It might have been weeks after the Easter Sunday Vigil services, but nothing will be left "un-ranted".
THE “Sugat” is a Filipino tradition done at dawn on Easter Sunday and features the images of the Risen Christ and the Virgin Mary meeting in a procession.
In Compostela, Cebu, parish priest Jonathan Lao introduced some changes. Instead of the Virgin Mary, it’s Mary Magdalene whom Jesus saw for the first time after He rose from the dead.
In his Easter message, Lao said, “Karon kay nagtuo man gyud mo nga ang iyang inahan maoy iyang unang nakita, akong i-usab kana sumala sa Bibliya, sumala sa santos nga kasulatan, ug mao si Maria Magdalena (You used to believe it was His mother whom He first saw. I will change that according to the Bible that was Mary Magdalene).”
Lao has been in the news lately after allegedly telling parishioners not to believe in saints. [He did! Here is the picture of the altar of the parish. This priest is wacko!] Parishioners are still awaiting results of an investigation by the Cebu Archdiocese.
The crowd who attended the event was not as big as those that attended in the previous years.
For years, the parishioners of Compostela had been used to the traditional Sugat, which involved the statues of St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.
“This ritual is popularly known as salubong or sugat because this is done in a procession where the men and women are separated coming from opposite directions but they eventually meet in front of the church,” said Melanie Abelgas, a member of a religious sector.
The men are led by the image of the Resurrected Christ while the women are led by the Virgin Mary covered in a black veil. [Because it is the Resurrected Christ that lifts the veil of sorrow from the Blessed Mother. It is He who triumphed over death. That is the symbolism of the taking off of the black mourning veil.]
Yesterday, actors playing angels removed the veil from Jesus Christ’s image and not from Mother Mary as the town had been used to seeing. [Actors, not images, actors! How many times have you seen this? Actually I have been to a lot and everytime this is done in the parish, you can hear inside the church the jeers and sneers of those in attendance. The thrill of seeing a Resurrected Christ is lost by seeing an actor with a fake beard and fake stigmata wounds....Ugh! Every single year I have to painfully watch this go on and on and on!]
The changes drew negative reactions from some of the spectators.
Church vendor Geraldine, who has been attending the activity for 20 years, said, “Mas nindot sa una kay mao may naandan nato. Nabag-uhan lang mi ron kay giusab man gud siya (The old Sugat was better. The changes are new to us),” she said.
Another parishioner, Marlouie Vincent Reyes, 16, said Lao should have asked for permission from the Cebu Archdiocese first.
A parishioner said that until now, Lao still continues to tell them in his homilies not to believe in saints, the Virgin Mother and the Holy Rosary. [Did he study at MST, or SVST or Euntes? Ha! In fact, he is not. He was educated in Rome. Hey, wait! In San't Anselmo during the 80s? Ha!]
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in an earlier interview, said they are still gathering more information about the issue.
There have been priests in the US who have been removed from their pastoral duties in their parishes for refusing to follow the new translation of the Roman Missal. OK, fine. This is the Missal. Fr. Lao's version of the Salubong or Sugat is his own version and it is not a strictly liturgical in nature. BUT! This is proof of a priest who'll do whatever he wants just so he can do whatever he wants.
I am not at all surprised if he did his own version of the Salubong. That is the trend, brothers and sisters. Anything old and traditional, CHANGE IT! Anyone who'll rant about it, do not minds them, TALK TO THE HAND!
I am the parish priest and I can do whatever I want!
That's the kind of Fr. Lao.
Actually this priest has an attitude. He once shot a student who was stealing mangoes from his tree. The case was settled amicably.
Why, Fr. Lao? Is shooting in the Bible? Settling out of court in the Bible?
Yeah, I know that is a non-sensical question.
But, hey! He is FR. LAO and he can do whatever he wants!