.  The contraceptive cure only worsens the moral disease.

Return of the Unclean Spirit

Let us recall the Parable of the Unclean Spirit.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’25But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.26Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.” (Lk 11:24-26)

The Unclean Spirit behind the RH Bill is not the Holy Spirit behind the Gospel.  In the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the 1962 Missal, the “from the spirit of uncleanness” is a translation of the Latin “a spiritu fornicationis” (p. 47).  It is a fitting translation, because fornication is the sexual intercourse between unmarried couples–the safe sex promoted by the RH Bill.  If you remove the Spirit behind the Gospels in Philippine Laws, it creates a spiritual vacuum that must be filled with another spirit–the Unclean Spirit behind the RH Bill.

The Catholic Church has already exorcised the Spirit of Uncleanness from the Philippines.  Just read Morga’s “Historical Events of the Philippines, 1609” which was annotated by Dr. Jose P. Rizal and you will learn about all the sexual fetishes of ancient Filipinos –they even prefer not a virgin during honeymoon and would in fact hire someone to have the first intercourse to break the hymen. Now, the RH Law has removed the Church’s influence in sexual morals through the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law, which should actually be named as the National Contraceptive Law.    If this Spirit sees that the Philippines is like a house in order–the Bishops saying against the RH law has been put in the sidelines and the government goes full gear in applying the RH law, then this Spirit would invite other spirits much worse than itself–the Spirits of DEATH, which the bishops identify as Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Total Population Control (or Total Reproductive Health), and Homosexuality.  And the state of the Philippines would be much more worse than it was once in its pagan years.

Since the RH Law has been signed (clandestinely) by PNoy, we must fight this law through all legal means available.  We must educate the the people on the evils of the RH law and preach the Gospel once again. The bishops and priests must treat Filipinos as if they were the same pagans when the Spaniards first came.  This is the Year of Faith.  This is the Year for New Evangelization, the New Conquest of the Philippine Islands for the Catholic Faith.

In summary, Catholics can disobey the RH Law in good conscience and they should do so. Parents with children in schools should withdraw their children from sex education classes, as a non-violent resistance from the evil law.   A catechetical program for parents should be organized by bishops and priests.  The Sermons during the mass should have more doctrinal meat than just the “feel-good” homilies we hear.  The Catholic schools should be strengthened.  The living rosary should be promoted.  Pro RH law professors, government officials, and  public personalities who publicly promote the use of the contraceptive Pill should be given by their bishops the bitter pill of excommunication, and in doing so save the souls of little ones whose faith were shaken by the continued unchecked scandal in the Church.

Emperor Theodosius once went  to Bishop St. Ambrose, and repented of his sins for the massacre in Thessalonica.  As Theodosius said during the period of his excommunication to his servant:

“You are mocking me, Rufinus; you do not comprehend the nature of my trouble. I am lamenting my unhappy lot; the holy Church is open to slaves and beggars, but is shut to me; and heaven is closed to me, for I remember the words of our Lord which distinctly say, ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven’.” (cristoraul)

Repentance of public officials such as that of the Roman Emperor happened before.  It can happen again today for Pres. Noynoy Aquino.  But the bishops must be firm.

Even Saruman the Wise supports on the RH Bill: Ateneo professors and students endorses the bill

The number of professors who endorsed the RH Bill in their position paper now rose from 160 to 192.  Even after Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ distanced Ateneo from the faculty endorsers of the bill, another declaration of support for the RH Bill was signed by Ateneans for RH with 1465 from Ateneo de Manila University, 79 from Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan University), and 21 from Ateneo de Zamboanga University.  At such news we should rejoice and be glad: the depth and extent of dissent in Ateneo de Manila University on the Catholic teaching on contraception is now laid bare. I hope more students will add their names on the list so that the Catholic Church hierarchy can fully assess whether Ateneo still deserves to be called a Catholic university or not.

What we are seeing is a declaration of open rebellion against the Catholic Church, which began more than 40 years ago when clerics and bishops rebelled against Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae.  What was once whispered in seminary halls became taught in the classrooms.  And what was taught in the classrooms became preached at the rooftops of cyberspace.

The pro-RH camp is now emboldened.  They have Ateneo professors and students supporting their cause–the elite thinkers of the country with more than 150 years of intellectual history.  The Jesuits, the Church’s shock troopers and loyal soldiers in the bygone years, appear weak and helpless in the face of the mounting opposition.  And even they themselves are divided.  There is no more a Padre Pastells who will debate with Rizal on the truth of the Catholic Faith or a Padre Faura who will scold Rizal for his heretical views.  The pro-RH groups are already at the Gate 2 and they demand that  the Church surrender to the modern world by embracing contraception and the RH Bill.

Saruman the Wise says it best:

And listen, Gandalf, my old friend and helper!… I said we, for we it may be, if you will join with me.  A new Power is rising.  Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all.  There is no hope left in Elves or dying Numenor.  This then is one choice before you, before us.  We may join with that Power.  It would be wise, Gandalf.  There is hope that way.  Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it.  As the Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it.  We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things that we have so far striven in vain to accomplish, hindered rather than helped by our weak or idle friends.  There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means. (Fellowship of the Ring, p. 291)

What does the RH Bill promise us?  It is the great Ring of Power: it will reduce poverty, promote responsible parenthood, and lead to good governance–the high and ultimate purpose that our country has striven hard to accomplish only to be derailed by the Catholic Church and the Anti-RH groups.  The RH Bill promises us a “choice”–to order our married life as we will.  We can bide our time until we are financially and emotionally ready to have children.  We can justify to ourselves that we are obeying our conscience whenever we use the condom or the pill, and ignore many things that pester our thoughts, such as the possibility of getting pregnant, because the unwanted child that can easily be disposed by morning-after pills or abortion. Each child should be a child we want to have and not a child by accident.  And as we use the pills more and more through the help of RH Bill, our power over our bodies will also grow, and we shall be like the gods who define what is good and what is evil through three criteria–me, myself, and I.  We can forget about what the Catholic Church says–it’s a Medieval institution out of touch of the modern-day Filipinos.  Mortal sin?  There is no sense of talking about “a sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”  These are scholastic definitions and modern man has no need for such rubbish.  And if the government passes the RH Bill, millions of dollars from UN and US will pour into the Philippines.  The poor shall be no more.  There will be a high quality of life for all.  By embracing the RH Bill, we remain as Pro-Life as ever.  There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means.

Wonderful words befitting of Saruman the Wise. But his voice has already lost its charm: the end does not justify the means.

For my students, friends, and colleagues in Ateneo who support the RH Bill, let me end with the words of Gandalf to Saruman:

What have you to say that you did not say at our last meeting? Or perhaps you have things to unsay? (Two Towers, p. 205)

Sincerely yours,

The Monk’s Hobbit

Four Jesuit priests in Jose Rizal’s life: Faura, Pastells, Balaguer, and Sanchez

Horacio de la Costa, SJ

Homily delivered at the Ateneo Alumni Mass on Rizal’s birthday, June 19, 1952

RIZAL AND THE ATENEO

Alumnus Jose Rizal kept in touch with the Ateneo mainly through four men. There was Father Faura, who prophesied that he would end up on a scaffold. There was Father Pastells, who sought to restore his Catholic Faith by patient argument.  There was Father Balaguer, who reconciled him to the Church before he died.  And there was Father Sanchez, who was his friend.

I think it can be said that these four men, each in his own fashion,
express what the Ateneo should mean, and would like to mean, to all its alumni.  The Ateneo is a school; first and foremost, it is a body of teachers; and the essential duty of a teacher is to speak the truth.  The truth is often unpleasant, often unpopular; but the teacher, if he wishes to be faithful to his profession, cannot afford to dilute or debase it.  He must speak the truth as he sees it, no matter how much it hurts.

Rizal had worked out during his sojourn in Spain a thoroughgoing plan ofcolonial reform.  Whatever Father Faura thought of that plan, he saw at least one thing clearly – that the Spanish government would never stand for it.  Sooner or later it would try to crush both the plan and its author. That was what he meant when he said that Rizal would end up on a scaffold.

We could wish that Father Faura could have put it a little less bluntly, a little more diplomatically.  He might have spared Rizal’s feelings.  But there are times when to spare a man’s feelings is to betray his friendship. What Father Faura said was shocking; he meant it to be.  He wanted to shock Rizal into seeing that he was faced with a choice, and that his very life depended upon what he chose.  He did not tell him what to choose. Rizal was not a boy any longer but a man, and it was a man’s privilege to choose; but it was also a man’s privilege to be told the consequences of his choice.

Rizal saw and chose; and the fact that he chose with his eyes open, with the scaffold at the end of the road having been pointed out to him, is his claim to be our greatest alumnus.

All of us, at some time or other in our lives, will be faced with the
necessity of making a similar decision. Beset by fears and forebodings, we shall go to seek strength and comfort from those we miss.  I do not think we shall ever lack friends who will try to soothe us with ambiguities, who will blur alternatives, dull the horns of a dilemma on the mistaken principle that what we don’t know won’t burn us, on the childish principle that medicine doesn’t taste half as bad if taken with eyes shut.

But rare indeed is the friend who will tell us the truth; who will pay us the supreme compliment of assuming that we are not afraid to act on our principles.  It is our hope as alumni that we shall always find such a friend where Rizal found him – at the Ateneo.

However, it is equally important to remember that respect for the truth must go hand in hand with respect for the individual conscience.  To force the truth on the people’s minds, to ram the truth down people’s throats, is not only unjust: it is unwise.  Nothing breeds error so quickly as truth accepted under constraint.  It was to be regretted that Rizal lost the priceless heritage of the Faith; but granted the fact that he lost it, there was only one way of restoring it to him: by convincing him, by convincing his mind, that he had erred.  There were easier ways; threats, cajolery, flattery, the emotional argument; but Father Pastells used none of these. He chose the hard way; he appealed to that in Rizal which was hardest, diamond-hard–his mind.  For he knew that a faith based on anything else but conviction would be of no use to this man who lived solely by his convictions, and who would not hesitate to die for them.

Jesuits believe that their system of education is fashioned to produce men of this calibre, rational men, men whose faith, while fully supernatural, is based on reason.  Whether that system actually does so or not, is not for them to say.  But this certainly can be said: that if the schools of the free world do not produce such men in greater numbers than hitherto, that world is doomed.

We must have men of conviction, but they must also be men of faith.  Reason can go far, but there is a point beyond which it cannot go; the deepest questions that reason can ask, only faith can answer.  It was Father Pastells who raised these questions in the mind of Rizal, but it was Father Balaguer who answered them.  To the death cell in Fort Santiago came this simple man, came, not with subtle argument, not with the persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the word of God, sharp as a drawn sword, cutting deep, even to the marrow of the spirit, cutting and healing, slaying and giving life.  And the work that the learned Father Pastells began, this simple priest finished.  Yet not he, for what are these but men?  Poor, brittle instruments, of what avail are they, of themselves, in the titanic struggle of good and evil for the immortal soul?

No, not they, but God, in that lonely hour between dusk and dawn, between life and death, when Rizal sank to his knees at last with a strong cry and tears, in that lonely hour he was alone with the Alone, the man about to die with the God who died, and lives.

What folly even to think that such a man, at such an hour, could have been tricked into repentance!  If there was trickery in the business, God was the trickster; let them complain to God.  If there was trickery in the business, it was prayer that did the trick.

There was one man at least whose prayers were with Rizal continually,
through all the years of doubt, all the years of agony, all the years of exile; that man was Father Sanchez.  Perhaps he was to blame for Rizal’s conversion.  At any rate, he was the most subtle Jesuit of them all, for he used against Rizal’s infidelity the one irresistible weapon; the power against which nothing is proof; the power of prayer.

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”; and we like to think that among these good things is that fellowship of Ateneans with the Ateneo and of Ateneans among themselves, which not even death can break. For even in maturity, even when we are old, the mother of our youth yet has something to offer us; yes, four things, to all her alumni as to her greatest alumnus:  the plain truth, the path of reason, the light of faith, the love of friends.

(Text of the homily courtesy of Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.)

Philippine Star: Rizal on religious relativism and perspective painting

From the Philippine Daily Star’s Second Wind by Barbara C. Gonzales, June 18, 2011:

Rizal was an amazing thinker. It’s a pity not all of us can get our hands on books about him and read his words. He wrote in his second letter to Pastells:

When I see so many diverse beliefs and persuasions, when I listen to followers of diverse sects holding in contempt each other’s beliefs; when I hear of marvels, miracles, testimonies with which each religion claims to prove its divinity or at least its divine origin; when I see people – intelligent, distinguished, studious; born and bred in the same climate, society, and customs; possessing the same desire to perfect and save themselves — when I see them profess diverse religious beliefs; I recall a certain comparison which I shall put down here so you understand the way I think. 

People in pursuit of truth I imagine to be like art students gathered around a statue, which they try to draw. Some are near the statue; others far from it; some look at the statue from above; others see it from below. Each one sees the statue from a different angle. The harder they try to be faithful to the original, the more the sketches differ from one another. Those who copy directly from the statue are the original thinkers or the founders of schools of thought who differ from each other by their different fundamental principles. A good many — because they are so far away or can’t see well or are not so skillful or are just plain lazy or for some other reason — are satisfied with a sketch of a sketch of the sketch nearest the statue. If they have goodwill, they copy the sketch that they think is best.

These copyists are the active followers and supporters of an idea. Others lazier still dare not draw a single line for fear of committing a blunder and buy a ready-made copy. . . and they are satisfied with that. These are the passive followers, those who believe anything because they do not think.

Then who can pass judgment on the sketches?…He would have to place himself at the very same spot and judge from the very same point of view as the other person. . . He would have to place his eyes at exactly the same angle as the other. He would have to have the same curvature in the retina of his eye and possess the same artisitic sense as the other…

One cannot appeal to precise measurements because of the contraction of the figure in perspective. And if in the world of space it is extremely difficult to place oneself at the same point of vision as another, how much more difficult it is to do so in the world of moral values where things are so mysterious and complex!

For me that is a beautiful metaphor for organized religion. In other words, how dare one religion judge other religion’s beliefs? How dare we question? How dare one religion claim to save lives better than any other religions can? We should just leave each other alone to follow our beliefs.

Reply:

Even though there are many perspectives in viewing a statue, it does not mean that the actual dimensions of the statue cannot be known.  This is a problem in projective geometry and computer vision, and algorithms are now being developed to solve this problem.  Similar methods are used in 3D or 4D imaging of babies in the womb using ultrasound images from different perspectives.

Like the 3D dimensions of a statue or a fetus, natural law is an invariant: though people come from different cultures, it is still possible to deduce moral law through natural law.  One can do this through philosophical analysis as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle had done.  The other way is the most unthinkable: God Himself intervened in human history and defined His Laws through the Ten Commandments and spoke His commandment of love through His Everlasting Word, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Jose Rizal as a student in Ateneo de Manila and prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady

by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

When the Jesuits returned to the Philippines in 1859, their mission was to work in Mindanao.  They were persuaded by the City of Manila to run the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school.  The school was renamed Ateneo when it began offering secondary education in 1865. Incidentally, they also started a second school, the Escuela Normal, to train teachers for the public schools.

In the beginning, the Ateneo accepted only Filipinos (Spaniards born in the Philippines).  Later they accepted also Indios.  One such was Jose Protacio Mercado.  But he enrolled under the name Jose Protacio Rizal, at the advice of his family.  He had to dissociate himself from his brother, Paciano Mercado, who had gained notoriety with the authorities with his links to priests who had been sentence to death as subversives.

1872, the year Jose Rizal enrolled when he was 11, was a fateful year.  That year Frs. Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were executed for complicity in the Cavite mutiny.  It so affected him that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit today, if I had not vowed to continue the fight of those priests.”

He was quite affected that he, an Indio, 11 years old was addressed
Usted (thou), and not tu (you), by older Spanish Jesuits. He and his elders had always been addressed by the degrading tu, In Tagalog, Ikaw (you singular). Ustedwas equivalent to kayo (you plural) or even siya or sila (he or they).  No wonder he loved them. Today’s Filipino Jesuits do not know usted but they never time of praising Ateneans.  And the poor boys believe them!  Who can blame them?  A little girl carried by her mother, on hearing a visitor say, ”What a beautiful girl.” beamed, “More. More.”

At first, he boarded in the houses in Intramuros or with relatives on his
mother’s side.  He was free to do what he wanted, socializing etc.  But he
decided to enroll as a boarder, knowing what this meant.  A restricted life, regulated by bells, telling when to eat, when to rest, when to study.  In the study room, he could get free help and individual tutoring from Jesuits prefects.  He learned how to concentrate, to compete against himself.

Because knew how to utilize ad lib (free) time, he did not waste time.  By
being bound, he became free, free of laziness, of bad habits.  He became the Filipino he expected others to be before demanding independence. He lived it.  By this he became free to free others.  By living a disciplined life, he could do many things.  He enrolled in two schools, even three schools in Spain, at one time and excelled in them.

As a sodalist he was expected to do mental prayer at least fifteen minute each day.  Prayer was not just an exercise.  It meant contact with the divine.  It meant knowing Jesus and imitating him.  It meant being challenged to fight for the King and not to count the cost.  By his performance, he became a Prefect of the Sodality.

Jesuit pedagogy was pauca praecepta, multa exempla, plurima exercitation  (few rules, many examples, numberless exercise).  And cura personalis(individualized attention).

In liberal education, he met the best thinkers and was inspired to be like
them and even to be better them.  That is the purpose of the classics.  Not good speech and writing and oratory.  The curriculum was graduated, step by step, according to the ability of the student.  The Jesuits did not neglect competition, prizes and punishments (jug, the cane, etc).

Jose Rizal’s ancestors and descendants

by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

1.  Jose Rizal’s Ancestors

He had Chinese blood from his father’s side and Spanish and Japanese blood form his mother’s side.  Recent genealogical research even traces him to Lacan Dula (one of the chiefs met by the first Spaniards in Manila).

His paternal ancestor was Lam-Co, an immigrant from Fujian (Jinjiang,
Quanzhou <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinjiang_City>), South China.  At the age of 35, Lam-co was baptized in 1697.  He became Domingo Lam-co.

Lam-co had a distinguished lineage.  He belonged to the Cua clan of south China. The Cuas today are prosperous and distinguished families in Asia. The Cuas are a very ancient line, which can be traced to many generations to the times when unified China was still non-existent.

They are the descendants of Shu Du, the 5th son of Zhou Wu Wang, the
political genius who started the Chou dynasty.  It was 600 years later when his descendants formalized the usage of the surname Cai.

Domingo Lam-co, Rizal’s great-great-grandfather, was the 19th generation descendant of the Cai Shu Du.

In his baptismal record, his parents were listed as Siong-co and Jun-nio.
He settled in Bi an, Laguna on the Dominican estate called San Isidro
Labrador.  Domingo’s son was Francisco I, the first to use Mercado (Spanish for market) as a surname.  It described the livelihood of Domingo’s family since they were traders. *

Later, Francisco II, Francisco I’s grandson, Rizal’s father, changed the
family name in 1859 to Rizal to suit his farming business.  Rizal is derived
from the Spanish ricial, which means green fields.  He now lived in Calamba.  The Rizals were prosperous farmers who were granted the lease of a hacienda by the Dominicans. But after a few years he just used Mercado.

Despite the many bloody persecutions that the Chinese and Chinese
mestizos suffered from the Spaniards, the ancestors of Rizal survived.
From this strength of character, no doubt, Rizal got his ability to remain
calm and composed even in the face of adversaries.  At the hour of
execution, the doctor found his pulse to be normal.

Jose Rizal’s parents were Francisco Rizal Mercado (1818–1898) and Teodora Alonzo Realonda (1826–1911).  Rizal was the seventh child of their eleven children.

2.  Jose Rizal’s Descendants

Rizal had desired to be a Jesuit.  Little did he dream that that desire
would be fulfilled in a grand nephew who studied at the Ateneo as he did,
became a Jesuit, and the  president of his school. Jose A Cruz.  He became president, when a strong and prudent leader was most needed, in the period of martial law l972-86.  There was student activism, the restrictions on freedom in Martial Law years.

The Family Tree

Maria (sister of Jose Rizal) married Daniel Cruz

Son:  Mauricio R. Cruz married   ______ Arguelles
Grandchildren:  Ismael A Cruz, Jose A Cruz, others?
Great Granddaughter:  Gemma (daughter of Ismael and Carmen Guerrero)
Gemma was an international beauty queen and a public figure.  Her father, Ismael, was tortured and killed by Japanese soldiers, together with hisfather, Mauricio during the Liberation of Manila’ in February 1945.

In 1940 President Quezon spoke to UP and Ateneo graduates challenging them to work with their hands land in Mindanao.  Not one from UP volunteered.   Red tape was cut so that the three Ateneo volunteers could have a fast audience with Quezon.  Two of the three were descendants of Jose Rizal, Ismael Cruz and a cousin.

They found in Mindanao a stubborn forest to work, and obstacles from
government officials and earlier settlers.  But they kept on and left only
when they were recalled to Manila when World War II started.  They had
determined to return after the war but death prevented them.

Descendants of other siblings of Rizal distinguished themselves in arts and letters and political life.

With such was the ancestry and the descendants and self education of Rizal, one is not surprised that he could conceive and achieve a daring statue of the Heart of Jesus and inspired and still inspires Filipino to shake off the yoke of tyranny whether Spanish, American or Filipino, and self destructive habits by writing entertaining novels.

One does not read his novels by learning Spanish.  One does by finding the characters in the novel in the people he meets and in his own self.  One has read his novels if as a result, he aspires to be free and to free others.


Man hears our words.
God hears our thoughts.  Augustine
God bless you.  Victor

Jose Rizal’s statue of the Sacred Heart: Travel history and other notes

RIZAL’S TRAVELLING STATUETTE
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.While a student at the Ateneo Municipal in Intramuros, Jose Rizal (14) made a small statue of the Sacred Heart, about nine inches in length.  He carved the statuette in baticuling wood with a penknife at the request of his professor Fr Jose Leonardo S.J.  Father intended to take it with him to Spain, but the domestic helper forgot to place it in his trunk.  It was left behind and was taken by Rizal’s fellow students.  It was placed on a shelf above the door of their study hall where it remained for twenty years.

In August 1887, Rizal (26) returned to the Philippines and stayed till early 1888.   Now a liberal in matters political as well as religious, he visited his Jesuit friends at the Ateneo.  On his way out, the Jesuit porter showed him the statuette.  Rizal replied, “Other times, Brother, other times.  I no longer believe in such things.”*

In December 1896, after Rizal (35) was sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal which had tried him for treason, he asked for some Jesuit priests to visit him.  Fr Miguel Saderra Mata, S.J., Rector of the Ateneo Municipal, together with Fr. Luis Viza, S. J., went in haste to Fort Santiago to the cell where Rizal was imprisoned. They were greeted warmly by Rizal.

Rizal asked them if the statuette of the Sacred Heart which he had carved as a boy was still at the Ateneo.  Fr Viza, in reply, took the statuette out of the pocket of his soutane.  He had guessed rightly.  Rizal would remember it at the hour of his death.  Rizal took it and kissed it in his hands and placed it on the table where he would soon write the Ultimo Adios.

The statuette remained in the cell.  On the night before his execution, it was to Fr Jose Vilaclara, S.J., his former Physics teacher, that Rizal made his sacramental confession and be reconciled to the Church.

The following day, 30 December, before leaving his cell to go to Bagumbayan, Rizal held the statuette to his lips for the last time.  With two hands holding it close to his heart, he moved slowly to give it back to the Jesuits who were with him to the last day.

When the fire of 1932 engulfed the Ateneo, the principal concern of the Jesuits was the safety of the students.  No one got hurt.  Many valuable irreplaceable collections went up in smoke and presumably the statuette.  The Ateneo resumed operations in Padre Faura.  In 1945 the Ateneo was destroyed completely during the liberation of Manila.

Some time in 1952, when Ateneo was in the Loyola Campus, Q.C., the statue was returned, presumably by the student who saved it from the 1932 fire, and inadvertently from the 1945 fire as well.

Replicas made from ash from the bowels of the earth hurled into the sky by
Mt Pinatubo in 1991 were distributed to friends.

After some twenty three years in the Board of Trustees room, Fr. Bienvenido
Nebres, the President, turned it over to the Ateneo University Archives.  I
wish to thank Miss Carina Samaniego, Archivist, for sending me photos of the
statuette and of the plaques.

NotesRizal was condemned to death for the crime of treason.  He advocated not revolution but evolution.  He wished the Philippines to be independent when it was ready for it.  Up to the time of his death, he thought the time had not come.  For him, independence would happen like a fruit automatically falling from the tree when it was ripe.

He enrolled at the Ateneo in 1872, the year Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were garroted to death for treason.  They were innocent of this crime.  The event so moved Rizal that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit, but I had vowed to do something about their death.”

Baticuling is a hard wood used in carving, which now is not easily available.  Without carving tools, Rizal carved an excellent statue using just a penknife.

When did Rizal carve this statue?  He enrolled at the Ateneo when he was eleven. He lived at the Ateneo as a boarder.  He got an AB degree at 16 in 1977.  That year, he enrolled at the Ateneo and UST, both in Intramuros and a few blocks from each other.  He left the Ateneo when he was 17, certified by the Ateneo as Agrimensor (Surveyor).  I guess he carved the image when he was about 14.  He still had to study anatomy.

Musings

Rizal carved the statue for Fr Leonardo.  Did Fr need one for himself, or did he want Rizal to develop his talent?  Why did he ask Rizal to carve an image of the Sacred Heart and not of someone else, like Our Lady?  Did he specify whose statue he wanted?  Rizal was the Prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady.

What thoughts passed through Rizal’s mind as he carved?  Did he have lectures of the Sacred Heart in mind? Did he research his subject? What did he know of the devotion to the Sacred Heart?  What did his devotion, if any, to the Sacred Heart consist of?  What does the actual statue say?  What was the state of the devotion at the Ateneo?  How did he think of carving a statue with a hole in the chest?

Fr Leonardo’s sorrow on failing to bring the statuette that he could not bring the statue with him resulted in the statuette staying in the Ateneo.

It was painful for the nameless Brother that Rizal refused to even look at his statue.  Would he have a statue if the houseboy had not forgotten? Would Rizal have thought of his statue in his cell if the Brother had not brought the statue as Rizal left?  Did the Brother on his own or had someone asked him to show it to Rizal?  How did Rizal feel when he gently rebuffed the gesture of the Brother?  Did he feel sad?  Was it like meeting a girl friend he had outgrown?

On leaving his death cell, Rizal held to his heart, the statue of Jesus holding his heart against his heart.

*When Rizal received the statuette, he kissed it and placed it on the table
where he would soon write the Ultimo Adios.  Sentiments expressed in the
poem are inspired by the love of the Heart of Jesus.  Would that I had more
blood to shed, more lives to die.*

Beloved Filipinas.
Gladly now I give to thee this failed life’s best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blood,
Still would I give it, nor count the cost.
There was no rancor or anger.  Only the peace and joy of one who “had run
the course, fought the good fight and had kept the faith”

For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
Where faith can never kill, and God reigns o’er on high!  *
(From translation by Charles Derbyshire.)

At the incarnation, God emptied himself.  On the cross he emptied his body
of blood.  In the Heart of Jesus, he emptied his body of his heart.  In the
field of Bagong Bayan, Rizal emptied himself to enrich Filipinas.

On leaving his death cell, Rizal pressed the heart of the statuette against
his heart.  By this he expressed his acceptance of the heart of Jesus
graciously offered.  Would it be too much if the Fathers saw that the heart
in the statuette returned to them was gone?

But now, Rizal had no need for an image.  For he had with him the Risen
Jesus, walking with him and at the supreme moment carrying him over the
threshold into life.  Jesus would not desert one who so perfectly made dumb
wood proclaim eloquently the totality of his love by imaging him with an
Emptied Body.

Rizal’s request to be shot facing the firing squad was refused. But with a heroic effort, he turned his body after he was shot and he fell face forward.  To kiss Filipinas, his heart against the land.


Man hears our words.
God hears our thoughts.  Augustine
God bless you.  Victor

blog:  pedrocalungsod.blogspot.com
God bless you and all your efforts.  Victor Badillo SJ

Jose Rizal’s statue of the Sacred Heart: a theological interpretation

RIZAL’S STATUETTE – MEANING

by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

Jose Rizal's statue of the Sacred Heart

Jose Rizal's statue of the Sacred Heart

Attached is a picture of a statuette.  Jose Rizal carved it when he was a
student at the Ateneo.  He carved it from a piece of batuling, a hard word,
with a penknife.  He was then 14 years old.  The year, 1875.  *

In 1896, he died for his country, shot in the heart by an execution squad. He is now the national hero.  He is a national here who never bore arms.  No national hero has more public statues in other countries than he.  2011 is 150th anniversary of Rizal’s birth.

The statuette is that of a man whose left hand is hanging by his side with palm facing away from him.  His right hand is bent at the elbow with his fist high against his left chest where his heart was.  Held in that fist is a heart.  The heart is surmounted by flames, and a crown of thorns encircles it.  In the middle of the chest is an ugly jagged hole.

Jesus is offering his heart which he has torn from his chest.  In offering his heart he tells us, in deeds and not in words, that he loves us to the extent of giving his life for us.  This is the message of the crucified Jesus.  This is the message of the Heart of Jesus.  On the cross, blood and water flowed out.  By this he died.  By giving us his heart, he dies.

He is offering his heart not to be put beside our hearts.  No.  He is offering his heart to replace our hearts.  “I will take your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.”  I will take your human heart and replace it with the heart of God.  God work is not accomplished until he has replaced with his heart the hearts of every man.

He is not a giver until his gift is accepted.  Jesus did not redeem the world by his suffering and crucifixion until the Father accepted it, when he raised him from the dead.

He gives us his heart so that in turn we give our heart, his heart, to others.  To have his heart is to love as he does.  Greater love than this no man hath then that he lay down his life for his friend.  He loves us so that we become able to love him.  We cannot love him until we have his heart.

At the feeding of the multitude, he feeds them with his word and then feeds their bodies.  Later he tells them, “You come to eat bread.  Whoever chews my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever.”  In the feeding of the
multitude, he lets his disciples distribute the bread.  As they do, they tell the people, “This bread is the gift of Jesus.  At mass, the priest says, “This is the body of Jesus.”  At the Last Supper, Jesus takes, blesses, breaks and says, “Take this broken body and eat it.  Take this spilled blood and drink it.”

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter to the Jesuits’ Fr Gen
Kolvenbach, S.J. on devotion to the Heart of Jesus.  Never in his latter
does he use the phrase Sacred Heart.  It is always Heart of Jesus, Heart of
Christ, or Heart of the Savior.  From the very beginning of the devotion,
the Holy See has forbidden the representation of just a heart.

Rizal’s representation of the Heart of Jesus as Jesus with his heart in his fist and with an Emptied Chest is not only unique, but dynamic and effective. Conventional representations show a symbolic heart adorning his chest, almost passive.

The Society of Jesus has accepted the responsibility to spread the devotion to the Heart of Jesus as a munus suavissimum (most sweet mission orders).

blog:  pedrocalungsod.blogspot.com
God bless you and all your efforts.  Victor Badillo SJ

Draft for an anti-RH Bill: Maternal Health Bill of 2011

The Catholic Church and anti-RH bill lawmakers have always been on the defensive after years of siege by the proponents of the RH Bill. The RH bill forces will never tire: they have the funding of multinational pharmaceuticals who make contraceptives, abortion companies like Planned Parenthood, and UN commissions who push for reproductive health.

What the anti-RH Bill forces need is a counter-attack on the RH-Bill forces’ flanks.  We must fight the RH Bill by proposing a contrary bill (read the parable of the unclean spirit (Lk 11:24-26)).  The Reproductive Health Bill is a misnomer and a lie: the bill does not concern reproduction but contraception and contraceptives endanger the woman’s health.  The Maternal Health Bill that I propose is really for maternal health, which concerns both the mother and the child:  the word “maternal” does not only refer to the woman but also to her child, for how can a woman be a mother, a “mater”, if she has no child?  A woman’s right over her body should never trample on the rights of the child in her womb over his body.

This anti-RH bill shall divert the time and resources of the pro-RH forces, for one cannot fight at the same time both the impregnable wall that is the Catholic Church and the new menace that may spell the doom of RH in the Philippines.  (News Flash: Cong. Manny Pacquiao’s anti-RH bill  knocks out Sen. Miriam Santiago’s RH bill).   And if this anti-RH bill becomes a law, it will be one layer of defense wall against the renewed assault of the pro-RH bill forces in the future.  As Gandalf would said to the Balrog in the battle of the Bridge of Khazadum: “You cannot pass!”

Below is a draft of the bill that I propose, following the outline of the Consolidated RH Bill,  House Bill 4244, “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health andPopulation and Development Act of 2011” and Senator Miriam Santiago’s Senate Bill 2378, The Reproductive Health Act.  I hope a congressman or senator can improve my draft bill and sponsor it as a congressional or senate bill.  Please spread the word.

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr., Monk’s Hobbit

St. Albert the Great, pray for us.  

St. Bobo, pray for us.

Section 1.  Title

This act shall be known as the “Maternal Health Bill of 2011”.

Section 2.  Declaration of Policy

“The state recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic, autonomous, social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of the parents in rearing of the youth into civic efficiency and the development of the moral character shall receive support from the government.” (1987 Philippine Constitution Art. II, Sec. 12)

Section 3.  Guiding Principles

This act declares the following as guiding principles:

  1. A human being is formed when a sperm fertilizes an egg.  Many contraceptive pills are actually abortifacients because they prevent the fertilized egg to cling to the uterine walls and the fertilized egg dies.
  2. Every child has a right to be conceived in his mother’s womb through the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s egg through sexual intercourse.
  3.  Every child conceived has the right to be born alive.
  4. The use of condoms and contraceptive pills makes fornication and adultery easier because the woman involved will not get pregnant and the scandalous affair is not brought to light.  Fornication leads to low marriage rates and adultery increases the breakdown of marriages.
  5. The use of condoms and and contraceptive pills contributes to environmental pollution.  In particular, when the contraceptive chemicals are excreted from the woman’s body through urine, these chemicals enter the sewage  system,  down to our rivers and streams, and back to our drinking water.  The female sex hormones in the water contributes to the impotence of males.
  6. Contraceptive pills interrupt women’s natural fertility cycle. Furthermore, the use of contraceptive pills has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.
  7. The use of condoms and contraceptive pills lessen the respect of the husband to the wife, making her an object to be used anytime, anywhere, without regard to her natural fertility cycle.
  8. The use of condoms increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases: those who use condoms think that having sex is safer, so they increase the frequency of their sexual intercourse and the number of their sexual partners.
  9. The use of condoms and contraceptive pills leads to a notion that a child is not a gift but a burden, so that if the contraception fails and a child is conceived, the next recourse is abortion.  Countries who made contraception into a law ended up making abortion into a human right.
  10. Willful abortion is a criminal offense because a human being is killed.
  11. Growing population is not a problem, but graft and corruption.  Decline in population leads to a graying population which would decrease the number of taxpayers and increase the numbers of old pensioners, leading to economic collapse.
  12. The children are the hope of our country, said Dr. Jose Rizal. It is not the duty of the state to mandate the number of children per household, but to provide opportunities for each child conceived to grow to become responsible citizens of the country.
  13. Those who contribute to the pollution of our environment or to the destruction of our families must be must be the one who shall be taxed in order for the government to clean up the mess.
Section 4. Definition of Terms
  1. Maternal health refers to the biological capacity of a woman to do the all of the four functions: (a) conceive a child through sexual intercourse with a man, (b) carry the child in her womb for nine months, (c) give birth to the child through normal delivery, (d) and breastfeed the child immediately after birth until the child does not anymore need breastmilk.
  2. Maternal death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes (World Health Organization)
  3. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman as witnessed by the State for the the purpose of raising a family.
  4. Fornication or pre-marital sex is the sexual intercourse between the unmarried man and an unmarried woman
  5. Adultery is the sexual intercourse with a partner who is married to another.
  6. Contraceptives are devices or chemicals that hinders the meeting between the sperm and egg during sexual intercourse
  7. Abortifacients are substances or chemicals that induce abortion.
  8. Sex hormones are sex-specific chemicals that are naturally produced by the human body.  Males have male hormones, females have female hormones.
  9. Abortion is the killing of an unborn child in the womb.
  10. Fertility cycle is the reproductive cycle of which define the days when she is fertile and when she is not.
  11. Natural family planning refers to the study of the woman’s fertility cycle to determine the proper times for sexual intercourse for the proper spacing of births.
  12. Sexually transmitted diseases refers to diseases that are transmitted through sexual intercourse, such as AIDS and HIV.
Section 5.  Contraception, Abortion, and Fertility Treatments
  1. Contraceptives imported from other countries are subject to 100% tariff. Contraceptives donated from other countries will also be subject to 100% tariff based on their estimated value.  Thirty-five percent (35%) of the tariff shall go to the National Treasury, 30% shall go to the Department of Health (DOH) for its Maternal Health Programs, 15 % shall go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and 15% shall go to a special research fund of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).  This special research fund shall be awarded to research proposals for development of ways to monitor and remove women sex hormones in rivers, lakes, and drinking water.  These funds shall be included in the yearly appropriations of the Philippine government budget.
  2. Contraceptives produced in the country are subject to 50% production tax.  Contraceptives sold in the country are subject to 50% sales tax.
  3. Contraceptives that do not require surgery or taking in of chemicals can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies, e.g. condoms.  Contraceptives that require the absorption of chemicals in a man’s or woman’s body can only be bought through doctor’s prescription.  Contraceptives that require surgery shall be considered contraband goods.
  4. Ligation in men and women as a form of contraception shall not be allowed.  Doctors and nurses who took part in  these surgeries shall have their medical licenses revoked for three (3) years.
  5. The Department of Health shall provide a list of chemical contraceptives that are abortifacients.  The importation, manufacture, and sale of these contraceptives shall be prohibited and these contraceptives shall be considered contraband goods.
  6. Willful termination of a normal pregnancy (abortion) is a criminal offense.  The doctor or nurse who took part in these surgeries shall be tried in a criminal court.
  7. Fertility treatments which require fertilization outside the woman’s womb shall not be allowed in the country.  Doctors and nurses who took part in these treatments shall have their medical licenses revoked for three years.
  8. Contraceptives shall not be classified as essential medicines and their purchase shall not be covered by PhilHealth.  No government fund must be used for the purchase of contraceptives or for the promotion of their use.  Government funds shall only be used by DOH for Natural Family Planning and other Maternal Health Programs.
  9. Hospitals shall be required to have pregnancy crisis centers for counselling women who are thinking of aborting their child due to rape, incest, abandonment, etc.  These centers will be staffed by DOH and DSWD personnel or DOH and DSWD-accredited personnel.  They shall also be funded by donors from the private sector and NGO’s.  The purpose of these centers is to convince the women to let their baby live, and give it up for adoption at least.  The women shall be shown the ultrasound–in 4G if possible–what their baby looks like in the womb–pointing out the head, the arms, the feet, fingers, and toes.  Once the baby is delivered, the mother of the baby may decide to keep the baby or give him up for adoption.
  10. The DOH and DSWD shall publish a joint list of accredited pregnancy crisis centers and child adoption centers.  This list shall be made available to all hospitals.
Section 6.  Marriage and Sex Education
  1. All couples who wish to get married must attend lectures on possible sources of conflicts in marriage and how to resolve them to make marriage and family life wonderful.  The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) shall conduct these lectures at least once a year.  The DSWS can also accredit centers who shall do these lectures.
  2. The couples who wish to get married must also take lectures on natural family planning, fetal development, breastfeeding, and child development.  The Department of Health (DOH) shall conduct these lectures once a year.  The DOH can also accredit centers who shall do these lectures.
  3.  Sex education in elementary and high schools is only limited to that body’s fertility cycle, sexual reproduction, and child development as taught in Biology.  The harmful effects of chemical contraceptives may also be taught.  The use of condoms should not be taught in elementary and high school.
  4. Values formation classes should stress the dignity of marriage, the gift of a child, and social responsibility.  These classes should discuss the problems  resulting from the contraceptive mentality such as pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce, and abortion.  These classes should discuss how these things destroy family and society.  The Department of Education shall review the existing curriculum on values education and incorporate these topics if these were not included before.
Section 7.  Maternal Health
  1. Couples may use PhilHealth for the ultrasound imaging of a developing fetus in his mother’s womb, provided that such a procedure is prescribed by a doctor.
  2. The benefits of paternity and maternity shall be availed by the couples as stipulated in the existing laws.
  3. The delivery efficiency of midwives shall be labeled in their DOH certified identification card.  The delivery efficiency is the ratio of two numbers: total live births delivered divided by total births delivered, computed since the start of her career.  Both the fraction and percent efficiency should be displayed.  Midwives with the highest yearly number of live births  assisted with 100% delivery efficiency shall be given an award by the provincial DOH at least Php 10,000 in cash and a plaque of appreciation.
  4. All midwives, nurses, and doctors who have assisted delivery cases wherein the infant or the mother died or both shall inform the DOH.  A  DOH personnel shall interview the medical practitioners involved on the sequence of events and the possible causes of death.  These interviews shall be recorded in text, audio, or video.  The transcribed interviews shall be sent to provincial DOH centers for making a yearly report.  From this data, midwifery practices that are shown to correspond higher incidence of infant and maternal deaths shall be eliminated or modified.  DOH shall then issue revised protocols on child delivery and maternal health.
  5. All hospitals in a province are required to submit to provincial DOH centers the statistics on infant and maternal mortality, starting from the child is in the womb until the child is released from the hospital.
  6. At the end of each year, the provincial DOH centers shall make a summary report of the child mortality per hospital and and health center.
  7. Doctors, nurses, and midwives must see to it that the newborn child is breastfed by the mother.
  8. Hospitals should only display the benefits of breastmilk in posters.    Dairy products should not be prominently advertised in hospitals as breast-milk substitutes.  Purchase of breastmilk substitutes require a doctor’s prescription.
  9. Malls must have designated breastfeeding stations where a mother can breastfeed her child in private.  These stations should be clearly marked and its location should be available in the information booth and the mall map.  Mall owners shall be given a year to comply to this requirement.  Malls that fail to comply shall have their business permit revoked .
Section 8. Separability Clause, Repealing Clause, and Effectivity
  1. Separability Clause.  If any part of this act is considered invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
  2. Repealing Clause.  All other laws, decrees, ordinances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
  3. Effectivity.  This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Liberal education vs liberal Faith: What is the true essence of Ateneo education?

There is a distinction between liberal education and liberal Faith. Liberal education of Ateneo simply means that students become well rounded individuals: they study languages, humanities, arts, and sciences, regardless of their chosen course. The core curriculum is the essence of Ateneo’s liberal education.

On the other hand, to have a liberal Faith is antithesis of being Catholic. To be liberal in Faith is to choose only the doctrines and teachings that you feel like obeying and discard the rest. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the Cafeteria Catholicism. The words of Dr. Clamor are only partly true. There are things in Catholicism that if one does not believe them, you do not cease to be Catholic. An example would be some Marian apparitions and other private revelations to the saints. But there are things called dogmas that are non-negotiables: if you don’t believe them, you cease to be Catholic. You become a heretic. An example would be the Dogma of the Trinity.

Membership in the Church is not a subjective feeling or being conscious about it. If you are baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, you become the member of the Catholic Church. Outside the Church there is no salvation. If you are cut off from the Church, you wither and die, because the Church is the Body of Christ (c.f parable of the vine and branches).

One cannot support the Reproductive Health Bill in good conscience, because a good conscience is formed by obedience to the teachings of the Church. Support for the Reproductive Health Bill can only be a result of malformed conscience. Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae has explicitly condemned the use of contraceptives in married life as instrinsically wrong. Your Th 121 can have his/her opinions on what should the Catholic Church do regarding homosexual couples, but he does not have the Magisterium (Teaching Authority) of Bishops and Popes. Your teacher can say his opinions and we can debate forever. But when the Pope speaks ex Cathedra as successor of Peter, the case is closed.

In the time of Jose Rizal, to be an Atenean is to have a liberal education. Jose Rizal studied Latin and Greek and learned the arts and sciences. A true Atenean is a devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jose Rizal carved the Statue of the Sacred Heart in wood with a penknife. A true Atenean is a devotee of Our Lady. Jose Rizal prays the rosary. This is the reason why the Ateneo Basketball Team was once known as the Hail Mary Squad because they always pray the rosary before each game. And this is also why we sing our Alma Mater Song:

“Mary for you! For your white and blue! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, constantly true! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, faithful to you!”

As an agnostic, you have to be careful when you sing this song. Mama Mary can convert even the most hardened sinners. The Campus Ministry in Ateneo never cease to give the Miraculous Medal every year. It is not called Miraculous Medal for nothing. If you receive that medal and pray a Hail Mary a day devoutly for a month, you will be converted. If you are incredulous, try it.

When Rizal gone astray into masonry, did his Jesuit teachers approve of his views? No. This led to the series of letters between Rizal and Fr. Pastells, SJ. Rizal’s physics teacher, Fr. Federico Faura, SJ, the man who first forcasted Philippine storms, rebuked Rizal for his insolence. But when Rizal was shown the statue of the Sacred Heart that He carved in his youth, Rizal converted. Fr. Faura heard his confession and he died in Luneta as a true Atenean and Catholic.