CBCP warns public vs ‘misleading’ and ‘erroneous’ Papal statement shirts

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CBCP slams retailers of statement shirts carrying erroneous quotes from Pope Francis (Credits: www.SplendorOfTheChurch.com.ph)

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has warned the public against buying statement shirts with quotes supposedly uttered by Pope Francis, who is scheduled to have an Apostolic Visit to the Philippines next month.

“While the words in the shirt attempt to convey the openness of the Holy Father, the phrases “NO RACE NO RELIGION” are definitely misleading and quite frankly erroneous,” CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.

no race no religion abscbn
CBCP slams retailers of statement shirts carrying erroneous quotes from Pope Francis (Credits: www.SplendorOfTheChurch.com.ph)

The Archbishop explained that Pope Francis “is aware of the fact that he heads an organized religion with a vast membership throughout the world.” He added that for the Argentinian pontiff, “race forms part of the identity of individuals and of peoples.”  

According to Villegas, Pope Francis “has never said and taught that religion and race do not matter.” “It is what selfish, uncharitable and judgmental people do with religion and race that is a problem,” he said.

“We urge our Catholic faithful not to patronize items with these misleading posts and statements,” Villegas reiterated.

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Is CBCP aiming at ABS-CBN in this statement?

While the Archbishop did not specify any merchandise retailer, the website www.SplendorOfTheChurch.com.ph last night faulted ABS-CBN for selling shirts carrying “distorted” quotes of Pope Francis.

UPDATE, 3:00 PM: ABS-CBN has announced that it is pulling out the controversial shirts from the market.

In a statement, ABS-CBN spokesperson Bong Osorio said the network has “no intent to deceive or mislead the public through the commemorative shirt that carry statements inspired by Pope Francis’ message of love, openness, and humility.”

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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