News:

Pastoral Statement of the Bishops of Metro Manila -

Monday, March 16, 2020

Priest refutes senator: ‘Divorce will never be pro-family’ -

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2 priests, 2 pro-life activists arrested trying to save babies inside New Jersey abortion center -

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Respect and Care for Life 2019 -

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Over 41 million abortions estimated in 2018, making ‘choice’ world’s leading cause of death -

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Everyone must respect the basic human rights of all human beings, pope says -

Friday, December 14, 2018

Parents of ‘miracle’ micro-preemie thankful to bring home healthy girl -

Thursday, November 29, 2018

WATCH: Drag queen admits he’s ‘grooming’ children at story hour events -

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Brazil elects pro-life president, despite pressure to legalize abortion -

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Alfie Evans’ parents to ‘form a relationship’ with hospital, ask supporters to return home: BREAKING -

Friday, April 27, 2018

Couples told: ‘Have courage to fight divorce bill’ -

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CBCP STATEMENT ON THE DIVORCE BILL -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pastoral Statement Against Divorce -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cardinal Tagle to lead walk against killings -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

49 Abortion Clinics Closed in 2017, 77% of All Abortion Clinics Open in 1991 Have Shut Down -

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bishop condemns killing of priest -

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Church urges repentance over rampant killings -

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Lady of Fatima will be icon at prayer for healing -

Monday, October 30, 2017

Church urges faithful to join ‘heal the nation’ Edsa procession -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fr. Chito rescued from Maute captivity -

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Freedom That Enslaves

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The Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) were up in arms with the suspension and eventual resignation of cartoonist Pol Medina from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Medina made a strip that was particularly offensive to Catholics especially to the community of St. Scholastica’s College. CAP was worried that this “censorship” by the PDI that led to Medina’s resignation was a direct assault on artists’ freedom of expression.

But what exactly is freedom of expression?

We fail to understand many foreign-sounding concepts, like the Separation of Church and State.It is necessary, therefore, that we have to define our terms first.

What is Freedom? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the exercise of true freedom should be geared to doing what is right, and what is just. This definition of freedom, however ,is very limited compared to how the world defines freedom. Our society defines freedom as simply doing what you want: Just do it. Obey Your Thirst. Follow Your Heart. Even our younger generation has a difficult time managing authority as they feel that authority figures hamper their pursuit for freedom. This is why the typically-difficult adolescent phase has just become even harder these days.

I am sure everybody remembers this:

He was charged guilty for offending religious feelings just this year, but his supporters apparently disagree with the decision of the court. Like most people, they bank on Mr. Celdran’s right to express himself, even at the expense of other people’s rights to pray in peace. Celdran and cohorts must have been absent or sleeping during class when our teachers taught us this very basic rule: your freedom to swing your arms ends where my nose begins.

Too often, people think that freedom is a right; I have a right to do this, I have a right to say that. However, and quite ironically too, the more that people abuse freedom by thinking that they can just go do what they want without any rules or boundaries (and do it in the name of “freedom of expression”, if we may add), the more people become unfree. This is a very basic truth that many of our brethren fail to understand. For example, the reason for traffic rules is for safety and order. Without traffic rules, expect more traffic jams and accidents. A lot of our road accidents are caused by beating the red light. Can anyone stuck in a traffic jam, or hospitalized because of a car accident, say that he is truly free?

Can anyone just go inside another’s house, wreck it, shout obscenities at the owners, then burn the house down, all in the name of freedom of expression? This may be taking it too far, but that is exactly the point: when your brand of freedom has no rules nor boundaries, expect people to take it to the extreme.

We would like to think, that at this day and age, people would be more civilized with their words and actions. People have the right to disagree, but they don’t have to be disagreeable with the way they express that right. Here’s another example:

We had to do a little editing to his tweet, obviously.

People have always been free to criticize those in power. We all did that, at one time or another.To not have the right to do so is a curtailment of the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The same is true when it comes to those who criticize the Church, like our friend here has done. This doesn’t mean, however, that he can go ahead and use obscenities. Ironically, his choice of words reveal more about him than the Church he is criticizing.

When we exercise our right to do what is right, and what we do is ordered towards goodness and justice, we preserve freedom ourselves. A young boy has the choice whether to study for his test, or to play now and cheat on his test later. He is free to do both, but only one choice can give him true freedom. The man exercising his freedom NOT to engage in risky, promiscuous behavior lives his life free from the fear of STDs and getting someone pregnant. He is then free to pursue his dreams and aspirations because he knows he is healthy and he has done what is good. This is what true freedom is all about.

The abuse of freedom leads to abuse of people and eventually, the loss of freedom itself. It is not true freedom that one exercises when that freedom eventually enslaves him.

 

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