MANILA, August 15, 2011— Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has declared August 26 as a “Day of Penance” for the ‘sinful’ art exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
In a circular, Rosales also encouraged the faithful to perform sacrifice on the date such as fasting or other forms of mortification, “as an expression of remorse for the sins committed against God’s majesty.”
Despite CCP’s defense for allowing Mideo Cruz’s “repulsive” art installation, the cardinal maintained that it was a “sacrilege and blasphemy.”
“For us Catholics and Christians, the offense goes beyond visual senses; it strikes into our souls,” said Rosales. “It is a sin.”
Like the many other critics, the prelate agrees that the work over-reached the boundaries of freedom of expression.
Most say, according to him, it is offensive and a great affront to Catholics and Christians, and to all people who value decency. “To them the work is ‘trash.’ And we agree,” he Rosales.
Cardinal Rosales also directed that a “prayer of reparation” be recited in all Masses from August 21 to 28 in the Archdiocese of Manila.
“As Church we will kneel before our loving God to pray and seek reparation for this public sin,” he said.
The CCP has since closed down the gallery where the exhibit was featured following the protests from various Christian groups.
Catholic lay organizations, meanwhile, opposed calls made by the faculty members of the University of the Philippines (UP) for the CCP to re-open to the public Cruz’s art installation.
Atty. Jo Imbong of St. Thomas More Society said they do not agree to claims that the CCP should maintain autonomy by continuing to showcase the controversial “Kulo” exhibit.
“CCP is not autonomous. Its mandate is prescribed by law. Therefore, it has a mandate under the law, which is to foster positive cultural values. It’s a government agency,” she said.
“If that would be abused… they are accountable to the Filipino people,” said Imbong, the lawyer of Christian groups who recently sued Cruz and CCP. [CBCPNews]