Rizal's Retraction Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1996 Words
Date:  2022-07-15

Did Jose Rizal Retract?

In the heart of the Filipinos, Dr. Jose Rizal had immortalized himself through his works and sacrifices for freedom and independence. Yet, his life was not always grand and perfect. Rizal’s greatness is secluded by the many controversies surrounding his life. The most intriguing of all was the issue of his alleged retraction. It was all about his reversion to the Catholic Faith, repudiation of any of his writing against Roman Catholicism and abomination of Masonry and all other issues linked to it such as his marriage to Josephine Bracken. That issue was claimed to be true by the Roman Catholic defenders but asserted to be deceptive by anti-retractonists. For some people to retract would mean little for they have little to retract, but this was not so of Rizal. This retraction issue, to some extent, had immortalized itself along with Jose Rizal. Through his greatness, some other controversies in his life faded and succumb to vanish but this retraction issue stood still and remained. There had been numbers of circumstances in his patriotic life that gave rise to this controversial retraction allegation. One circumstance was his affiliation to a Masonic institution. In an article authored by Romberto Poulo, Rizal’s affiliation in Masonry was accounted to have caused drastic change to his religious ideas. It was in the moment Rizal set foot on European soil when he was exposed to a great deal of distinctions between what was happening to his country, the discriminations, abuses, partialities, injustices, and some other things made to cause sufferings to his countrymen, and what was the actual scene of the European nations. He observed that Europe was a lot more different compared to the Philippines in terms of way of life, attitudes towards Roman Catholicism, and most importantly, the freedom all the citizens enjoy. Somehow, with this observation sprouted an ambition in his heart of redeeming glory and liberty for the Filipino from those who lived in their tears and sufferings, the Spanish friars. Hence, Rizal considered to enter Freemasonry. As what Gregorio Zaide had written in his book, Rizal become a Mason for a reason that he wanted to secure Freemasonry’s aid in his fight against the friars in the Philippines. Zaide further said that Rizal intended to utilize Freemasonry as his shield to combat the friars since they had been using the Catholic Religion as their shield, armor, fortress, etc. , to establish a control of power and wealth and to persecute the Filipino patriots including Rizal himself. Freemasonry definitely goaded Rizal to filibusterism and separated him from Catholic Faith and turned him to a formidable foe of the Roman Catholic Church. Friars, then, marked him as an enemy, a filibuster, and a revolutionist. History, for certain, has its accounts of the specific occasions when Rizal attacked the Catholic Church. One instance on record in an article authored by Yason Banal, occurred on his first homecoming after the publication of Noli Me Tangere. When he told Tavera who defended him before Fr. Faura,

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Why should I not fight a religion like that when it was the basic cause of our miseries and tears?

Christ did the same thing with the religion of his country when the Pharisees abused it. ” Tne Noli Me Tangere itself, at that time, already functioned as a perfect means of attacking the friars and so did his other written works. Rizal’s deviation from Catholicism became obvious and expressive and intensified every after unjust acts struck the Filipino people. Consequently, the Jesuits in the Philippines felt that they have lost him, their favorite and most outstanding pupil. However, they did not lose hope and sincerely made faithful and untiring attempts to convince him to retract and return to the Catholic embrace even until the very moment prior to his execution. On the midst of Rizal’s endeavor for Philippine independence from the mother country Spain, a gobernatorial decree was released for an arbitrary exile of Jose Rizal. It was triggered by the confiscated bundle of handbills entitled Pobres Frailes which allegedly found on the pillow cases of his sister Lucia who accompanied him on his second homecoming. This was a big deal” for the Spanish authority since these handbills were satire against the rich Dominican friars who amassed fabulous riches contrary to their monastic vow of poverty. That incident marked the onset of Rizal’s four-year exile in an island in the south, Dapitan. During that interval in his life, there happened an interesting religious debate through correspondence between him and Fr. Pablo Pastells. Fr. Pastells was a Jesuit priest and a former director of a religious association which Rizal once served as a secretary at the Ateneo Municipal. Fr. Pastells took the initiative, on behalf of the Jesuits for the welfare of their favorite pupil perceived as the salvation of his soul, to reconvert him to the Catholic Faith. This was so because Fr. Pastells believed that Rizal was astray not only politically but also religiously. In that correspondence, the two mainly discussed the existence and nature of God. Rizal never doubt God’s existence as he emphasized.

How can I doubt God’s existence when I am so convinced of my own?

Whosoever recognizes the effect recognizes the cause. To doubt God’s existence would be to doubt one’s own self-awareness and consequently to doubt everything else”. However, according to Raul Bonoan, Rizal’s concept and nature of God appeared to be a hybrid between deism and agnostic realism which was contrary to the fundamental doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church about God. The deist believe that after God created the universe with all the necessary laws of nature, He left it perfectly working by itself without ever intending to return to interfere with it again. The agnostic realist, on the other hand, believes that God is unknowable. Although God is inferred to exist, or the knowledge of God is obtainable through reason, the particulars regarding his nature are not within the range of human knowledge. These concepts bounded on Rizal’s reasons dazzled the mind of Fr. Pastells with fear and feeling that Rizal had already released himself from the embrace of the Catholic Faith and totally accepted Protestantism. Rizal’s unusual concepts of God and the manner of his reasoning drew a conclusion in the mind of the priest that he was already a Protestant. Yet according to Guerrero, if Rizal accepted Protestantism, he would be rich, free, and crowned with honors, instead of being a poor exiled. The reference clearly pointed to the wealthy Bousted family of France whose daughter, Nellie, was willing to marry Rizal only if he would embrace Protestantism. He respected religious ideas but does not consider religion as a matter of convenience or the art of getting along well in life. Furthermore, Fr. Pastells argued for somehow, that faith is not the result of reasoning and therefore, is not blind, that there are many truths people are certain but which people cannot comprehend. However, Rizal would not want anymore to discuss the views of established religion like those of the Roman Catholicism for he has already expressed his religious convictions based on reasons.

The correspondence between the philosopher and the theologian ceased. Fr. Pastells, along with the hope of the rest of the Jesuits, did not prosper to win back Jose Rizal. Then, there came the last and final attempt of the Jesuit priests to materialize their awaited reconversion of Jose Rizal which was also the most talked-about and controversial issue in his life. It took place in his last days of existence. It was the noted alleged retraction of Rizal which was already given partial insights in the beginning of this paper. There are those who insist that Rizal to be remembered and honored was the converted” Rizal which I, as a student striving to acquire knowledge about him, strongly object. And there are those who have agreed that Rizal throughout his mature life was a free thinker”; thus, retraction is of necessity a lie. This is the extreme opposite of the Roman Catholic position. Although I am a Catholic, I am on the affirmative with this position. Jose Rizal never retracted and there are a lot of arguments that could say so. Below are presented some of those arguments made from consolidated views the three anti-retractionist authors who are Rafael Palma, Austin Coates and Roberto Medina Bernardo.

If Fr. Balaguer was the true officiating priest of the retraction controversy, why then did the Jesuits and the archbishops not readily support his name on the day after Rizal’s death and the announcement of the retraction scandal?

And why were the Jesuits not able to give names of the priests who witnessed the retraction events on the day they have announced the scandal. There were unclear issues of the events stated by the priest Fr. Balaguer. So was the turn of events that Rizal even managed to have confession twice and marry Josephine on the morning of his execution yet not having enough time to furnish a marriage contract for his soon to be widow, Josephine. The happenings of the 29-30 of December 1896 according to Fr. Balaguer did mention of the visits of the Rizal family but contrary to the report of the family.

Why was Rizal’s retraction document, which Fr. Balaguer said was signed at 11:30 pm on 29 December, not immediately relayed by him to other authorities? Why wait in reporting it to them till Rizal had already been shot? After the so-called retraction’s text was released by the archbishop to the press after the execution, how come the document mysteriously disappeared in 1896? And then conveniently appeared in 1935? What happened in between?

There was a confession of a forger. Runes and a co-author reported an interview with a certain Antonio K. Abad who told how on August 13, 1901 at a party in his ancestral home in San Isidro Nueva Ecija (when he was fifteen), a certain Roman Roque told how he was employed y the friars to make several copies of a retraction document.

How come the highly enlarge photo of Rizal’s execution, which is now displayed at the Manila City Hall, shows him without a scapular around his neck or a rosary around his hand as Fr. Balaguer have reported? If Rizal had retracted in a total way, and despite it the death sentence was still carried out, why was his corpse just bundled off in a dirty old sack? Then just dumped into a hole in the ground outside the Paco Cemetery? Was this a proper Christian burial for historic Catholics who died in an exemplary repentant way? And if there was a canonical marriage between Josephine and Rizal, which proved retraction, how come Josephine could never produce a certificate of marriage, in spite of being required to do so in her two famous lawsuits for her legal and rightful share in Rizal’s state?

The foregoing arguments are primarily refuting arguments of the said authors in their respective books against the standing arguments of several pro-retractionists. Those serve as my evidence to conclude the Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, did not retract.

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Rizal's Retraction Essay Example. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/rizals-retraction-essay-example

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