Author: Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino

The repackaging of Semana Santa

IN my childhood days millennia ago, Semana Santa was somber. Restraint was the norm. Laughter merited a severe tongue-lashing from elders who assigned themselves the task of guardians of the sacred days. Hanging out with friends in abandon could mean only one thing: somehow, you traced your lineage to Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas or perhaps even Judas, if he managed to establish a lineage before he hanged himself. When one stirred from the house, there was only one legitimate destination: church–and church services were very long. The Office of the Tenebrae, for one, meant that a psalm, chanted in...

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From one hypocrite to another!

Dubito, Ergo Sum   Hypocrisy is always shameful—whether it be the hypocrisy of a priest who preaches fidelity to the Gospel but is, in his own life, unfaithful to it, or the hypocrisy of a public official who swears to defend the Constitution but is remorseless in its transgression, or the hypocrisy of one who has traded his birthright to speak his mind for the shameful post of a bootlicker! In the same measure that martyrdom and heroism are part of the heritage of the Church, hypocrisy is. Peter was Jesus’ closest confidant. Even in those days, he enjoyed primacy—and everyone knew it, even Paul who was not quite always disposed to yield to it. And yet, on the fateful night that his Master was arrested and he was asked by a nameless servant-girl whether he was a friend of the defendant, he feigned ignorance. What a hypocrite he was when he had sworn that he was ready to lay down his very life for the Lord when he knew only too fully well that he did not have the fiber to make good on his promise! It is one thing though to be a hypocrite, to be ashamed of it, to beg for forgiveness for one’s duplicity and to carry on as best one can, and quite another to boast of one’s failings, make light of them, and...

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