Carlos Celdran was found guilty of “offending religious feelings” for holding a protest inside a church in the middle of a Mass in 2010.
Offending the religious feelings, under the Revised Penal Code Article 133, is performing acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony. The penalty for offending the religious feelings is arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period.
Netizens have mixed emotions about the issue. Some people defended Celdran saying:
“What? Just because he stood up against the absurd position of the church re the RH bill, he was sentenced to jail?!! He stood up for the millions of hungry children, for those mothers who died in their delivery beds, to the unborn being aborted…”
“Some laws are antiquated. Even Rizal violated the law and offended the Church. These laws should be stricken from our law books.”
“The punishment is way too harsh and medieval. A simple apology should have sufficed. But, I think the Church is way too vindictive for a first time offense. The guy didn’t bomb the church or posed nude or molest little choir boys or spend church funds for lavish luxuries. This is getting too personal.”
“Calling all RH bill supporters, the persecution of the RH bill advocates must not be permitted. No one should bear such penalty, only because they fought for what they believed in.”
While other netizens agreed with the ruling.
“Bottomline is, he violated a law… he should have known that he would be held accountable for the actions he made thus, there’s no point in raising a howl over it…”
“For if we’re going to let Celdran’s law breaking pass, what moral position are we going to hold when speaking against petty crimes being committed by street criminals?”
“The sacredness of the mass should have been considered by Celdran when he went in and interrupted the mass with his denunciation of the Catholic hierarchy. One should never take for granted the sacredness of the mass, it is considered our highest worship to God and no man…no man should interrupt it…”
“He did it scandalously in the middle of an ecumenical celebration causing disruption…”