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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

entry arrow10:59 PM | The Patron Saint of Torturers

A Spanish fraile, Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala, was stationed in the Philippines during colonial times, and is now set for beatification by the Catholic Church. Problem is, he willingly participated in a torture of a Filipino priest while here. From the National Catholic Reporter:

... one of the 498 martyrs of the Spanish Civil War set for beatification in Rome on Oct. 28 [is] Augustinian Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala, who was among 98 Augustinian priests and seminarians executed by Republican forces from 1936 to 1939.

In a nutshell, the charge is that during a much earlier period in his life, when he was a young missionary in the Philippines, Olaso was guilty of torture.

According to written testimony from the victim, Olaso participated in the 1896 torture of a Filipino priest named Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who was suspected of sympathy for anti-Spanish revolutionaries. Dacanay's own account asserts that Olaso and a handful of other Augustinians encouraged guards who were administering the torture, and that at one point Olaso himself kicked Dacanay in the head, hard enough to leave the suffering priest semi-conscious.

Historians generally regard Dacanay's testimony as credible.

So if he eventually becomes a saint, will he be the patron saint of torturers? I just watched Amy Berg's Deliver Us From Evil, and it is times like these that you simply have to wonder where the Church is going...

[via expectorants]

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