A quick web check show that the original latin title literally translated to "don't touch me" or "touch me not". more interestingly, a definition from wordnetweb defined the phrase as "a cancerous ulcer of soft tissue and bone".
surprisingly, the definition embodied the novel's premise of a church as the source of the social cancer with it's double-faced presentation as dispenser of faith hiding its hypocritical nature.
damaso, as one of the main antagonist in the novel is a respected priest albeit a cruel one. his authority over the people is absolute as he uses the church as his weapon and despite appearances as the shepherd of the "native" flock, he has a terrible disdain over the indios. that doesn't change the fact that he used a native to father an illegitimate daughter.
jump a couple of hundred years later and you have carlos celdran, wearing the same dated costume as ibarra a.k.a. jose rizal, walking into manila cathedral holding a placard that said "damaso", disrupted a ecumenical service attended by the catholic powers-that-be by shouting at the top of his lungs. the message? the church should not meddle in politics.
the source of the brouhaha and impromptu theatrical protest? the Reproductive Health bill which is currently on the hot list of the catholic church considering that PNoy is supportin the passage of this bill.
not surprisingly, an online maelstrom of support for carlos came pouring in, perhaps an indication that people are fed up with church-politicking and more interestingly, shows the support for the RH bill despite the fact that majority of Filipinos are catholics.
i say the plot of "noli" has taken an interesting twist. it was damaso who was aggressive and insulting when he first met ibarra in a fete by kapitan tiago for ibarra. throughout the whole story, ibarra was more of a pacifist that wanted to coexist with the colonizers despite the obvious abuse perpetrated by the colonizers which is more henious due to the fact that the abuse is being perpetrated by the church.
in this instance, carlos literally went inside the church and pooped in the middle of a service.
no matter the intent, what he did was wrong.
"says its just hitting me now. I can't believe the cbcp has the capacity and THE DESIRE to see me jailed. Who is next?" - carlos tweeted while he was in jail waiting to post bail.
you don't expect to crash someone's home and insult the residents without getting reprimanded. based on the current tweets and stories coming out, it was pretty obvious carlos didn't plan that far as to the possible action of the church regarding his stunt.
let's not make him into a hero, he is not. he tweeted "is still in jail. Punyeta. This is getting old fast." - sounds painfully like a brat who's getting tired of his predicament.
on the other hand, what's more interesting is the support coming from all corners regarding the RH bill. and yes, i am for the RH bill and has been consistent with my views regarding that issue. that and the fact that the church is being an old fart in this particular issue.
then again, it's all about the MONEY.
for every being born catholic in the philippines, the catholic stands to earn twice, once for the baptism rights, second for the necronomical services.
with close to 90M in population and 80% as catholics, the church has earned close to Php 36,000,000,000 for the past 100 years assuming that baptism "donations" amount to Php 500. Imagine that this is the same cost multiplied a couple of hundreds that they stand to collect when the same group passes on, hopefully to heaven.
the reasons and logic behind the church's stand against contraception is outdated and inherently counter productive to the philippines whose resources are being spent supporting a growing population that needs more support rather than contribute to the economy.
does the church care about that? perhaps they do, but in the enclaves of their comfortable abodes they leave it all to the will and grace of God. everything has a purpose. everything has a reason.
unfortunately, the people are finding out that the church is more and more losing it's reason and does not serve a higher purpose. as the marxist quote goes, "faith is the opium of the masses".
the real tragedy is that of the church acting as shepherds of the filipino while secretly harboring a disdain for our welfare. indeed, carlos was right in that aspect, DAMASO indeed.
visit my blog for more incessant rambling.