Facebook photo scandalizes Good Friday rites

The photo of a guard driving a mentally-ill man out of a parish church on Good Friday stirs negative reactions online

MANILA, Philippines – Just when this year’s Holy Week was about to commence, a controversial Facebook photo captured inside a parish church has distracted us from what we all thought was a quiet and uneventful observation of Good Friday.

The photo, captured by Mindanao-based photographer Karlos Manlupig, shows a security guard poking with his stick a half-naked man inside the San Pedro Cathedral in Davao City on Good Friday, April 6.

The security guard was said to have followed the instruction of an unidentified person to “assault” and drive away the man, who was believed to be mentally-ill.

“I noticed a Tagalog speaking man instructing this security guard to throw out a half-naked man who is silently kneeling and praying inside the church, saying that the churches in Manila prohibit persons with mental disabilities and vagrants to enter its premises,” Manlupig narrated.

Manlupig, who was then taking photos of the observance of Good Friday in the parish, took shots of the incident.

“Suddenly, an old man with a Bible in his hand tapped me on my shoulder and told me that it is improper to take photos of the incident and that it is also improper to take photos inside their heavenly church,” he continued.

The photo did not fail to get the attention of Facebook users since it was posted on the same day. It garnered a lot of negative reactions from users who posted their emotion-filled comments in various languages and dialects.

As of writing, the photo was already shared almost 11,000 times.

Some commenters ride along Manlupig’s photo caption, “Filthy Hypocrites,” saying that such discrimination opposes the very teachings of the church.

Opinions are divided whether the security guard in the photo is to be blamed or not. Some claim that he was just doing his duty by following orders, while others say that he is still liable in hurting the man.

But a consensus express pity on the man, and all believe that he did not deserve such treatment inside the church.  

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