Manila archdiocese leaves Carlos Celdran’s fate to gov’t

Manila archdiocese leaves Carlos Celdran’s fate to gov’t

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MANILA CATHEDRAL

By CBCPNews

August 8, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The fate of tour guide and artist Carlos Celdran is now the hands of the government authorities, an official of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) said.

Fr. Roy Bellen, head of RCAM’s Office of Communications, said that in the first place, the archdiocese has nothing to do with the case of Celdran.

He said that although there was an initial complaint made to make authorities aware of the incident and help prevent such situation from happening again, “there was not any legal move from the part of the archdiocese”.

“We leave to the government the tasks that are properly theirs, especially in implementing the law, so as long as the rights and dignity of a person is respected,” Bellen said.

“We do not say that the archdiocese is pleased simply because a person has been convicted. The Church has always desired the good of persons and institutions,” he said.

The Supreme Court recently upheld a Manila court’s decision that found Celdran guilty of “offending religious feelings” after he disrupted an ecumenical service inside the Manila Cathedral when he pulled off his “Damaso” stunt in 2010.

Padre Damaso refers to the antagonist Spanish friar in Jose Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere”.

Celdran barged inside the cathedral and protested the Catholic Church’s opposition against the passage of the controversial “reproductive health” bill, now passed into law.

He earlier sought for a reversal of the Court of Appeals decision in 2015 which affirmed a lower court decision convicting him for violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code.

In 2013, the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 4 found Celdran guilty and has been sentenced to a minimum of two months and a maximum of one year and one month jail time.