Reply to the Homily of Fr. Allan Arcebuche, OFM - by Veronica Cadag-Ugates PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 October 2008

This is the homily of a priest in the season of lent.

A homily devoid of love nor compassion, vindictive, full of anger but camouflaged by hypocritical concern towards the people he is inciting to hate. A homily delivered by a person who is exactly as he accuses. Is he the kind of shepherd we deserve?

Perhaps the best thing that I can say is that Fr. Allan misunderstood me because those words were spoken in supplication not arrogance.

On the Wednesday before that incident, I had already an encounter with one of the Gargaresh parents. I was not angry but because of that encounter had resolved to see Fr. Allan the following Friday, the 14th of December 2007, bringing with me all the facts including the Manual of the Policies Governing Schools overseas.

Why did I go to see Fr. Allan? Because he was the person Alex Manahan went to see, to find an explanation of the reception he got in the "Daupang Palad". According to Alex, Fr. Allan was unconvinced, I thought I can persuade him to see Alex's point of view. Instead Fr, Allan told me Alex Manahan was provocative. Therefore, I clarified, whatever the motive or how Alex Manahan acted was not the issue. It was an open forum and anyone short of rudeness has the right to air his complaint.

In a supreme effort to convince Fr. Allan, I raised with him one by one the points of law that govern the regulations of schools overseas. Still, he was unmoved, and proving un-persuadable. Finally, I told him, "Father, you fight for the oppressed in an abstract ideal against the government. But here you can see concretely who are oppressed and who the oppressors. Father, the parents are not aware of these things, they cannot fight." And then almost kneeling in front of him to convince him, I said ; 'Father, maawa ka sa mga ignorante at tangang magulang na hindi alam ang kanilang karapatan'. I never meant at all to be derogatory, The words were used to jolt Fr. Allan from his unbending stance.

Though I have to admit I was influenced by the attitude of some parents in the Gargaresh Community, whom we have thought of as friends. One of them even confronted my husband within the church premises, with the idea that we are not content with our present life's situation, something that my husband never realized, until such time as he discovered there was this rumor involving us. Someone had vilified us and he happened to be a person whom other people find believable because he is a priest in the Catholic Church.

Shall we jut allow him to destroy us with this smear? Practice Christian humility and accept when people look askance at us and believe something so daft that only fools can believe? Perhaps I should. But shouldn’t the clergy be the example? My husband says it is uncharitable to call people stupid. I agree! But when I think of how people are so credulous to believe such a ridiculous notion I cannot help but express how I feel about them. How easy is it to take over a school? Is it like lollipop you can take away from a child? Yet people believe it. And Father Allan whom I trusted, added insult to injury by calling me in his homily, a rotten hero, smelly, insane, proud, arrogant and a mad dog, twisting the words I spoke to him so as to arouse condemnation, not reconciliation. However, I am reminded, Jesus was betrayed by His own disciple, wasn’t He?

He REFUSED communion and said we must confess to the Bishop. For what, for defending ourselves from slander? Does being a priest absolve him from committing atrocity towards parishioners? What he has done is much worst than the sex abuses that occur in America because he had manipulated the minds of the flock entrusted to his care.

Fr. Allan is consumed by some form of malevolent desire to destroy and not to build. He is that perfect example of the people within the church who will try to disassemble it brick by brick and totally destroy it from within. This is a phenomenon that had been foretold in so many letters from the saints, encyclicals of Popes and even in the Virgin Mary’s apparitions. And it is coming true. We, Catholics, should therefore be more vigilant in the defense of our faith and the TRUTH, wherever we may find it.

The face of evil has many forms and the only way we can combat it is to adhere to the TRUTH, however unpalatable it may be. That is the lesson that the controversy of the Philippine Community School had taught us.

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