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.
Please pray with me.