Pacman’s loss provokes religion debate

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


CEBU CITY -- His choice of religion has nothing to do with the defeat of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, high-ranking Roman Catholic Church officials said Monday.

“There are other (boxers) stronger than him,” said Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu and a canon lawyer. “For me, (the defeat of Pacquiao) is not related to religion.”

A day after Juan Manuel Marquez knocked him out in their fourth fight, Pacquiao dominated the news and talk shows. Some fans have connected his stunning loss to his failure to make the sign of the cross or to bring along rosary beads, which he used to do before and after every match.

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His mother Dionisia, in televised interviews, blamed Pacquiao’s loss on his reported conversion, as well as the amount of time he was spending with pastors, instead of training.

Pacquiao, who watched one of the interviews by satellite, shushed his mother and requested her to discuss the matter with him in private.

“But I do not think failure to make the sign of the cross or carrying the beads, which are good signs, caused his downfall,” said Binghay.

“He (Pacquiao) is a born-again (Christian), meaning he had a change of heart,” he added.

Msgr. Binghay said the loss may also be a time for reflection on the focus of the boxer-turned-congressman’s life.

“Now is the time to reflect more on his personal life, career and political life. What is his direction in life?” said Binghay.

Archbishop Emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan Oscar Cruz told ABS-CBN that Pacquiao was just overpowered by his opponent and that he saw no reason to drag religion into the discussion. (BAP of Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 11, 2012.

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