CBCP denies approving ban of rosaries on dashboards
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has denied it approved the ban of rosaries and other religious items on car dashboards because of safety concerns.
In fact, CBCP Secretary General Fr. Marvin Mejia said he was told by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board that there will be “no total prohibition” of religious items in vehicles.
He admitted being consulted through phone call by LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada yesterday about the implementation of a 2014 policy on sacred symbols “but there was no talks about approval or something”.
“Who are we?” Mejia said, adding that he has yet to relay to the bishops the information he received from the LTFRB.
“We were even assured that there would be no prohibition of religious items inside the car as long as it does not impede the driver’s line of sight,” he said. “But how to determine it? That’s the question.”
Following mixed reactions from motorists, the priest urged the authorities to first iron out the confusions of the law.
He said the LTFRB should also consider the cultural and religious traditions of the Filipinos before fully enforcing a law aimed at removing distractions for drivers.
“For me, personally, they should review it to address the many concerns related to the safety of the motorists,” he said.
For her part, Atty. Aurora Santiago, former president of the Council of the Laity in the Philippines, said that the ban may violate the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
“I will not remove my rosary. Now if they will question me, I’ll tell them that it’s not a distraction but I rather feel safe,” Santiago said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“One of the practices of our Catholic faith is to pray the rosary so they can’t prohibit that,” she said. CBCPNews