Rorate Caeli

Filipino Archbishop Calls for Revival of Apologetics

Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado CM, Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Ozamis since 1983, has been one of the Philippines' more outspoken bishops when it comes to spiritual and doctrinal topics. He has issued several pastoral letters critical of contraception and Freemasonry and, now, is one of the very few Asian bishops to openly call for an apologetics campaign against the inroads of Evangelical Protestantism.

The "Catholic Faith Defenders" mentioned here, is a valiant group of Catholic laity who, in the face of death threats and violence from Protestant and other indigenous sects, continue to defend the Catholic faith in the cities and rural areas of the southern Philippines. (Unfortunately, even in a Catholic country such as the Philippines, it is the Evangelicals and their offshoots -- as well as the Islamists -- who feel free to malign their opponents and to threaten the majority Catholics with abuse if not outright acts of terror, not excluding martyrdom.)

From the CBCP NEWS website:

OZAMIS CITY, May 10, 2008―The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ozamis, Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado, C.M., called on the faithful to “defend Catholic church doctrines” as he urged for a rebirth of apologetics, “the first subject we used to study when we began our Theology in the seminary.”

The prelate said the time is “ripe for a revival of the defense of our religion by reason illuminated by faith.” He said apologetics should be centered on the living testimony of believers rather than the traditional philosophical and historical reason, “not on the traditional question of ‘how we get to God’ but God comes to us.”

He explained that apologetics of personal testimony is particularly suited to the nature of Catholicism and traditional arguments are still necessary.

“There’s a need to study the scriptures, the Catechism, the History of the Church and especially the teachings of the magisterium,” the prelate said.

In a separate interview Friday afternoon, Bro. Reynaldo Rosal, Catholic Faith Defenders’ (CFD) chairman for religious programs, said the government’s Securities and Exchange Commission noted a significant growth in Christian fundamentalist groups from 228 before 1980 to 1,448 from 1980 to 1989.

CFD National Treasurer Adam Amper said “Our Catholic faith is a way of life which we are supposed to live with and we are called to defend.”

He added the Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines recognize Apologetics as an important part of the pastoral and theological tradition of the Catholic Church.
Dosado, in his letter to the Catholic Faith Defenders, has recognized its role in helping propagate the Gospel as it is mandated to “study Catholic doctrines, dogmas, precepts and traditions of the Church; to uphold and defend, in writing and in speech the Catholic faith from attacks and denunciations whether from within or from without.”

Catholic Faith Defenders of Ozamis City leads in the evangelization programs over Catholic-run DxDD AM – Radyo Kampana.

The Catholic Faith Defenders – Ozamis chapter will renew their oath before Archbishop Dosado at a 5 a.m Mass on Pentecost Sunday. (Wendell Talibong)


Anonymous said...

Indonesian translation for this blog entry is available here:

Neighbouring Indonesian Catholic faithful needs all the good news they can get (especially from such close brethren in faith) considering the awful state of Indonesian Catholic Hierarchs.

LeonG said...

Archbishop Dosado has understood many factors about the modern church and its abandonment of sound instruction for seminarians. However, he neglects to comprehend that without the true liturgical rite for western Christendom in its authentic language there can be no proper defense of The Roman Catholic Faith without The Latin Mass of All Time being universally celebrated as it used to be. The NO Bugnini service was designed to subvert the "bastion" of the traditional faith - indeed the culpable party described it as a victory over the Catholic Church. The fact that the church hangs onto it only serves further to objectively demonstrate that it asphyxiates Catholicism and encourages further the protestant rebellion against it.

Cardinal Pacelli was certainly inspired when he referred to the suicide of altering the faith in the liturgy. Cardinal Dosado would do well to contemplate this as part of a policy of restoration with his promising movement.

Asian Trad Catholic said...

I'm glad that the Archbishop has called for such Apologetics. Perhaps he can also add the implementation of Summorum Pontificum and consecration of his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, followed by convincing his fellow Bishops to do the same and to come together to consecrate their country.