An official of the Diocese of Dumaguete expressed opposition to the construction of a Masonic obelisk in front of the city’s Catholic cathedral.
“Why build a 18-storey Masonic obelisk in front of the cathedral?” said Monsignor Gamaliel Tulabing, judicial vicar of the diocese. “An obelisk is a pagan structure,” he said.
The city government of Dumaguete has already broken ground for the construction of the “Dumaguete Tower” at the Manuel L. Quezon Park in front of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.
Monsignor Tulabing said people were informed earlier that only a “view deck” is to be constructed at the site only to find later that it was a Masonic obelisk.
The priest said the Catholic Church has been consistent in its opposition to freemasonry, which is “identified as a nonsectarian religious … that reduces Christianity as another of the dozens of sects.”
He said, however, that there are many “nominal Masons” who are also “nominal Catholics” who are uninformed that the “secretive fraternal organization” is “irreconcilable and incompatible” with the Church.
Monsignor Tulabing said that according to the Church’s Code of Canon Law, membership to any freemasonic association is against Church teachings and is punishable by excommunication.
Excommunicated Catholics cannot celebrate or receive Sacraments, cannot hold office in a parish or diocese, and even cannot attend Holy Mass and other Church ceremonies.
“It is clear that there are evils in the teaching of freemasonry,” said the priest.
Don Ramas Uypitching, ranking freemason in the city who is funding the construction of the tower, said he dedicates it to the Almighty as a devout Christian.
“And to you I dedicated my life as a true and faithful Christian,” he said.
“Now, I felt it is high time for me to leave a legacy, not just for our beloved fraternity and brotherhood, a brotherhood of men under the fatherhood of God, but because I love Dumaguete,” he said.
Uypitching said he intends the obelisk to be an attraction for visiting tourists and guests.
He expressed hope that the tower will be built before his assumption as “Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Mason under the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.”
“It is my wish and hope that my installation shall be done here, in my beloved city (of Dumaguete) in April 2023,” he said.
The Dumaguete cathedral’s Parish Pastoral Council has already written to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for their “kind intercession.”
The parish appealed to the commission to consider the “religious, cultural, historical, and legal” aspects of the construction of the structure.
“We pray for your kind intercession to stop the planned construction of this obelisk within our public plaza,” read the petition.
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