The Anticlericalism of Jose Rizal
Meyer, Lois M.
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A study of the anti-clericalism of the Filipino reformer Jose Rizal must invariably forfeit objectivity in the intense emotionalism which characterizes the writings and documents surrounding the reformer's life and thoughts. In the Philippines of the late nineteenth century, a colony desperately preserved by Spain's religious corporations as both Catholic and Spanish, Rizal's anticlerical attacks were much too personal to be treated objectively. In novels, articles, satires and essays, the sword of Rizal's pen slashed out at the Philippine Catholic Church, trying to cut away that which he saw as superfluous and damning within the spiritual body. Flinching with sacred indignation at each defaming attack, the corporations responded with irate accusations of "anti-Catholic" and "atheist". Rizal and his writings became the objects of either violent denunciations or enthusiastic support, the opposing extremes of an emotional continuum. The objectivity which is characterized by cold unemotionalism and reasoned judgment was virtually unknown.