"You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you" –Ricky Gervais
That’s another thing that’s on my plate yesterday. I was contemplating on the freedom of expression. Let me put it as #6.
When I attended the mass yesterday at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in San Juan, Taytay, there’s an added prayer at the latter part of the mass. It’s the 2nd time in a row to include a special prayer of forgiveness for the transgression of others to His blessed image. This is in connection with the recent art exhibit held by artist Mideo Cruz.
If you’ve been watching the TV or surfing news sites, you’re probably familiar with what I’m talking about. Mideo Cruz displayed Catholic religious images in a sacrilegious way. For me it’s blasphemy, since I’m Catholic. The thing is, Mideo Cruz is obviously not Catholic. If he is, he’s probably excommunicated the very first hour of the exhibit. Meaning, he’s not covered by our Catholic beliefs and ideals.
The good news is, the Philippine Constitution clearly states that there is a division between Church and State (Article II Section 6). It further says that the State would not endorse any official religion nor prohibit the practice of other religions (Article III Section 5). To add to that, the Philippine Constitution guarantees freedom of expression (Article III Section 4).
So as a Catholic, I pray that God forgives him for his blasphemous exhibit. As a Citizen of the Republic of the Philippines, I say he has the right to display his art (even if it’s offending to us, Catholics.)
(For further reading, I recommend Ed Biado’s article here.)