Cebu priests barred from celebrating ‘Mass for Truth’
by Gerard Naval
Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, has reportedly prohibited priests from celebrating today’s “Mass for Truth” at the University of San Carlos which ZTE star witness Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada is scheduled to attend.
Sr. Estrella Castalone, executive secretary of Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), in a phone interview, said Judy Adriano, their organizer in Cebu City, told her “that the priests have been prohibited from saying the mass for our group by Cardinal Vidal.”
She said she has yet to confirm it with the Church officials of Cebu. The archdiocese of Cebu could not be reached for comment.
Castalone said in the event that no priest would be available they will instead conduct a truth forum with students and residents of Cebu City.
Aside from the province of Cebu, Vidal’s archdiocese includes the dioceses of Dumaguete (Negros Oriental), Maasin (Southern Leyte), and Tagbilaran and Talibon, both in Bohol.
Vidal had questioned the treatment being accorded to Lozada by bishops, religious groups, local officials and students.
“Why do we have to make him a hero?” he told reporters last week in Cebu.
He added that the Cebuanos are already aware of Lozada’s pronouncements regarding the national broadband deal and that it is not necessary for him to be invited to Cebu.
“Cebuanos are intelligent enough to understand Lozada’s statements and do not need to listen to it one more time,” the prelate said.
Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez also ordered officials in his home-province of Iloilo where Lozada recently paid a visit to monitor him for any seditious statements. But Lozada received a warm welcome.
Lozada has alleged that the President Arroyo and her husband Mike could be directly or indirectly involved in the anomalous $329 million broadband deal with China’s ZTE Corp.
Lozada has said that despite threats to his life, he accepts invitations as guest speaker in a series of Masses for Truth around campuses in Metro Manila so he can better bring his advocacy for truth to the people.