Rodolfo Lozada Jr. and his fans owe it to Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and the Archdiocese of Cebu to correct the wrong impression generated by their claim, which turned out to be false, that priests were prevented from officiating mass during Lozada’s visit here.
It has become apparent organizers of the visit and Lozada himself wrongly attributed to a conspiracy the refusal of priests they invited for the mass to accede to their request.
This was an error (some people now call it a scheme) that became the basis for the insulting words hurled at the Cebu church (Lozada called it the “Archdiocese of Malacañang”) and the cardinal (the Black and White Movement called him a “congressman in cassock”).
Because it went on uncorrected for a time, with even the Presbyteral Council able to react only in the evening of Lozada’s visit, the claim, repeated many times, acquired the misleading cloak of truth, which is unfair to the archdiocese and the cardinal.
Worse, because Lozada is a national figure and considering the advances in technology, the spread of the error was not confined to Cebu but was nationwide.
It is probably too much to expect an apology from Lozada and his supporters if one considers ego and these people’s tendencies, which is to present a facade of infallibility.
But it would be in keeping with the supposed search for truth and a boost to their cause if they do everything they can to make the truth prevail on this issue and to not allow the false claims to continue spreading around.
We are well into the Holy Week and it looks like the cardinal has taken it upon himself to recognize this by not answering the insults, meaning, by turning the other cheek.
While Lozada and his fans may have something against the cardinal and the archdiocese, it is still possible they have not lost their religiosity and sense of fairness.
Asking them to issue a correction to the false claims they spread against the cardinal and the archdiocese may not therefore be that tall an order.
–I wrote this as an editorial for the March 20, 2008 issue of Sun.Star Cebu