Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala

Much will be made of the pending beatification of Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala, one of the 428 martyrs of the Spanish Civil War who will undergo the process on October 28. The issue at hand: Fr. Zabala was known to have actively encouraged the torture of Fr. Mariano Dacanay, a native Filipino priest suspected of supporting insurrectionists, way back in 1896.

Before we engage in our new favorite national pasttime, it behooves to ask:

Is Fr. Zabala being beatified for that act of torture against Fr. Dacanay? Or is it for his act of blood witness some thirty years later?

To be sure, participating and encouraging the forced confession of Fr. Dacanay was an appalling act, but does this invalidate whatever acts of heroism he might have performed much later on? The point of many objecting to his beatification is precisely this blight -- a big blight, not a small one -- in his past. "It sends the wrong message to the world today," so they say.

I beg to differ. It's precisely the right message that we need to hear: that despite whatever dark pasts and unspeakable crimes, there's still hope for salvation and for glory. It's an echo of an earlier time, as documented in the Acts of the Apostles:

But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord. They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.


The objections, too, are another prediction come to pass:

"Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen."


28 comments:

  1. Really? The message sounds to me like this: Catholic priests can get away with practically anything... plus, his crimes can be used as justification for his beatification, to boot!

    The guy kicked a fellow priest in the head. That's worse than just standing by and holding people's coats while the torture went on. Your analogy with Paul makes no sense.

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  2. While I laugh at the obvious anti-Catholic bias of the above comment, I think it would make better sense to look first for proof that Fr. Zabala later regretted his actions against his fellow clergyman before the Vatican beatifies him. Being an example of God's mercy is one thing, but giving people the idea that martyrdom can replace contrition is quite another.

    Well...okay, it's not really that big of a deal (it's not as if anyone could prove that Zabala never regretted his misdeeds), it's just a thought that came to me as I read your post.

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  3. Francis: Ha ha. Tee hee. Ho ho. Laugh all you like. The fact is that his torturer past is being downplayed - in fact, it's being used as a justification - for the beatification of a torturer.

    I'm not painting all priests with the broad brush of torture, but... I feel that some Catholics are letting this guy get off too easy just because he's a priest.

    "Anti-Catholic"? Why, is a valid criticism of Catholicism "anti-Catholic" now? If anything, I've simply commented on how easily Catholics apply double standards of behavior to laymen and priests. Way to go to be dismissive without even facing the argument.

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  4. Francis: where I'm coming from is that we cannot simply use that incident as the reason to say whether the church is right to beatify him or not. Contrition as the basis? I agree!

    Which leads me to another point: I like to believe that Christian martyrdom does not come cheap, that it's also a special grace from God, and one that comes with prayer and contrition.

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  5. Mickety: Saul holding the coats was a special symbol of his approval of the stoning of Stephen. He wasn't just the valet, it was like saying "We lay our guilt and responsibility for the stoning of this man on you."

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  6. Dominique, Saul didn't lay a hand on Stephen. Zabala personally abused Fr. Dacanay.

    Let me ask you this:

    Isn't the defense (or justification) of Zabala's act a trivialization of his crimes against Dacanay?

    By extension, doesn't Zabala's beatification trivialize the Church's official stand against human rights abuses?

    Conversely, doesn't Zabala's record as a human rights abuser diminish the institution of beatification? (Go ahead and equivocate if you like, your tidy temporizing of Zabala's "hope for salvation and glory" just falls flat without any known act of contrition for his abuse of Fr. Dacanay.)

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  7. Hi Dom,
    This is the first I've heard of this and of course, it's very disturbing. To me,though, your attitude is the correct attitude for the Christian to take. Your use of Paul/Saul as an example is very appropriate.Thank you for this wonderful post.

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  8. Mickety: in answer to your question, only if the fact was glossed over. As it was, it was a recognized fact.

    You're right, though: I don't know of any act of contrition on the part of Fr. Zabala. Then again, neither do you, either way.

    My temporizing was just to get the goat of people like you ;-)

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  9. Hey Dom,

    Long time =)

    In any case, when a Pope (as successor of Peter) declares a person blessed and canonizes a person as saint, he is speaking ex cathedra, charism of papal infallibility (action of the Holy Spirit that the Pope is preserved from committing errors) by virtue of apostolic succession. Hence by then, Rome has spoken, the case is closed.

    Furthermore, here's a biblical evidence of Papal Infalliblity: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church; to you I give the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven" ~Mt.16:19-20

    Btw, micketymoc, Sacred Scriptures and history shows that Saul was once a persecutor of Christians. And yes, Dom is right, that he is also involved with St. Stephen's death, who was also the first christian martyr of the Church.

    But Saul was converted in that road to Damascus. Saul became St. Paul, who is known to be a great missionary saint with unwavering apostolic zeal in proclaiming the Gospel. Didn't St. Paul write the Epistles we have now in our bibles? If Christ Himself can forgive what Saul did (persecuting Christians) in the past, can we not also do that? Christ's death at Calvary has washed away his sins, and ours too.
    The sacraments we have now were instituted by Christ Himself for our salvation.

    Sorry, Dom, I hope, I didn't pontificate too much here. Haha.

    God bless.

    Dom, check out this link.
    http://www.zenit.org/article-20759?l=english

    Claire

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  10. Claire! So good to hear from you! How have you been?

    Wowzers! That link you gave had my hair standing on end! Not that I need it to affirm anything, but it actually looks kind of cool in a Jedi sort of way.

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  11. Dom, using a poorly-constructed argument to elicit a passionate response hardly counts as "getting one's goat". If you really wanted to "get my goat", you'd have to try a little harder than that. ;)

    Claire, I didn't say Paul was uninvolved in Stephen's martyrdom, I am only contesting Dominique's assertion that Paul's culpability in Stephen's suffering was somehow equal of greater than Zabala's culpability in Fr. Dacanay's suffering. Paul, while he may have approved of Stephen's stoning at the time, was just the coat check - Zabala actually abused Fr. Dacanay, and we have no indication he regretted his part in Fr. Dacanay's torture.

    And I'm sorry to correct you, Claire, but canonization (nor beatification, as is the case with Zabala) does not count as an "ex cathedra" pronouncement. Contrary to popular belief, papal infallibility applies only to a very few (and rare) instances... and specific beatifications are not among them.

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  12. "somehow equal of greater" = "somehow equal or greater" :)

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  13. Mickety: "to get one's goat" -- to annoy someone. Judging from your response I've already annoyed you. So...mission accomplished.

    Ah, the times, the times...used to be only apologists would get annoyed. But now...hmmm...

    And by the way, I stand by my earlier assertion. You can look up the significance of the cloaks. Middle Eastern folk are big on symbols.

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  14. http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/paul1.htm

    Saul had not taken part in the stoning but he had consented to the deed by keeping guard over the garments of those who did. He shared in it, not only through personal responsibility but also through a corporate one, since he was the most eloquent promoter of the war waged against the new sect. Now that the persecution had begun with the stoning of Stephen, Saul put himself at the head of the persecutors. He always followed an idea without swerving. Either he would exterminate those deserters from the faith of the Fathers or else they must renounce the new religion. His choice made, he went straight
    forward.

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  15. Hello Dom: Can I email you instead regarding how I've been? Though, I'm doing great.

    Dear Mickety:

    Hello, thanks for replying =) I’d like to give some nuances and clarifications here. And also, my apologies to correct you too.

    Again, canonizations are included in the so-called “very few cases” links (news article and in wikipedia) you provided here. Canonization is an infallible statement by the Church that the person is a saint and is in heaven while beatification is still part of that “ordinary Magisterium”, though non-fallible, we Catholics are obliged to believe it because it demands a loyal submission of the will and intellect from our end. Since, the “ordinary Magisterium” is the teaching authority of the Church. Vatican II said Catholics must give the ordinary Magisterium "a religious submission of mind and will" (Lumen Gentium, 25).

    Btw, in the Canonization wikipedia link you provided, in the references links, apparently link reference number 10 says Canonizations are Infallible. You missed it, Brother. But I'd rather have you check number 9: Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fide. That one is authentic. I love reading EWTN! =)

    Furthermore, Please check Catholic Encyclopedia as another authentic source:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm

    (c) It is also commonly and rightly held that the Church is infallible in the canonization of saints, that is to say, when canonization takes place according to the solemn process that has been followed since the ninth century.

    Just want to share here a short article regarding Papal Infallibility:

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp

    And another easy to read one for the Magisterium of the Church:

    http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2007/tstorck_magisterium_may07.asp

    Sowweee, Dom, for the long post.

    God bless!

    Claire

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  16. Correction:

    while beatification is still part of that “ordinary Magisterium”, though non-INfallible, we Catholics are obliged to believe it because it demands a loyal submission of the will and intellect from our end.

    Claire

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  17. Claire, I am only referring to your statement about the Pope speaking “ex cathedra” with regard to beatification and canonization (“he is speaking ex cathedra”, you said), which is still incorrect. Ex cathedra is more precisely defined by Vatican I. The truth is, there are only two Papal statements that can be said to have been made ex cathedra: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Let’s be more precise with our definitions; don’t elide the distinction between infallibility and ex cathedra, which are two related but separate concepts. (It’s a distinction so fine, even I slipped up earlier – when I said “papal infallibility applies only to a very few (and rare) instances” I meant to say “ex cathedra applies” etc . etc. Sorry about that.) While the infallibility of canonization may be open to some dispute, the non-ex cathedra nature of canonization or beatification is not.

    By the way: reference number 10 links to an apostate, sedevacantist, traditionalist-Catholic site that doesn’t recognize the current Pope. Just so you know. :)

    "Mickety: 'to get one's goat' -- to annoy someone. Judging from your response I've already annoyed you. So...mission accomplished."

    Dom, you’re a better troll than you are a debater. Good luck with that.

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  18. Carlos Antonio PaladOctober 18, 2007 4:37 AM

    I am Carlos Antonio Palad of Defensores Fidei. Claire informed me about the flamefest here and so.... I'm stepping in. I do think that Micketymoc's biased and ignorant statements warrant a firm response from all who are sick and tired of seeing Catholicism attacked by those who know so little about it.

    First of all, martyrdom IS a mark of contrition. It is, in fact, a special and even pre-eminent form of contrition, BECAUSE IT IS A PRE-EMINENT EXPRESSION OF LOVE FOR GOD.

    Let it not be forgotten that there are two kinds of contrition: attrition or imperfect contrition, and perfect contrition or contrition properly so-called. The former refers to being sorry for one's sins either because one is afraid of divine punishment or one is struck with revulsion in the face of one's sins. The latter -- which is true contrition, and the only contrition which can avail unto the forgiveness of any and all sins outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation -- is to be sorry for one's sins OUT OF LOVE FOR GOD. (See the Catholic Enyclopedia's articles on Attrition and Contrition, as well as the Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacrament of Penance, Chapters IV (on Contrition) and V (on Confession) and promulgated on November 25, 1551)

    Now, actions speak louder than words -- I think we can all agree on that. Even if an act of love -- of which the act of PERFECT contrition is so clearly a form -- were made without the actual words "I love you" being uttered, it is still an act of love if it is truly an expression of the virtue of charity, which is best manifested in self-offering or self-sacrifice for the beloved.

    Now, martyrdom is the ultimate offering of oneself to God. IT IS THE ULTIMATE ACT OF LOVE FOR GOD. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends (John 15:3) and St. Thomas Aquinas declares from this that martyrdom is the most perfect of human acts and the sign of greatest charity (Summa Theologiae, Secunda Secundae, Question CXXIV, "On Martyrdom".)This is the reason why the Church considers that martyrdom wipes out all sins, bar none: martyrdom, being the pre-eminent human act and the sign of greatest charity, is already an expression of supreme contrition for one's sins. It is the greatest "I am sorry for all my sins" that can ever be expressed by man.

    Second, Micketymoc seems to forget that Saul -- the future St. Paul -- did not only hold the coats of those who stoned St. Stephen. He also led the first-ever persecution of the Church! He is spoken of as "laying waste the Church" and as "dragging men AND WOMEN into prison"!

    Acts 8:1-3 says: "And Saul was consenting to his (Stephen's) death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the Church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him. But Saul laid waste the Church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison."

    In the 1st century AD, imprisonment routinely included inhuman treatment -- chains, pillories, beatings, squalid and extremely filthy dungeons -- amounting to what we would nowadays consider torture. Saul is even described as "dragging men and women" -- one can only imagine the violence this implies! I think "being dragged" is far more painful than simply getting kicked in the head! And how many were affected? The text of Acts says "they were all scattered" and we know from Acts 2:41-47 that the Church in Jerusalem numbered in the thousands. In short -- Saul, the future St. Paul -- was guilty of the mistreatment and inhuman suffering of THOUSANDS of people. Even if many of the faithful were simply "scattered" -- in modern parlance, become refugees -- that is still a lot of suffering. I'd rather be kicked in the head than be driven out of my house and forced to become a refugee.

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  19. Carlos Antonio PaladOctober 18, 2007 5:39 AM

    Micketmoc should really read more lives of the saints before he dares pronounce on the sanctity of the beati. What Fr. Olaso Zabala did is peanuts compared to what so many other saints did. And I'm not talking here about saints whose lamentations over their past sins are recorded; I'm referring here to saints for whose "repentance" there is no specific record, SAVE FOR THE FACT that they are now venerated by the Church as saints. Permit me to give two (among many) examples:

    1) SOLOMON. There is no written, specific evidence from the Bible that Solomon ever repented of the gross crimes (including the worship of Molech, whose cult included burning babies alive) and exactions of which he was guilty in the later part of his reign. (See 1 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 10:4). And yet the Catholic and Orthodox Churches revere him as a saint. The fact that the Church reveres him as a saint is our only proof that, indeed, he must have repented of his gross and unimaginable sins. ("unimaginable", for Solomon was the wisest man of his age -- and yet he still fell into such base sins, and in his old age at that!)

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church # 61 affirms that "The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church's liturgical traditions." Although there is no feast of "Saint Solomon" in the Latin Rite, the Byzantine Rite -- both in the Catholic (especially in the Greek, Russian and Melkite Catholic calendars) and Orthodox Church -- commemorate Solomon along with David and other Old Testament prophets and patriarchs on the Second Sunday before the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Solomon is clearly marked as a saint in the Byzantine iconographical tradition. Solomon -- as is true of most saints who lived prior to the tennth century -- was never formally canonized; however, his "canonization" was accomplished by his inclusion, in the earlier days of Christendom, AS A SAINT in the liturgy of the Church. "Lex orandi, lex credendi" -- As the Church prays, so she believes. If the Church LITURGICALLY venerates one as a saint, then the Church declares that person to be a saint in a way that truly binds the consciences of the faithful.

    2) St. John of Ribera (Juan de Rivera) 1532-1611, Archbishop of Valencia from 1568 to 1611, was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1960. He is known as the man who, in 1609, instigated the deportation of ALL Muslims (the Moriscos) from Spain. In fairness, he did it in the aftermath of a violent Islamic revolt in Spain that resulted in the matryrdom of hundreds of Catholic priests, and out of fear that the Moriscos were collaborating with the Ottoman Turks then ravaging the shores of Sapin. Nevertheless, the event remains one of shocking violence: the Spanish Muslims at that time numbered some 375,000 at most; it is estimated that 10-20% of all these eventually died during the process of deportation. Although John de Ribera was rumored to have been stricken by remorse for the immense human suffering thus caused, he did not stop the deportations, which continued until 1614 -- three years after his death.

    In the politics and mores of the time, such drastic actions were acceptable, and John de Ribera was simply being a man of his age when he ordered the mass deportations. Nevertheless, his actions remain objectionable from a 21st century viewpoint, and even in his own time he did not lack critics. However, in 1960, Pope John XXIII -- yes, good old Pope John himself -- judged that the events of 1609 were not sufficient to stop the canonization of John de Ribera, whose private life demonstrated such great personal virtue and holiness. If anything, his life of virtue more than made up for the stain on his name caused by the expulsion of the Moriscos.

    John de Ribera brings me to another point forgotten by many critics of the upcoming beatification of Fr. Gabino. The fact is, TORTURE WAS AN ACCEPTED PRACTICE IN 1896. Even the Katipuneros and the Philippine Revolutionary Gov't brutally tortured Spanish -- and later, American -- captives, as graphically decribed by Teodoro Agoncillo in his history of the Philippines. Bonifacio personally took part in the torture of Spanish friars, which was one of the reasons why Aguinaldo eventually conspired to have him deposed and executed. In Spain itself, torture was considered an acceptable police practice until well into the 20th century. I am not in any way defending torture. I am simply pointing out that Fr. Zabala -- as did the Philippine Revolutionaries -- lived in a historical milieu where such extreme acts were considered normal or even necessary. We cannot expect anyone, even saints, to completely escape the prejudices of their age.

    Those who keep denouncing Fr. Zabala for his participation in the torture of a fellow priest seem to forget that HE HIMSELF was tortured by the Philippine Revolutionaries in Ilocos, when he was captured in 1898. His superior, Bishop Jose Hevia Campomanes (who knew of the torture of Filipino priests in Vigan) was beaten up so severely on orders from the Revolutionary authorities that his arm was broken. As far as I'm concerned, Fr. Zabala already paid for his crime in 1896 when he was tortured in 1898.

    By the way, micketymoc's bigoted statements to the effect that Fr. Zabala is being beatified FOR TORTURING A FILIPINO is despicable and slanderous. This is so patently untrue. He is being beatified because, in 1936, faced with a choice between renouncing his faith or dying for it, he chose the latter.

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  20. Carlos Antonio PaladOctober 18, 2007 5:42 AM

    Just a correction. My reference to St. John should read "John 15:13" NOT John 15:3.

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  21. Mickety bolsters his arguments by diminishing the role of Saul to (in his words) a mere coat check. But if you read through the other parts of the New Testament, you'll see that a recurring theme is "persecution." And that's no mere love tap.

    Acts 8: And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

    Acts 9: "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
    "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.

    and again:

    "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

    And we hear from Paul himself in Acts 22:
    "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

    But perhaps the most telling is Paul's own first letter to the Corinthians:

    "and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."

    But see, this lines are also what is key in this whole discussion -- "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect."

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  22. Furthermore, there seems to be an inconsistency in Mickety's stance: he implies that we put priests on a pedestal (and hence they can get away with anything), but at the same time elevates the gravity of the offense because it was directed against a fellow priest (see first comment.)

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  23. And Mickety: troll am I? In the first place, this is my space and I did not impose my views on you. I simply expressed my opinions in my own blog. Rather, you came here to impose your views on me and subjecting me to your verbal abuse.

    So...who's the troll now?

    Besides, we're two opposing sides on this argument, and you'd be a poor judge (as would I) on who's the worse troll or the better debater.

    Why don't we let the other folks decide?

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  24. Gabino Olaso Zabala may be a martyr and no one is questioning God's own way of admitting him to Beatific Vision. He may have been forgiven all his sins.
    But as a human institution, the Church should not add insult to injury upon a Filipino priest and upon the entire Filipino people to have this "torturer" beatified. Nothing changes whatever and wherever he is. For the Filipinos, this garbage of an Augustinian Friar does not deserve to be so honored. As a priest, I believe this would only be fair.
    Remember, what he did to this fellow priest was an act that he did to Christ.

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  25. To Carlos Antonio Palad: You stated that toture was acceptable as was of punishment during the Spanish era in the Philippines, but this DID NOT make torture right !!!!! Christ said " love one another as I have loved you" If Father Zabala was a true Christian then at least he could have acted like a TRUE Christian should! Worse is that he was a priest, he should have been an example of forgivenes, love and compassion. What he did was unjustifiable. And do you think that Filipinos will pray to him and ask for his intercession??? I don't think so. We need a Christlike saint, not like Father Zabala. The world knows how those Spanish priests mistreated Filipinos at the beginning of the coloization and their abuses did'nt stop until all Spanish missionaries were kicked out of the Philippines. Folks read the history of the Philippines and you wiill learn how Filipinos suffered under the Spaniards. They were zealous in spreading the Gospel, but a lot of them were biased and prejudice towards the Filipinos. And Father Zabala is one of them.

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  26. Carlos Antonio PaladJanuary 11, 2008 12:19 PM

    Rene;

    Obviously, you were not reading what I said. I did not say that torture is right. What I said is that torture was considered acceptable in the 19th century, and that the people of the 19th century (among them Fr. Zabala) could not be expected to have held 21st century views regarding torture.

    If we are going to beatify and canonize only those who were so enlightened as to have moral views similar to those of our times, believe me, we will have to decanonize and debeatify just about anybody.

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  27. Carlos Antonio PaladJanuary 11, 2008 12:39 PM

    Dear Father "Anonymous";

    You concede that Fr. Zabala is a martyr, and yet you leave it an open question whether he has been forgiven all his sins. Of course he has been forgiven all his sins! He is a martyr! It is a DOCTRINE of the Church that those who are martryred are forgiven all their sins. Father, do you deny or doubt this?

    Please re-read my post. I made it clear that Fr. Zabala's martyrdom -- if not his own torture by Filipinos in 1898 -- already represented an act of repentance and expiation for all the sins he committed against a Filipino priest in 1896. Or do you too deny that repentance erases sin and restores grace? Did not Fr. Zabala's martyrdom -- an act of supreme repentance -- erase all his sins, washing these away in the Blood of the Lamb?

    Do not forget, Father, that the Church has canonized far greater torturers and killers than Fr. Zabala. The annals of the Church are full of men with blood on their hands, but whose repentance so purified them that the Church now finds it fitting to elevate them to the altars, for there is now no defilement in them. Repentance achieves the creation of a new, clean heart. Do you deny this? If you do, then on what account do you sit in the confessional?

    Did not Christ bring to heaven the bandit and thief Dismas? Who was worse? Fr. Zabala, who kicked a Filipino? Or Dismas, who KILLED a Roman soldier? But Christ saw fit to save him who repented only at the final hour, crying mercy to Him at his very side; and for good measure, Christ's Church has numbered him among the saints. How much more Fr. Zabala, who, after his sin of youthful rage, had nearly four decades of life still ahead of him, crowned by maryrdom?

    What I find sickening is not that Fr. Zabala has been beatified, but that some Filipino clergy, presuming to be wiser than the Holy See in this matter, and thinking themselves better than the tradition of the Church, dare dissent so publicly.

    And we Filipinos wonder why Pope Benedict XVI has set a strict limit of only three FIlipino Cardinals?

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  28. I am a direct descendant of Father Mariano Dacanay. I believe in all my heart that if my great- grandfather is alive today that he will forgive Father Zabala's action and let God do justice for him.

    The Bible says, everyone is a sinner and one can only become a saint if that person is justified through Christ. So, the only way to become a saint is not by our own works but by completely recognizing all our sins and accepting Jesus Christ's death on the cross as justification for our sins...that is why JC is called a 'savior', He paid the final prize. By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

    Catholic Beatification is an earthly process...but genuine sainthood is appointed by God.

    Why don't we all read the Holy Scriptures and let us prove who can be called saints according to our God, the Father?

    Mae D

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