Rappler.com: MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos should “think more than twice” about calling the Philippines a “Catholic nation,” a Jesuit priest and theologian said, as the Ateneo de Manila University launched an unprecedented journal issue on Filipino Catholicism.
“Many do not think twice about referring to the Philippines as a ‘Catholic nation’ because of Christianity’s overwhelming majority and presence….I propose that we pause before using it,” said Fr Jose Mario Francisco, former president of the Ateneo-based Loyola School of Theology, during the launch on Friday, November 21.
Up to 80% of Filipinos belong to the Catholic Church, but Francisco warned about the pitfalls of calling the Philippines a Catholic nation.
Francisco said: “We must first be aware of the origins and consequences, direct or hidden, in its use. We must also recognize that contemporary Southeast Asia is similarly characterized by demographic and social dominance of particular religions.”
The special double issue of Philippine Studies, an international journal published by the Ateneo, comes two months before Pope Francis visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015.