Construction of Masonic obelisk in front of Dumaguete cathedral faces criticisms

December 14, 2020 - 2:53 PM
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A perspective of the 18-storey Masonic obelisk that will be constructed in front of the cathedral in Dumaguete City. (Photo from City Government of Dumaguete via CBCP News)

A central Philippine diocese is opposing the planned construction of a Masonic obelisk in front of its cathedral.

Msgr. Gamaliel Tulabing, Diocese of Dumaguete’s Judicial Vicar, branded the project as a “vocation campaign” for a masonic lodge.

“An obelisk is a pagan structure,” Msgr. Tulabing said. “Why build a 18-story masonic obelisk in front of the Cathedral?”

At the onset, he said that the public only knew that a “view deck” will be built, only to find out later that an obelisk will rise on the site.

The city government on Nov. 27 broke ground for the construction of an 18-floor “Dumaguete Tower” at the historic Manuel L. Quezon Park, located in front of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.

The Church, according to Msgr. Tulabing, has been consistent on its stand against freemasonry, with few pastoral considerations.

“Freemasonry is identified as a nonsectarian religion. Its adherence, in fact, regard it as a universal religion thereby reducing Christianity as simply as another of the dozens of secs,” he explained over the diocese-run DYWC TeleRadyo.

The priest said there are a lot of “nominal masons” and at the same time, “nominal Catholic” who are uninformed that mason organizations are “irreconcilable and incompatible” from the Church doctrine.

“It is clear that there are evils in the teaching of freemasonry,” he said.

A ranking freemason is said to be funding the tower’s construction amounting to roughly P50 million.

The Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council has earlier petitioned the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to intervene on the matter.

The petition highlighted at least 5 points for NHCC to consider: religious, cultural, and historical; legality; health and environment; peace and order; and the city’s decision to build without public consultation.

“We pray for your kind intercession to stop the planned construction of this Obelisk within our public plaza,” part petition read.