On the 29th of December, Jose Rizal had allegedly written a retraction document. Fr. Balaguer had claimed that Rizal had written this document in front him and Fr. Villaclara had witnessed this also along with another Jesuit priest. The document goes like this: “I declare myself a Catholic and in this religion is I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and conduct has been contrary to my quality as a son of the Catholic Church. I believe and profess whatever she teaches and I submit myself to whatever she commands. I abominate Masonry, as the enemy that it is of the Church, and as a Society prohibited by the Church. The Diocesan Prelate can, as the Superior Ecclesiastical authority, make public this spontaneous manifestation of mine in order to repair the scandals the my acts have caused and so that God and the people may pardon me.”
He was a great man of literature, philosophy, science and all of the fields where he displayed his enthusiasm and expertise. He was known to be a man of his words until this issue had afflicted his image and putting into jeopardy his reputation as one of the greatest proponent of our country’s freedom and being our national hero.
A controversy like this should be taken with extensive examination. Many questions have rose in my mind while I’m trying to figure out my stand on this issue. Professedly, this message of Rizal was published after he was shot in Bagumbayan. Why do they need to do it after he was killed? Why not while he was alive in order to clarify and make it clear to the people that he had changed his beliefs on the last minute? When did he come up with this decision? I am not really convinced on the nominal retraction of Rizal. The details about the document were not straight. The established copies were not uniform. Lastly, the question of how and why would a Jesuit priest like Fr. Balaguer was able to have the original copy in his hand, is still a big mystery not only for me but I...
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