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Deliver us from evil

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DAVAO CITY — I don’t know what disgusts me more: that flamboyant tour guide Carlos Celdran should disrupt mass at the Manila Cathedral with his antics, or that many Filipinos on the Internet should approve.

I don’t even know if “disgust” is the appropriate word, though it’s the first one that comes to mind. I feel many things: anger, certainly, and shame, too. But more than that, I feel sadness and I feel fear.

Oh, I’m not afraid of Celdran nor of the vociferous voices that applaud his action. Celdran is just a clown, and all those voices are only about as brave as the Facebook “Like” button will let them.

But I am afraid of what I see behind all this.

What Celdran has done, and what his supporters approve of, falls outside the norms of decency and civilized behavior. What I see here is hatred for the Church. Not just disagreement or disapproval, not even indignation, but deep and utter hatred. Not merely that either, but a laughing, gleeful hatred.

Have you ever seen such hatred? Step back a bit, and think: to whom or to what could you compare such a kind of hate? Step back a bit, and think: who or what could hate the Church to such a degree?

I don’t think I am at all a timid man, but when I think about all these events, I am filled with disgust, revulsion, and fear as such that makes me shiver to the core. And instinctively, I have to pray:

St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, o prince of the heavenly host, by the Power of God thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.

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