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Bishop blasts ’play safe’ mentality on religion

Filipino Catholics keeping images, beliefs from other faiths ’is wrong’

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III
  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • February 3, 2011
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A senior Church official yesterday criticized the practice of many Filipinos of adopting a segurista or “play safe” mentality toward religion.

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, the media director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the Filipino habit of having Sto. Nino (Child Jesus) and Buddha images in their homes is a prime example.

“If you want to be a Christian then be a Christian. Don’t be the kind of Catholic with a segurista mentality because it means you don’t believe in Christ,” he said.

“If you do, you don’t need to have a sort of back-up religion,” he added.

Monsignor Quitorio said this kind of approach to religion is called syncretism or the combination of different beliefs, which is very evident especially during Chinese New Year, which is being celebrated today.

During Chinese New Year, lucky charms and gems sell like hotcakes because people believe that having one will attract good fortune in the coming year.

Such thinking, Monsignor Quitorio said, is not only common to Filipino Catholics but to other faiths as well.

“There are non-Catholics who also keep an image of the Sto. Nino because they believe it can help them,” he said.

“They should be encouraged to have only one faith,” Monsignor Quitorio added.

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