A Solidarity Statement with our OCD Nuns of Cebu Carmel of St. Joseph
We, the members of the Joint Executive Board representing the 368 institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life of the Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines – CMSP (formerly the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines – AMRSP), are profoundly disturbed and deeply concerned with how the film “Maid in Malacañang” put the Discalced Carmelite Nuns (OCD) in Cebu City in a bad light. Portraying the nuns playing mahjong with the late President Cory Aquino at the height of nation’s political crisis is indeed reprehensible.
In this regard, we express our solidarity with the maligned nuns, who are our fellow consecrated persons, in their cry for truth and fairness. True to their vocation, they were praying, fasting and having vigil as they begged for God’s mercy and light for our nation. A malicious attack on the integrity of the nuns is an affront to all consecrated women and harms the unity of the Church at large.
We likewise enjoin the moviegoers to consider this film as largely fiction and not a factual narrative of the historical events relevant to the non-violent EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986. The film director may have admitted that the movie is not a biopic nor a documentary, but harm has already been done for it has misrepresented the truth and has a potential of misleading viewers, particularly our young people who have not experienced the horrors of martial law.
We then invite and involve our young people in their creative learning, truthful scholarship, critical thinking, and responsible artistry in seeking and pursuing the truth in the light of the Gospel values and Christian morals and ethics.
We are one with the Church and the nation in building unity based on truth. Thus, we call on each one to be discerning and critical not just about this film, but in all aspects of communication media. To tell the truth, to stand for the truth, and to defend the truth is a moral imperative in a society where fake news, disinformation, misinformation, and peddling of lies become normal and natural.
Pope Francis encourages us to work “for education for truth which means that we teach people how to discern, evaluate and understand our deepest desires and inclinations so we cannot lose sight of what is good and yield to every temptation,” for only the truth can usher us to light.
As consecrated men and women, we will never abandon and compromise our prophetic role. We continue to remain vigilant and reaffirm our commitment to oppose and denounce any form of historical distortion for indeed “the truth will make us free.”
For the Joint Executive Board:
Fr. Elias Ayuban, Jr., CMF
Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, OP