Vague reports of British Masonic lodges during the occupation of Manila in 1762-64.
First lodges set up in Manila seem to date from the mid-1850’s formed by Spanish army officers followed by foreign merchants.
It is claimed that before 1872 Filipinos were admitted to lodge in Pandacan – eliminated by Gran Oriente de Espana in 1874.
Filipinos Lodges were introduced in 1891 by Filipino masons returning from Spain.
JOSE A. RAMOS, a Spanish mestizo was the only Fil. appearing in the lists of lodges from 1884; He is one of the founders of LODGE CONSTANCIA in 1887.
B. EARLY FILIPINO MASON IN SPAIN
In April 1886 – RAFAEL DEL-PAN, a criollo/creole appears, already possessing the 18th degree as one of the founders of LODGE SOLIDARIDAD; also a member was RICARDO AYLLON; EVARISTO AGUIRRE & Founder JULIO LLORENTE joined later.
MIGUEL MORAYTA – recruited other Spain’s overseas provinces; founded HIJOS DEL PROGRESO and listed as honorary member of Lodge SOLIDARIDAD.
Del Pan and Aguirre withdrew before the end of 1886.
GRACIANO LOPEZ JAENA – initiated in 1882 in LODGE PORVENIR (but long inactive) affiliated with Lodge Solidaridad in April 1887.
LODGE LUZ DE MANTUA – was formed in June 1887 by majority of Lodge Solidaridad including Jaena & other Cubans. Lodge Solidaridad apparently ceased only to be revived later as all Fil. lodge.
C. LODGE REVOLUCION Predominantly Filipino, founded in Barcelona, Spain in April 1889, initiated by Spanish Army Officer Celso Mir Deas, married to Filipina.
ORIGINAL MEMBERS: Mir Deas, Lopez Jaena (worshipful master), M. H. Del Pilar (orator), Mariano Ponce, Jose Ma. Panganiban, and Cubans Juan Jose Canarte and Justo Argudin – collaborating in newspaper La Solidaridad.
Morayta founded new federation – GRAND ORIENTE ESPANOL
Morayta went to Barcelona where he was honored with a banquet by Fil. – became friends with Del Pilar.
As of 02 April 1889 – del Pilar held 3rd degree position
FILIPINOS who joined Lodge Revolucion in 1889:
Santiago Icasiano, Ariston Bautista, GalicanoApacible, Damaso Ponce, Ramon Imperial, Agustin Blanco, Domingo Marcelo Cortes, and TeodoroSandiko.
It seems very likely that del Pilar & Ponce reached 30th degree.
Del Pilar intended to make use of Masonry in his campaign to destroy the powers of the friars in the Philippines.
D. MASONRY AND THE FILIPINO ANTI FRIAR CAMPAIGN (In Spain)
Sponsorship by del Pilar and his associates of Manrique Alonso Lallave, a renegade Dominican, friar of Urdaneta, Pangasinan who had turned Protestant & in 1889 returned to Manila to open a Protestant Chapel.
Expelled from the Philippines by Gen. Rafael Izquierdo; upon return to Spain published Los Frailes en Filipinas accusing the friars in the Phil. crimes and demanded dissolution of friars orders (i.e. Dominicans, Agustinians, Franciscan, etc.)
Though friends & defenders of Filipinos and their rights, insults & denies all ability to Fil. (no brilliance of intelligence; no will power, lowless-
ness, small-mindedness, fear, servility in execution; lacks poetry; with harmonies the songs of the savages; Fil. being liars by their very nature; --combated by Rizal and others.
Despite all these, Del Pilar now proposed in his campaign to destroy the influence of the Friars in the Phil., to cooperated with Lallave and those sponsoring him (Lallave) notably the ex-revolutionary, former Grand Master of the Lodge Gran Oriente de Espana, MANUEL BECERRA, Overseas Minister in the Liberal Cabinet of Sagasta
BECERRA’s term – was a continuous threat to the church in the Phil – He called on the Gov. Gen. in the Phil. through circular “respect the religious be-
liefs/worships of Europeans, Asiatics (Indios included) Americans (protestants)”
In del Pilar’s letter to Pedro Serrano Laktaw under the protection of (Becerra’s circular), “you have coming to you there in person xxx ManriqueLallave, now a Protestant pastor.” if Lallave succeeds in proselyting, an exposition with 300,000 signatures will be presented to the govt. demanding greater tolerance and even of freedom of worship though freedom is remote possibility, tolerance is already a great step against the monastic power. Friars’ expulsion cannot be expected from govt. They (reformist) have to do it by themselves.
Del Pilar urges Serrano to aid Lallave with the assistance of Doroteo Cortes and Jose Ramos. Sandiko was also urged to work with Serrano in helping Lallave.
Del Pilar gives some idea to D. Cortes of his (del Pilar) relationship to Becerra:
“ Sr. M. Lallave and his companies are going there to carry on some business which they will explain to you. Believing their interest to be antagonistic to those of certain monopolizers of the country, I would wish that, on your part and that of your friends, you would bestow every kind of protection on them, being assured that these gentlemen and the elements on whom they depend, with whom we are in complete understanding, are disposed to render us service in return.”
The plan did no prosper. Lallave contracted fever few weeks after his arrival in Manila and died two weeks after.
WHO were the “elements on which they depend” with whom Del Pilar has “complete understanding” and “who were disposed to render him reciprocal services in return for his cooperation with Lallave’s Anti Catholic Project”
Evidences that points to Lallave’s support being MASONIC, specifically from GRAN ORIENTE ESPANOL
- Lallave’s very active in Masonry; published a number of Masonic works; being editor of TALLER – masonic journal; member of Lodge Numantina, helped found Gran Logia Simbolica
Independiente Espanola in 1881; Founded Lodge Numancia with these – Lallave, certainly was no stranger to Becerra and Morayta
Morayta & Gran Oriente – as sponsor of Lallave.
At a Banquet tendered by Filipinos in honor of MORAYTA, they (Fil & Spanish friends) drew up an exposition to the OVERSEAS MINISTER BECERRA, petitioning the parliamentary representation for the Phil., ABOLITION OF THE CENSORSHIPS and PROHIBITION OF ADMINISTRATIVE DEPORTATION. Few weeks later, Del Pilar wrote to Rizal, who seems to have joined Masonry sometime earlier: To Laong Laan 18 May 1889
“If you can take advantage of the support of the “Gran Familia”, now is the time. For Becerra belongs to it, and besides, this oppressive measure (administrative deportation) affects its prestige and good name, since it is its own members and its friends who are subject to its persecution.”
On 02 July 1889 Lopez Jaena as worshipful Master of Lodge Revolucion, forwarded to MORAYTA two copies of an exposition making this petition (against administrative deportation in the Phil.), signed by Gran OrienteEspanol and other “obediences” (lodges) – Morayta to deliver the exposition to Ministers SAGASTA & BECERRA.
Del Pilar was behind the WHOLE MOVE (exposition) but the political and Masonic contacts of Jaena were responsible in making the MOVE possible.
No evidence that anything was actually accomplished by these Masonic petitions.
After September (1889) decrease of Filipino activity due to plans of del Pilar to transfer operations to Madrid & transfer of Sandico, Bautista, Damaso Ponce, Mariano’ Ponce & Apacible. Panganiban died five months after. Jaena resigned as Worshipful Master at the end of Nov. 1889.
II. FILIPINO MASONRY IN MADRID Lodge REVOLUCION, the first predominantly Filipino Lodge was organized in Barcelona in 1889 by G.L. Jaena as Grand Master but was conceived by Del Pilar, the leading figure behind the scene as a means of obtaning political assistance from Spanish Masons in his campaign to destroy the influence of the friars in the Philippines and to win political rights for the Filipinos.
On 10 December 1889, preliminary meeting was held at Del Pilar’s quarter where it was decided to revive the old Lodge Solidaridad.
Julio Llorente – elected Worshipful Master; Del Pilar – Sr. Warden; Damaso Ponce – Junior Warden;
Dominador Gomez – Orator; TeodoroSandico – Secretary. They voted to seek recognition and affiliation from the Gran OrienteEspanol, the federation headed by Morayta. THE NEW LODGE “SOLIDARIDAD”. Received its charter from Morayta in May 1890
Almost entirely Filipino with the exception of Eleuterio Ruiz de Leon, who was however married to a Filipina.
Original membership included besides those already mentioned as officers in 1890, the following men:
Antonio Luna, TelesforoSukgang, Ariston Bautista, Jose Yzama, Jose Alejandrino and Francisco Sunico.
The following year, the following joined the Lodge Solidaridad: Pedro Serrano, Baldomero Roxas, Galicano Apacible, Mariano Kunanan, Lauro Dimayuga, Jose Abreu, Gregorio Aguilera, Pablo Rianzares, Melencio Figueroa, Moses Salvador and JOSE RIZAL.
Simplicio Jugo, Tomas Arejola, Pio Crisostomo, Jose Ledesma, Simeon Mercado, Flaviano Cor de Cruz, Francisco Liongson, Rosauro Jocson, Jose Ma. Zuazo, Arturo Borromeo, Bernabe Bustamante, Jose Coromias & Isidoro de los Santos.
Rizal, Alejandrino, Bautista and Cunanan withdraw from the Lodge for leaving Madrid for the Phil or elsewhere.
Two Principal Functions – 1890 & 1891
EDUCATION or INDOCTRINATION of members with Masonic ideals. Kalaw refers to LECTURES by Damaso Ponce on FILIPINO REPRESENTATION IN SPANISH CORTES. Pedro Serrano Laktaw – Teaching of Spanish in the Phil. RIZAL – CONCEPT ON VIRTUE as the HABITUAL FULFILLMENT OF DAILY DUTIES. M. H. Del Pilar – Specific duty of Fil-masons to carry the message of Masonry to their country as the means of counteracting the evil influence of Catholism in the Phil.
1894 January – Isidoro de los Santos – “Emigracionfilipina en los paisescivilizados.” (2) ENLISTING POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR FILIPINO NATIONALISTA ASPIRATIONS LA SOLIDARIDAD – newspaper for propaganda for Fil. Views and publicity for Phil. problems and as organ of the ASOCIACION HISPANO-FILIPINA edited by del Pilar; to rally the support of concerned Spaniards for Fil. interest – by means of public meetings and corporated representations to the govt. - Del Pilar employed lodge Solidaridad, affiliated with Gran OrienteEspanol to weaken or destroy the influence of the friars in the Phil.
B. MASONIC TIES AND THE NATIONALIST CAMPAIGN Del Pilar’s use of MASONIC CONNECTIONS made possible by Lodge Solidaridad is best illustrated in the campaign he waged for representation of the Phil. in the Cortes.
At a meeting of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipina on June 1891 an exposition to the Cortes was approved that outlined the unjust situation of the Phil., an integral part of Spain, yet deprived of any representative of its interest in the Cortes.
In June & July 1891 Solidaridadcirculized other Masonic Lodges all over the country (Spain) asking for support of all their members in petitioning the
Cortes in favor of Phil. Representation as stated in exposition.
In April 1892 Solidaridad addressed a new circular with an appeal to the constitution of Gran Oriente Espanol which pledged the federation to work for the liberation of the Filipinos from the crushing yoke of clericalism.
Cooperation of all lodges was manifested in a bound volume containing over 300 pages with some 7,000 signatures from all parts of Spain dating between 1891 and mid-1892 which was presented in the Cortes in 1895 by the ally of Morayta & the Filipinos, the republican deputy & newspaper editor Emilio Junoy.
Though unsuccessful the success in obtaining signatures for the petition clearly shows the efficacy of the Masonic ties forged by Del Pilar through the lodge Solidaridad.
2. Masonic Lodges in the Phil under the auspices of Gran OrienteEspanolwas said to be drawn up by Antonio Luna & Pedro Serrano in 1891, however, A. Luna did not then return to the Phil while Serrano did so late in 1891. Moises Salvador also took part in this plan.
With authorization from Gran OrienteEspanol, Serrano arrived in the Phil and with Salvador, Paez and Jose Ramos organized the first Filipino Lodge,
NILAD, on 6 January 1892 with RAMOS as worshipful Master – other lodges quickly sprung up around Manila and in the provinces.
Due to jurisdictional differences that arose between Nilad and its Secretary Serrano on the one side & the dependent lodges in the other, Gran OrienteEspanol was forced by Fil lodges to permit the erection of GRAND REGIONAL COUNCIL in 1893, and expelled Serrano due to mismanagement of funds and lodge Nilad.
Prior to the break, and under the direction of Serrano each of the lodges in the Phil. contributed financially through Mother Lodge Nilad to the support of SOLIDARIDAD and of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino & the propaganda in Madrid.
Though there were other devices for the support of the Propaganda Movement is Spain from 1893-1895, there was apparently no longer any organized Masonic support as such.
Surviving records of Lodge Solidaridadextend only to 20 September 1894 when there is a communication to the Grand council informing it that Simon Mercado has been dropped from the list of the members.
In April 1894, ALL but 6 of the 13 named members of Solidaridad to the assembly of Gran OrienteEspanol had either been dropped or left Madrid. These 6- plus del Pilar were perhaps the only surviving members of the Lodge Solidaridad.
Seems likely that neither Asociacion Hispano-Filipina nor Solidaridad any longer functioned much after 1894 except for LA SOLIDARIDAD’s letter of condolence to Prof. BLUMENTRITT on the death of his father signed by Morayta and Eduardo ‘de Lete in June 1894 & message to the Congreso de Diputados in support of parliamentary representation for the Phil. in May 1895, signed by Morayta, Del Pilar & Ponce.
Jose Vic, Vice Pres. of Gran OrienteEspanol referred to M. H. Del Pilar and Mariano Ponce as the Filipinos as having formerly belonged to Gran OrienteEspanol but since disappeared apparently gone to Barcelona, where they prepared to take ship for Hongkong and Japan when DEL PILAR DIED in July 1896.
Mariano Ponce was secretary from Dec. 1890 while Del Pilar, Worhipful Master of Lodge Solidaridad.
Ponce and Del Pilar were promoted to 31st degree in May 1893 and by 1895 to 33rd degree and both were members of the Supreme Council of the Gran Oriente Espanol, Ponce holding the position of “Segundo Consejero Suplente” and Del Pilar that of “Gran Orador Adjunto”
3.WENCESLAO RETANA, editor of La Politica de Espana en FILIPINAS and deputy to the Cortes denounced the head quarters of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipina and the Gran Oriente Espanol in Madrid as center of conspiracy against Spanish sovereignty in the Phil.
News arrived in Spain from Manila about the discovery of the Katipunan in August 1896 and of Masonic papers found among the possessions of some of those arrested.
MORAYTA evaded arrest by crossing the boarder into France and in the town of BOURG-MADAME addressed the protest against the accusation of filibusterismo, denying that the Gran Oriente Espanol had nothing to do with any revolutionary activity in the Philippines. In September 1896 his case was dismissed for lack of evidence.
Gran Oriente Nacional de Espana established lodges in the Phil. Members include Faustino Villaruel formerly of Gran Oriente Espanol & founder of
LODGE PATRIA in Cavite, Villareal was arrested as being implicated in the revolution C. THE ROLE OF MORAYTA
There seems to be no evidence that Morayta was involved in any direct complicity in Filipino revolutionary plans, even if it could be shown that Del Pilar had a part in the planning of the Revolution of 1896.
Kalaw’s account of Morayta’s reluctance to permit organization of Grand Regional Council in the Phil (not directly subject to Spanish Federation) for fear that it might be used for conspiring against Spanish sovereignty in the Phil. With some reluctance, he allowed the Foundation of all-Filipino lodge in
Madrid (lodge Solidaridad) to secure Filipino lodge allegiance rather than lose them to another Masonic Federation.
He closed his eyes to what might be the consequences of Filipino Lodges in his desire to get money out of the Filipinos through the Gran OrienteEspanol. Ponce however testified to the sincerity of Morayta in his private letter to the latter congratulating him in his election to the Cortes.
xxx we Filipinos who under your wise inspiration, carried on a campaign in favor of the Hispanization of the Philippines, so that it might cease to be like a piece of property, a fief of the friars continue to be considered, seditions subversive and traitors to Spain. But has it not been sufficiently demonstrated by the facts that if Spain lost the Phil., it was because she did just the opposite of what we were crying out for?”
The real purpose of the Propaganda Movement was to obtain the rights of Spanish citizens for Filipinos, assimilation to the Mother land. – This was where Morayta’s Collaboration took place.
Del Pilar believed that assimilation could be attained by legal means, like RIZAL, had a further goal – “in due time and by proper method, the abolition of the flag of Spain as well” (letter of Marcelo to Deodato Arellano) Ponce who worked intimately with Del Pilar also knew this. Was Morayta aware of this? (the further goal)
How about “as to the effectiveness of the Masonic connection for the Filipino nationalist campaign?”
Lodge Solidaridad in Madrid – served as bridge to organization of such lodges in the Phil. (Grand Regional Council organized in the Phil. after 1892)
Masonic connection did achieved some though limited success in rallying Masonic support for Fil. aims, notably in the matter of securing signatures for the petition of the Cortes.
Campaign to secure Filipino rights through propaganda; lobbying and other legal means – failure.
Masonic activities achieved little as a means to achieve unity among Filipino colony in Madrid.
A good number of Fil. in Madrid had nothing to do with the lodge. The character given to the work of the propaganda Movement by its close association with Masonry may have kept some Filipinos apart from the movement because of their unwillingness, for religious reasons or others to take part in what seemed to be a Masonic Movement.
RIZAL – PASTELLS CORRESPONDENCE
RIZAL – PASTELLS CORRESPONDENCE Leon Ma. Guerrero, The First Filipino NHI, 2008 (The Hounds of Heaven)
“ Rizal was not only his country’s first nationalist but also its first Protestant.” “That is to say, he rejected not only the subordination of his people’s welfare to that of strangers, but also the submission of any man’s reason to the authority of another who claimed to be the unique interpreter of God’s will.” But he was not an atheist, a materialist or agnostic; He believed in God though he might have his doubts about the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, he believed in the supremacy of private/individual judgement.
Bernard Shaw pointed out that one can be an anti-clerical and a good Catholic too.
Rizal exposed the foibles (weakness of wicked priests; his witty gibes (utter tauntingly) at spinsters greedy of indulgences and rich usurers (referring to friars) trying to widen the gates of heaven or to sneak into Paradise in tattered habit (clothes) bought and sold with emeralds for a painted image, may even be defended as the righteous whipping of hypocrites and merchants ( referring to friars) from the Temple (church)
Rizal did not believe in the uses of scapulars girdles, votive candles and holy water.
Theologians have professed to find attacks against the Catholic Religion in 36% (120 of 332 pages) of the Noli and 27% of Fili.
One religion is as good as another in the sense that one conscience was as good as another; all roads did not lead to Rome but they all lead to heaven; and few lead to Hell because he could not reconcile the absolute and perfect goodness of God with the condemnation of one of his creatures to eternal damnation.
Fray Bernardino, a Dominican, who had been rector of San Juan de Letran chose the Jesuits to “save” Rizal, re-convert him and to re-enlist him to Ramon Catholic Church.
Father Miguel Saderra Mata, Rector of Ateneo & Father Luis Viza were received by Rizal on December 29,1898 with great courtesy and true joy and after greeting them asked a copy of Thomas Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ and the Gospels and expressed desire to go to confession. Fr. Viza gave Rizal the Sacred Heart that he carved as a student in Ateneo saying,
“Here you have it; the Sacred Heart comes to seek you out.” Rizal took the image and kissed it.
Though Rizal wanted to save himself, “nevertheless irreligion had become rooted in that unfortunate man’s heart in so cold, calculated and skeptical a fashion that he resisted God’s grace with tenacity xxx” Saderra left early followed by Visa then Father Rosell “badly impressed from the little he had heard from Rizal, that the latter was a Protestant.”
At 10pm of 29th of December Fr Balaguer accompanying Fr. Villaclara offered Rizal medal of the Blessed Virgin but Rizal took it coldly and said “Iam not much of a Marian.” One must remember that in his younger days he wrote poems “To the Virgin Mary”, “To the Child Jesus” and being a devout Catholic, joined society of Marian Conjugation.
“While Rizal repeatedly expressed desire to make confession the Jesuits had perforce to deny it until Rizal cast aside his RATIONALISM and his PROTESTANTISM and sign RETRACTION of his errors.
To secure a suitable formula (for retraction) Balaguer & Viza called on ArchibishopNozuleda at noon of the 29th of December; earlier, Fr. Pio Pi Superior of the Jesuits had also discussed the formula with Fray Bernardino. Fr. March meantime was helping Villaclara keep Rizal company. Fr. Federico Faura, Director of Manila Observatory briefly visited Rizal saying “Be convinced that we, who were your teachers were the only ones who did not deceive you. Repent in time. We shall console you. Remember that when you were studying at our school you always prayed before that image of
the Sacred Heart that you yourself carved. Ask, and it shall save you.” – RIZAL underpressure
To understand and appreciate Rizal’s position on the issue of SALVATION we must refer to the CORRESPONDENCE between RIZAL and FR. PASTELL in Dapitan a discussion meditated and reflected upon, carefully expressed, coldly argued in an atmosphere of tranquility, leisure, and freedom from the hysterical urgencies of DEATH-CELL.
It appeared to the Jesuits that “Rizal did not admit to the authority of the Roman Church or Pontiff, and had for his rule of Faith the Scriptures INTERPRETED BY HIS OWN JUDGMENT.” That Rizal was guided only by his own reason and that he could not admit any other standard that that of his own mind which God has given him and that he would not
change, for if he will admit another criterion, God would reprove (censure) him for having abandoned the judgement of that pure reason which He Himself had given him – RIZAL A RESOLUTE FREE-THINKER THE CORRESPONDENCE Fr. Obach handed Rizal, in exile, a gift from Fr. Pastells, the apologetics of Sarda with the message: “Tell him (Rizal) to stop being silly, wanting to look of his affairs with the prism of his own judgement and self love; nemojudex in cause propria” (no one can sit as judge on his own cause)
Rizal to Pastells 1st September 1892 (salient points)
“SILLY TO LOOK AT HIS AFFAIRS WITH THE PRISM OF HIS OWN JUDGMENT OF SELF-LOVE”
“If we were to look with the prism of others, it would be impractical since there would be as many prisms as there are individuals, and also we would not know which one to choose among so many, and in choosing we have to use our own judgment unless we were to make an infinite series of choices, which would have the result that we would all be running each other’s houses, others ruling our actions and we ruling theirs and all would be in confusion UNLESS some of us would disown our judgment and self love, something which in my humble opinion would be to offend God by spurning His most precious gifts.”
Rizal “imagined that God, in giving each one the judgment that he has, did what was most convenient and does not want the man with lesser judgment to think like the man with greater and the other way around.” Judgement is like a lantern which a father gives to each one of his sons before they set out on rough & winding paths. To the one who must cross ravines and precipices he will not give an oil lamp, for the oil might spill; to that one who must face gale, he will give a lantern of heavy glasses, xxx. Woe to him who midway on a whim or in sheer madness, changes his lamp for another! Let each one keep and improve his own; Not envy or despise anybody else, while at the same time profiting by the reflections of their lights and by the signs and warnings left by those who have ahead.
SELF LOVE is the greatest good that God has given man for his perfection and integrity saving him from many base and unworthy actions when the precepts that he has been told and in which he has been trained are forgotten. Self love is worthy when it is not become a passion, is like a sap that drives the tree upward in search of the sun, steam that pushes the ship on its course restrained by judgment. Man is the masterpiece of creation, perfect within his limitations who cannot be deprived of any of his component parts, moral as well as physical, without becoming disfigured and unhappy.
“Here is the very credo of HUMANISM, an ACT OF FAITH in the INDIVIDUAL JUDGMENT, a declaration of INDEPENDENCE FOR HUMAN MIND. Jesuit described this as “strange pietism”, and with an uneasy sense of PREDESTINATION in compatible with the freedom of human mind and will. – “What ever happens to me (Rizal, when praying) is HIS WILL, and I am content & resigned.
PASTELL in his reply blamed Noli on the Protestant and the Fili on the Freemasons, matched prism with prism and lantern for lamp.
“You should not be guided in your affairs by the prism of your own judgment and self-love because these are obstructed and falsified by erroneous principles and disorderly affection.”
“Truth is to the mind what light is to polarization” Polarization is a phenomenon in the reflection or refraction of light by which the latter decreases or increases or becomes invinsible in accordance with the angles at which the ray of light falls and the refractive a isotropic medium.” Light should not be blamed for anything that happens to it when it is subjected to polarization. Same thing happens then to truth and good faith when they cross the refractive medium of certain mind and hearts. SPIRITUAL POLARIZATION takes place by virtue of which TRUTH OR GOOD FAITH disappear a decrease, and error and bad faith reach the greatest intensity, in accordance with the angle at which things are seen. Has not your mind, with these angles of reflection or refraction of ideas, suffered at least a kind of spiritual polarization which does not let you see the truths as they are?
HOW THEN IS TRUTH TO BE KNOWN? The answer of AUTHORITY IS AUTHORITY. The wisest man alive cannot know everything. “In the greater number of truths we must abide, and in fact we do abide, not by our own criterion of judgement but by the criterion or judgment of the rest. From these, (facts, & the truth in scientific and artistic matter) EXTERNAL AUTHORITY grows to become a criterion of truth which draws our soul an assent, a certainty, which is really INFALLIABLE
It is this GREAT TRUTH (Infallible truth) that the great FATHER (God) of all families has given to each of his sons for his journey through this life his own LANTERN OR JUDGEMENT, but this lantern die to poor oil provided for us by our disinherited first parents (the reference is to original
sin), gives little light, and because of our indolence (laziness) the lamp-glass glows grimy, or the wick grows damp, or the oil gets spilled, and then we follow fitful and phosphorescent lights (light without sensible heat) that suddenly dazzle us and then leave us in the middle of the road in a terrible and heartsick darkness.
In this DARKNESS “we need ANOTHER LAMP to light (supernatural light, words of the prophets inspired by the Holy Ghost, the divine of Jesus). Natural knowledge must be assisted by supernatural knowledge, imparted by revelation (divine truth) and accepted with faith founded on reason. Ask Him for the supernatural gifts, hope and charity.
RIZAL “If you only knew (referring to Fr. Pastells) what I have lost by not declaring my conformity with Protestant ideas, you will not say such a thing.” I had always held the concept of religion in respect. If I had taken religion as a convinience or as the art of having a good time in this life, I would now be, instead of a poor exile, rich, free, and full of honors.”
Rizal to Pastells 11th Nov. 1892 Our (Rizal & Protestant pastor) ideas are poles apart xxx religious no matter what they were, should not make men enemies of one another, but good friend.
Modernist answer to the argument from authority who had authority, who was authority & by what authority did it assume authority? Rizal admitted that TRUTH had been POLARIZED
in passing through his mind. Rizal being a man is fallible. We confuse the truth with our CONVENIENCE. He insisted that only human reason can correct itself, but admitted that human reason was much inferior to supernatural (divine) light. Who, with just reason call himself, the REFLECTOR OF THAT LIGHT? ALL RELIGIONS claim to possess the truth. Even the most ignorant, most bewildered, claims to be right.
Men in search of truth are like a students in a drawing class sketching a statute around which they sit, some nearer than others, others farther off, these from certain height, those others from its very foot, all seeing it in a different way, so that the more they try to picture it faithfully, all the more their sketches are different from one another. Those who sketch
directly from the statutes are thinkers who differ from one another because they start from different principles; they are the FOUNDERS OF SCHOOLS AND DOCTRINES.
A great number, however, because they are too far away, or can not see well, or are less skillful or are lazy or those who copied nearest to them or from those they think seems to be the best. These COPYIST are the partisans, the active secretaries of an idea.
Still others, LAZIER, or those who buy a ready made copy, a photograph or a lithograph and go off happy and satisfied. These are the passive secretaries, who believe everything to save themselves the trouble of thinking.
Who would now judge the sketches made by the others by comparing them with his own? He would have to place himself where those others were, and judge from their own points of view.
“And do not tell me Your Reverence, that truth seen from all angles, must always appear the same; that would be true only for HIM WHO IS PRESENT EVERYWHERE.
Fr. Pastells dismissed the parish priest of the Rhine with a gesture: the man was “some ignorant nincompoop who lost his Catholic common sense, who is a Protestant as the servant of the God of the Catholics. Such a thing could be said only by someone who like you (Rizal) believes that the difference between Catholics and Protestants are only matters of opinion and not of faith. Where would all this lead
to? Moderate Protestants believed that man could be saved within any of their sects; liberal and progressive – within any religion; Free-thinkers-do his duty and attain happiness without any religion at all! If this is admitted, then away with science and philosophy, most contradictory principles, and illogical and monstrous conclusions should all be respected as axious of truth Enthronement of human reason, Pastells argued would thus lead to its destruction and universal skepticism. HUMAN REASON WOULD BE THE REASON OF UNREASON.
True Religion must consider the false as enemies; “Who is not with me is against me.” The Saviour had brought “not peace but sword.” “I am the light of the world”, “I am the truth”. “Do you admit the divinity of Jesus Christ and the divine
institution of his Church?” Rizal had asked “who can call himself the reflector of such Light?” Pastells asked in turn “And does my dear friend, the divine mission of Jesus Christ, His divinity itself, count for nothing, weight nothing in the intellectual balance….?” Unfortunately we do not have Rizal’s reply in its entirety we only have fragment which seems to avoid the challenge. J. Rizal to P. Patells S.J. 9th Jan. 1898 “I firmly believe, by reason and by necessity more than out of faith, in the existence of a Creative Being. Who is He? What human sounds, what syllables in what language, can capture the name of this Being whose works overwhelm the imagination of anyone who thinks of them? Who can give
Him a suitable name when some miserable creature down here with transient power, has two or three names, three or four surnames, and many titles and dignities? We call him Dios, but this at most only reminds us of the Latin deus, or the Greek Zeus. What is He like? I would attribute to Him in an infinite degree all the beautiful and holy qualities that my mind can conceive, if I were not restrained by the fear of my own ignorance. Someone has said that each one makes his God in his own image and likeness, and, if I remember rightly, Anacreon said that if the bull could conceive of a god, it would fancy that god horned and with mighty bellow.
“For all that, I dare believe Him infinitely wise, powerful and good; my idea of the infinite is imperfect and confused, seeing the marvels of His works, the order that reigns among them their magnificence and overwhelming vastness, and, goodness that shine in all.”
From Pastellstext it is plain, Rizal had not surrendered. Rizal believed in God. “Not all is lost; your soul still carries hope which will carry you to salvation. You have sucked the pure doctrine of religion from your mother and family and in Ateneo – sooner or later you will return to the Catholic Church. Patells discussed in his letter to Rizal, the Nature of the Causeless Being, the divinity of Jesus Christ as proved by His Resurrection from the dead, divine institution of the Church of Rome, relationship between faith and reason, divine inspira-
ration of the Scriptures, nature of miracles, Salvation outside the Church, etc. RIZAL – We are entirely in agreement in admitting the existence of God. Who recognized the effect recognizes the cause… My FAITH in God, if the product of reasoning can be called faith, is BLIND, blind in the sense that it knows nothing. I smile at the definitions and meditationsof theologians and philosophers of this ineffable and inscrutable Being… Man makes his God to his own image and likeness and then attributes to Him his own works. “He who made eyes, will He not see?” He who made ears, will He not hear?” But since we have spoken Anacreons bull, “He who made horns, will He not throw us with horns?”
PASTELLS – (after explaining that he was writing by analogy) God need not eyes to see or ears to hear…. God possesses what are called positive perfections in an infinite and absolute degree. (His) creatures participate in the perfections of God in a finite degree and by analogy. RIZAL – I believe in Revelation but not in the revelation or revelations which each religion or all religions claim to possess. Upon examining them, one cannot but recognize in all of them the human thumb print and the mark of time in which they were written. PATELLS – What thumb print and what mark? “Catholics mean that sacred books were written with Divine inspiration. Shall we deny that God was the author of the inspiration. xxx. As
long as the Catholic Churches recognized the Divine finger of inspiration behind the human thumbprint, it is enough to assure that the book of the Old and the New Testament, recognized as such by the Catholic Church, must be received by the faithful sacred. RIZAL – I believe in revelation, but in that living revelation of Nature with surrounds us on all sides, in that voice, potent, eternal, incessant, incorruptible, clear, distinct, universal, like the Being from which it comes, in that revelation with speaks to us and compenetrates us from the day we are born till the day we die. What books can better reveal to us the goodness, love, providence, eternity, glory and His wisdom? “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. xxx. “Instead of interpreting obscure passages
or ambiguous phrases, which have provoked hatreds wars and dissensions, would it not be better to interpret the facts of Nature in order to adapt our lives better to its invisible laws, using its forces from our own perfectioning? PASTELLS – but we are discussing revelation, properly seeking supernatural revelation given by God to man for his salvation. Living revelation of Nature does not teach us for our justification, sanctification and eternal salvation. We would be in complete darkness if in our soul does not brought lighthouse of supernatural hope based on faith in the revealed truths that God in His grace has given us. RIZAL – there are necessary and useful precepts, but God placed this in the conscience of man, His best temple, that is
why I would rather adore God who has endowed us with salvation, who keeps open His book of revelation through the voice of our conscience. PASTELLS – That voice is not incessant because, heard only from our conscience, how many times are its cries muffled by the callouses formed in it by a bad life? – all kinds of errors have been multiplied in all pages of history of people except in Christendom. RIZAL – I cannot believe that before the coming of Jesus Christ al peoples were buried in the profound chasm that you speak. Nor can I believe that after Christ all was light, peace and good fortune, that the majority of men turned just. No. I would be belied by the battlefields, faggots, prisons, acts of
violence, tortures of the inquisition, the hatred that Christian nations profess towards one another over petty differences, slavery and for 18 centuries, prostitution. PASTELLS – It was Jesus Christ who brought the world that true peace which made men who received it adopted sons of God and heirs of heaven. For this we are obliged to adore God … who opened for us the book of natural law and that of supernatural law depositing both in the infallible custody of the teaching of the Catholic Church… RIZAL – Your brilliant arguments cannot convince me that the Catholic Church is endowed with infallibility. It is an institution more perfect than the others, but human after all, with all the defects, errors and vicissitudes proper to the work of men.
PASTELLS – Christian religion has its branches in the hearts of the people, but it roots and foundation in the Christ from with it sprung. It is based on the will of God and the efficacy of supernatural grace by virtue of the merits of Christ. RIZAL – Who died on the Cross? Was it God or man? If it was God, I cannot understand how a God, conscious of His mission, could die, or how a God could exclaim in the garden: “Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from me,” or how He could again exclaim from the Cross: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” This cry is absolutely human, it is the cry of a man who had faith in justice and the goodness of his cause; except for the “Tomorrow thou shalt be with me,” the works of Christ on Calvary all suggest a man in torment
and in agony, but what a man! For me, Christ – man is greater than the Christ – God. PASTELLS – Christ as man died on the Cross, that is to say, when Jesus Christ died, his soul left his body, and the person of Christ remained united in the soul and in the body… RIZAL – God cannot have created me for my harm; for what harm have I done Him before being created that He should will my damnation? Nor can He have created me for nothing, or in indifference. He must have created me for a good purpose, and for that end, I have nothing to guide me better than my conscience, and only conscience alone which judges and qualifies my acts.
PASTELLS – God must have created man for some good purpose attainable after this life, for, if God is just, where would He reward him who dies unjustly. To defend his justice? Where would He punish the sinner. God made me to love Him and serve Him in this life and to enjoy Him forever in the next. To attain this end the grace of God, the merits of Jesus Christ, and our own good works, are needed. RIZAL – ended his last letter to the Jesuit with a characteristic gesture “who is more foolishly proud: he who is content to follow his own judgment, or he who proposes to impose on others not even what his own reason declares but only what seems to him to be the truth? The reasonable has never seemed foolish to me, and pride has always shown itself in the idea of imposition.”
Rizal was a modern man in a medieval community and that his religious beliefs different, as they were from those of majority, were a matter of greater weight, both to himself and society than we would now be inclined to think.
Rizal was also a non conformist in a society where church and state were united, and where religious skeptism was unpatriotic and political descent, irreligious, or, on the other side of the barricades, where the free thinker was the standard-bearer of freedom of thought. This is the reason why news of Rizal’s retraction was received by his fellow liberals and progressive & rebels on the field with scorn and disbelief and why to date is repudiated by humanists rationalists
The following account is transcribed and translated in part from Balaguer’s affidavit:
Rizal showed himself a Protestant; that this rule of faith was the word of God contained in the Scripture (he could not be certain as to authenticity of Holy Scripture) and that private judgment could not interpret God’s word at its own choice, Rizal frankly declared himself rationalist & free-thinker, admitting no other criterion of truth but private judgment.
Balaguer demonstrated absurdity of rationalism in view of lack of instruction of majority of humankind and monstrous errors committed by wisest men of pagan times. Only supernatural faith and divine revelation, guaranteed by the infallible authority of the church is the only national criterion.
Rizal – would be guided by mind that God had given him and that he would appear before God’s Judgement Seat, content with having done his duty as rational man.
They discussed criterion of faith, authority of church, its infallibility & divine teaching mission, the power to make miracles, Holy Scripture, Purgatory, variations among Protestant Churches, etc. – a thousand times refuted with unanswerable arguments.
Balaguer – if he (Rizal) did not surrender his mind and reason to faith he will surely be damned. Rizal answered. “No I shall not be damned.”
Balaguer- “yes you will go to hell” outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation.”
Rizal – said that if I signed whatever you put before me without conviction I would offend God.
Balaguer – Certainly. It is incomparable sorrow to see a person one loves so obstinate in error to that he is headed for damnation.
Offer up to God the sacrifice of your self-love and against the voice of your reason ask God for the grace of faith. Have recourse to the Lord, for the heart of man is in the hands of God. - Rizal – I promise that I shall spend my remaining time asking God for the grace of faith.
Text of the Retraction Letter 29th of December 1896 “I declare myself a Catholic, and in this religion in which I was born and educated I wish to live and die. I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications, and conduct has been contrary to my condition as a son of the Church. I believe and profess whatever she teaches, and submit myself to whatever she commands. I abhor Masonry as the enemy that it is of the Church and as society prohibited by the same Church. The diocesan prelate, as the superior ecclesiastical authority, can make public this my spontaneous declaration to repair the scandal that my actions may have caused, and so that God and men may forgive me. Manila, 29th of December 1896 JOSE RIZAL”
Balaguer – stated under oath that he took the retraction letter to Ateneo and hand it to Fr. Pio Pi who in the same day took it to Archbishop's Palace and gave it to Nozaleda who handed it in turn to his secretary, Gonzalez Feijoo who filed it for confidential documents.
The text appears to have been released to the press and published, but the original document was not produced by the authorities of the Church until it was allegedly found in the archives of the Archbishop's Palace by Father Manuel Garcia and published in Jesuit periodical on the 18th July 1935.
CONTROVERSIES Is the handwritten retraction document produced genuine or forgery? – the weight of handwriting experts is in favor of its authenticity. PALMA
If the text and signature are authentic, the document proved Rizal’s abjuration of Masonry but not his conversion to Catholicism, one act is independent of the other. If Rizal had recanted his religious ideas, he had not done the same to his political ones. A document obtained by means of moral violence and spiritual threats has very little worth in history. But the language of the retraction unmistakable, it is non sense to say that the retraction does not prove Rizal’s conversion. It is truism to say that the recantation of his
religious errors did not involve the repudiation of his political aims. PALMA and others so persuasively offer to suggest that Rizal did not recant, and that the Jesuits and the regime knew that he did not. Why did Rizal fail to tell his fond and pious mother that he had return to their faith? Why did not the Jesuits try to save his life, putting his conversion beyond doubt and showing off their prize? Why was his body not handed over to his family, and instead secretly buried? Why was it not buried on consecrated ground? Why was his death entered on a special page of the registered between an unidentified man and a suicide, both
of whom must have been supposed to die impenitent and unshriven? f) Why were there no requiem masses made for the repose of his soul? g) Why was a copy of his retraction not furnished his family despite their requests? h) Why was a certificate of marriage between Rizal and Josephine Bracken similarly withheld, and why has it not been produced to this date? How odd that the original of the retraction should be found only 30 years after? j) How curious that the wording of the handwritten document should differ from the versions first published by the press, by Retana, and by the Jesuits!
k) Why did Retana fail to mention that the retraction had been signed before two witnesses? l) Why was the Jesuit pamphlet left unsigned? m) The pamphlet is shot through with demonstrable errors about Rizal’s life – why not about his last hours?
These external circumstances surrounding Rizal’s recantation are surely enough to raise doubt, but the argument drawn from Rizal’s own character is even more stronger; to wit:
By the Jesuits own account he remained firm in his rationalist convictions until he had only 12 hours left to live. b) It is incredible that he should suddenly cave in. c) He had long ago stopped believing in images
d) Can it be really believed that Rizal asked insistently for the formula of retraction and that it was withheld from him for a time deliberately? e) Why should he recant in his death cell when he had refused to recant in Dapitan? f) How could he “believe and profess” whatever the Catholic Church taught, and “submit” to whatever she commanded, when he had explicitly rejected, in his correspondent with Pastells, the divine authority of the Church of Rome? g) How could he declare his “abhorrence” of Masonry as an enemy of the Church, when as a Mason, he knew that it was not? And then to go to Confession three, four times in succession, to hear two Masses on his knees, to read out his recantation before the altar in the presence of his
jailers, to sign acts of faith, hope and charity, to put on sodalist’s medal he had brushed aside only a few hours before, what could be the motive of these absurd extremes of self-abasement? h) What did he have to gain? Heaven? He did not believe in Heaven. Yet How much he had to lose! It would give the lie to his novels, overthrow his life’s work, send him to the grave with a stain upon his character. ANSWERS: - It would appear that Dona Teodora said goodbye to Rizal on the afternoon of the 29th of December and did not see him on the day of his execution, after his conversion the night before.
His retraction of religious errors could not affect his conviction for political offenses and therefore no question could arise of saving his from execution
Rizal body was buried secretly and his grave placed under guard for political reason – it was feared that some insurgents who fought under the banner of his name might unearth his body to revere it as a rationalistic relic or to propagate a myth about his survival or resurrection.