Once again, in an unlikely time and moment as the Philippines reels from the recent Indian Ocean Tsunami-like devastation caused by the Supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the controversial sect Iglesia ni Cristo figured in an incident that is now the toast of netizens all over the world.
Where all this started lead this blogger’s research to this touching Facebook status from a certain Mai Militante that went viral over the weekend.
A certain Fr. Abe Arganiosa blogged about this message, which he wrote he had received from Iloilo. The Catholic priest then fired his commentary about the pride of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
In Fr. Abe’s blog piece, “Iglesia ni Cristo Refused Shelter for Super Typhoon Victims in Iloilo” that is rounding the whole wide web, the priest slammed the Iglesia ni Cristo for closing their chapels to non-members.
Note: the non-members who were refused entry are victims of the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines.
For the benefit of our readers, we are posting in full the commentary of Fr. Abe:
“It is striking that they have such an attitude when people are losing hoes during the onslaught of the Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in local name). Outside trees were falling and iron sheets from the rooftops of many houses were flying like paper sheets. In face of danger, it is the natural tendencies of Filipinos to take shelter to Churches and Schools. Yet, these members of the Iglesia ni Cristo refused to open doors like unmerciful innkeepers in Bethlehem during the birth of the Messiah, refusing shelter to the Holy Family.
One Cathedral in Tacloban was destroyoed by the Super Typhoon and it was caught in camera of Channel 7 by Jiggy Manicad. Why? Because people including the media men were taking shelter inside it. Our glory is in the cross of the Lord Jesus and in the fact that our Church is truly home of the poor and the needy.
Take note, they pride themselves for having their chapel standing right after the storm. Good for them. However, a house of worship that is not a house of charity is evil. Like the Pyramids of the pagans they stand as lasting memorial of the emptiness of the Pharoah’s heart.”
The logical consequence is the INC members’ reactions to defend their Church, whose registered official organization named Felix Manalo as sole founder. The INC members slammed the blogger priest as using his charm to create black propaganda against the Iglesia ni Manalo.
One from the INC group, Batang Tupa Blogspot, posted an article questioning the priest’s motive in “Abe Arganiosa .. Desperadong Pari (Abe Arganiosa .. Desperate Priest)”.
With a tagline “Unofficial Iglesia ni Cristo blog”, Batang Tupa wrote that Fr. Abe used an unverified text message, pointing its impossibility of transmission due to network/telecom failure in the subject area.
The blogger then used news reports about the lack of communication lines in these areas.
In the same news reports used by Batang Tupa, however, the Abante-Tonite report actually mentioned that mobile phones can still be used. Presidential Communication Operation Office (PCOO) Sec. Herminio ‘Sonny’ Coloma Jr. was quoted by the report saying,
“Nakipag-ugnayan din tayo sa mga telecommunication company dahil kahit walang kuryente maaari pong magamit ang mga mobile phones.”
We coordinated with telecommunication companies because while there is no power mobile phones can still be used.”
But before closing, Batang Tupa gave the following remarks:
“Ang mga bagay na ito ay ginagawa ng mga kasangkapan ng Diablo upang pasamain ang imahe ng INC sa mga tao. Maging matalino po tayu mga kapatid at huwag kaagad maniniwala sa mga sabi-sabi…”
All these are the devices of the Devil to malign the image of INC to the people. Let us be intelligent brethren and not immediatley believe in hearsays…
“… On the contraray the chapels of Iglesia ni Manalo are closed to people except to their own members. What a selfish and uncharitable attitude. Yet they are proud of their selfishness. Instead of bowing in shame they are so proud that they are heartless. Their chapels and monuments can stand the test of storms yet they are spiritually bereft and empty of charity. Like the pagan monuments and pyramids of the pagans they stand as testament to the evil hearts of the Pharoah. Nowadays, they are no longer referred to as Pharoah but as Manalo.”
But if ever there is one that will contradict Fr. Abe’s statement that the chapels of the Iglesia ni Cristo are open to their members, here is one:
Sometimes, monsters are not named after a typhoon.
[Update: An ABS-CBNnews.com article, “Iglesia ni Cristo Refused to Shelter Typhoon Victims?”, mentioned that officials from the INC are yet to issue comments on this matter]
Note: This blog will not be able to cover everything (especially on the viral tweet messages from certain Arcan Ville and Regghie M. Orphiada as some materials need further verifications so as not to give biased or one-sided report.