Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales

Carlos Celdran formally apologizes to Archdiocese of Manila for Damaso

Actor-activist and Tour guide Carlos Celdran published his letter of apology to the Archdiocese of Manila on his blog, “Walk this way.” Celdran’s apology, addressed to the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, was for the incident that occurred at the Manila Cathedral on 30 September 2010, when the actor cried out during an ecumenical service, “Damaso!” Father Damaso was a priest in Jose Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere,” that many allude to the Catholic Church in the Philippines.   The incident occurred when Celdran protested against the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stand on reproductive health.  The actor was charged with violation of Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, which is on “offending religious feelings.”

Manila Cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Manila, and the complainant in the Celdran case was Msgr. Nestor Cerbo, Manila Cathedral rector.  CBCP news quoted Msgr. Cerbo who said,  “It would be up to Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales to decide if it will be accepted. The final decision is not mine,”

“Normally, the Church is always open to (an) apology,” Msgr. Cerbo added.  He did note it took Celdran six months to apologize.

ABS-CBN News wrote that “Celdran made it clear, however, that he has apologized “a couple of hours after the incident”, but the CBCP “rejected it and let me stay in jail for a whole day.” He walked free after posting a P6,000 bail.”