Editorial: Substance, not the ritual-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
IN THE euphoria sparked by the scheduled canonization of Visayan catechist and martyr Pedro Calungsod, issuing the reminder “hinay-hinay lang” might be necessary. This as some sectors have started pointing to honest celebratory acts that nevertheless could end up being overdone.
Calungsod, together with six other exemplars of Catholic worship, will be canonized in Rome on Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI.
The six others are Kateri Tekakwitha, the first ever Native American to be canonized; Marianne Cope, who led a group of sisters caring for leprosy patients in Hawaii in 1883; Jesuit Father Jacques Berthieu, who was martyred in Madagascar in 1896; Italian priest Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of two congregations; Carmen Salles y Barangueras, founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and who worked for disadvantaged girls and prostitutes; and Anna Schaffer, a lay German woman who accepted her infirmity as a way of sanctification.
Calungsod was martyred in 1672 in Guam together with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.
For the canonization rites, the delegation of the Archdiocese of Cebu brought with them the pilgrim image of Blessed Pedro that figured in a well-attended sendoff ceremony last Tuesday.
The manner the event was covered prompted a local entertainment columnist to post this in his Facebook account: “I have a feeling some members of the media think that the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, which is being brought to Rome, is the one that will be canonized.”
But it’s not only some media people that has gone overboard but so too some priests and Catholic faithful. In the eagerness to promote the event, too much stress is given on the transporting of the icon than on the more substantial aspect of the preparation for the ceremony.
Also, the presence in Rome of a sizeable delegation from Cebu is most welcome, but it must not be so hyped Catholic faithful would misconstrue those who could afford to be at the canonization rites as more privileged than those who don’t have the resources to travel abroad.
The substance and the meaning of the canonization of the seven Catholics should be the main focus of the celebration and not the ritual.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 18, 2012.