Dear #SuperBoboNetizen, aka anti-Catholic…

I saw this yesterday going the rounds in Facebook.


To those who do not understand Taglish (yes, Taglish, because the post begins with the conjunctive adverb “so”), what this character called Mark Fernández meant was simply this: if you don’t pay a hundred bucks, your prayers won’t reach heaven, and that’s the reason why he doesn’t trust organized religion anymore.

All this because of that “MASS INTENTION MINIMUM Php 100.00” sign by the glass window of what appears to be a parish office.

We understand what he was trying to imply here: Church corruption. This kind of anti-Catholic social media post, of course, is no longer unusual. We encounter it from time to time. Cayá siguro dapat na patulan co na. 😎

I might agree with Mark that the sign is a bit off, especially because of the word “minimum”. But I’m sure that even without that word, he would have posted this anyway. Gustong sumicat, eh. So let me say this: before making #SuperBoboPosts such as this one, please be informed that Mass intentions and other similar DONATIONS (emphasis meant for the intention of the #SuperBoboNetizen) go to the maintenance of the parish. They need it to pay for electricity and water bills, documentation fees, salary for church helpers (janitors, church workers, etc.), procurement of church supplies (candles, incense, vestments, etc.). So the bigger the church, the larger the bills for maintenance. Hence the amount they charge for church services.

But the Mass per se cannot be paid for. Money cannot save souls nor can they bring prayers to heaven. That is impossible and hilarious. Such accusations can only be thought of by a #SuperBoboNetizen like this Mark character and everybody else who agrees with him. Mass intentions can be free. If you have no means to pay for baptismal ceremonies, weddings, etc., all you need to do is to talk to the parish priest.

But then, if all church activities are free, how could a parish even sustain itself? Are you willing to donate even 10% of your salary to help out your parish? Have you thought about that? Of course not. Because it is easier to make #SuperBoboComments rather than think.

I have a suggestion, though: if you can’t stand these LOWLY church payments, simply walk away and go join a sect/cult. Many of them, by the way, will FORCE you to give them 10% of your salary on the pains of being excommunicated / expelled / condemned to the pits. As you can see, the Catholic Church is NOT forcing anyone to give them money. Go compare that to other sects/cults.

So marriage has a fee… how many times did you get married? So baptism has a fee… how many times was your child baptized? You only get to die once; are you going to be charged by your parish for eternity just to be buried? During Mass collections, are you even FORCED to shell out coins?

If you will keep count of all the money you’ve donated during Masses your whole lifetime, it would surprise me to death if it would amount to more than a hundred bucks.

Libre ang mag-isíp. It exercises the mind as well and will even help you avoid making #SuperBoboComments. 😉

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Confessing the Katipunan

Deponatur sacerdos qui peccata penitentis publicare præsumit.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, commonly known as the Sacrament of Confession, is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and is very much a part of the Filipino Christian’s way of life. Through it, Christians are able to confess their sins to a priest in order to obtain absolution (forgiveness) for sins committed against God and fellowman. Being absolved allows the Christian to be reconciled to the greater Catholic community.

We are not about to engage on the necessity, benefits, and Biblical veracity of the Sacrament of Confession. Rather, this blogpost seeks to clarify the involvement of the alleged violation of the Seal of the Confessional to an important event in Filipino History at the turn of the 20th century: the discovery of the Katipunan.

Today, history reminds us how government authorities discovered in the afternoon of 19 August 1896 the existence of the underground rebel group Katipunan (officially known as the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan or the “Supreme and Honorable Society of the Children of the Nation”) which was, for years, already plotting the downfall of the Spanish regime. Conventional history tells us that the existence of the Katipunan was divulged as a result of a petty quarrel between two of its members, Teodoro Patiño and Apolonio de la Cruz. It is said that the two had a misunderstanding regarding wages (both were employees of the Diario de Manila), and that de la Cruz also blamed Patiño for the loss of some printing supplies. As an act of vengeance, Patiño angrily revealed the secrets of the Katipunan to his sister Honoria who was a nun at an orphanage in Mandaluyong (it was not explained to us the rationale of how Patiño’s quarrel with de la Cruz prompted him to reveal the existence of the Katipunan to his sister).

Honoria, being a nun, naturally grew shocked and upset upon finding out that his brother was part of a rebel group related to the Freemasons, the ancient enemy of the Catholic Church. Sor Teresa de Jesús, the mother portress of the orphanage, saw Honoria distraught, prompting the former to interrogate the latter. Honoria told everything she heard from her brother. Later in the evening, Sor Teresa called Patiño and advised him to tell everything he knew about the Katipunan to Fray Mariano Gil, the Augustinian curate of Tondo. Father Gil, in turn, alerted the authorities who then unleashed a crackdown on suspected members after incriminating evidence was found. The unexpected discovery of the Katipunan compelled its leader, Andrés Bonifacio, to publicly declare an uprising days later. The rest, as they say, is history.

Through the years, Filipino students have been taught that the Katipunan was discovered as a result of Fr. Gil’s violation of the seal of the confessional. The poor friar has been painted as a villain since. And this event in our history has become a favorite target of Filipino anti-Catholics and other Hispanophobes.

But is it true that Fr. Mariano Gil violated the seal of the confessional?

In many textbooks, it is written that the Augustinian parish priest of Tondo indeed violated the secrecy of confession. Take one instance, for example (taken from Rex Bookstore’s The Filipino Moving Onward and My Country and My People for Grade 5 students):

Upon the advice of the Mother Portress of the orphanage, Teodoro Patiño made a confession to Fr. Mariano Gil…

But if we are to consult standard history books written by big names such as Teodoro Agoncillo and Renato Constantino, we will see that they did not even mention the word “confession” nor did they allude to the sacrament. And in Gregorio Zaide’s first book, Documentary History of the Katipunan Discovery: A Critico-historical Study of the Betrayal of the K.K.K. New Revelations, the controversy regarding the alleged breaching of the seal of confession was tackled, but it seemed to center more on breaking the then prevailing myth that a woman confessed the existence of the Katipunan to Fr. Gil (the “traitor” was then believed to be either Juana de Guzmán [Patiño’s wife] or Honoria).

It is not known to many, however, that this controversy was already put to rest many years ago, at least by Concepción Escalada, Honoria’s daughter. According to Zaide, Concepción revealed that she heard her mother deny that Teodoro gave the information inside the confessional. Her uncle Teodoro simply told the Katipunan plot to her mother Honoria in the presence of Sor Teresa.

Image result for fr. mariano gil horas mo na

Fr. Mariano Gil had been receiving death threats from the dreaded Katipunan.

Nevertheless, Zaide’s account of Honoria’s revelation was doubted by Agoncillo. Even to this day, many historians are divided on the issue. So for the sake of argument… what if Patiño really did confess, and Fr. Gil did divulge the details of his confession to the authorities?

In order to resolve this once and for all, try putting yourselves in Fr. Mariano Gil’s shoes: pretend that you are a priest. Then one day, a tearful penitent visits you for a confession. You are surprised because you know her as a prominent public servant. She is a Catholic, but a Bangsamoro sympathizer and collaborator. During the confession, she also gives you details of an impending attack by her Bangsamoro separatist friends on the capital city. As a priest, you are not allowed to divulge her other sins of having knowledge about bombs being detonated in major cities all over the archipelago through the years. You can only advice her to do the right thing: that is, to surrender to the authorities for having been an accomplice. But regarding her other confession, that of a major attack on the capital city in which many innocent lives are certainly at stake… as a citizen, what are you going to do about it?

13th Annual Apologetics Seminar of the Defensores Fidei Foundation

Catholicism, the faith of our forefathers, forms a crucial part in the structure and understanding of the Filipino Identity — whether we like it or not. Therefore, it is imperative for the Filipino nationalist to fight not just for the return of the Spanish language to our country but also for the defense of the Holy Mother Church, the true “Bride of Christ”, from Her attackers. To fellow Filipinos who are still concerned in protecting our complete national identity, I invite you to join the 13th Annual Apologetics Seminar of the Defensores Fidei Foundation which will be held on Saturdays beginning September 16 up to December 9. Please see the image below for the complete details (topics, speakers, schedule, and venue). May God bless us Filipinos!