Senator Francisco Rodrigo, Senator Mariano J. Cuenco and Senator Decoroso Rosales.
The Church played a big role in this fight because they are the ones who intervened with the approval and signing of this bill into a law.
The sponsors argued that in reading Rizal’s words, we are able to see ourselves. It is through the works of Rizal, the greatest Filipino patriot, which show not only the strengths and virtues of the Filipinos but the Filipino’s defects and vices as well. Making the Filipinos realize their flaws will prepare themselves for the sacrifices they have to make to attain freedom.
The only objective of the bill is to foster the better appreciation of our national hero’s role in fighting for freedom under the colonialism of the Spaniards, not to go against any religion
According to the letter submitted by the CBCP, Rizal violated the Church’s laws specifically Canon Law 1399, which forbids books that attack or ridicule any of the catholic dogmas or which defend errors condemned by the Holy See
Not only that, they argue that among the 333 pages of Noli Me Tangere, only 25 passages are patriotic while 120 passages are anti-catholic.
They suggest a Rizalian Anthology, where a compilation of all his works which contains the nationalistic philosophy will be provided as reading material for the students instead of his two novels
Rizal would still be a hero even if he didn’t write these two novels.
In addition to that, the reading of the unexpurgated version of the novels would no longer be compulsory to elementary and secondary levels due to the issues it had with the Catholic Church
Finally, the bill also included that the works done by Rizal should be read strictly in the original and unexpurgated form in the college level.
Rizal himself included in his last will the retraction of his statements about the Church in his two novels
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