Sunday, 13 October 2013

Regarding Dr. Jose Rizal’s alleged Retraction

First let me show to you what is written on the said RETRACTION, so that my CATHOLIC VISITORS on this Blog, will not say that I have no guts to post this:

The So called Controversial Retraction of Dr. Jose Rizal

“Me declaro catolica y en esta Religion en que naci y me eduque quiero vivir y morir.

Me retracto de todo corazon de cuanto en mis palabras, escritos, inpresos y conducta ha habido contrario a mi cualidad de hijo de la Iglesia Catolica. Creo y profeso cuanto ella enseña y me somento a cuanto ella manda. Abomino de la Masonaria, como enigma que es de la Iglesia, y como Sociedad prohibida por la Iglesia. Puede el Prelado Diocesano, como Autoridad Superior Eclesiastica hacer publica esta manifastacion espontanea mia para reparar el escandalo que mis actos hayan podido causar y para que Dios y los hombers me perdonen.

Manila 29 de Deciembre de 1896

Jose Rizal

English Translation:

I declare myself a catholic and in this Religion in which I was born and educated I wish to live and die.

I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and conduct has been contrary to my character as son of the Catholic Church. I believe and I confess whatever she teaches and I submit to whatever she demands. I abominate Masonry, as the enemy which is of the Church, and as a Society prohibited by the Church. The Diocesan Prelate may, as the Superior Ecclesiastical Authority, make public this spontaneous manifestation of mine in order to repair the scandal which my acts may have caused and so that God and people may pardon me.

Manila 29 of December of 1896

Jose Rizal

And now let us read a thorough analysis on this issue:

 (Editor: This is Part II of the lecture delivered at the CHICAGO’S NEWBERRY LIBRARY ON JUNE 18, 2011. THE AUTHOR IS A GREAT-GRAND NEPHEW OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL HERO whose 150th birthday was marked on June 19 of this year. Dr. Rizal was sentenced to die by musketry on Dec. 30, 1896 after a brief mock trial by a Spanish military court in Fort Santiago, Manila.)

By Ramon G. Lopez, M.D.

 “How could this be?” we ask.  It COULD BE, for the circumstances and people had connived.  It COULD BE, for there was no other recourse.  It COULD BE, for the moth had burned its wings!  Twenty-four years after the garroting of the Filipino clerics, Fathers Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez, and Jacinto Zamora, the pogrom and intimidation had to continue. It had to continue for the dying Empire and frailocracy had now sensed its own death. It had to continue, for it wanted to display its final domination of a reawakened people.  However, it would not be completely so!  THE MAN THEY HAD JUST MARTYRED WAS A MAN WHOSE POLITICS AND FAITH WERE UNSHAKEABLE AND TIMELESS.  AS WE KNOW, AND AS HISTORY RECOUNTS, IT ALSO PROJECTS.

To paraphrase the words of Dr. Rafael Palma the great Philippine scholar, patriot, and former President of the University of the Philippines regarding the trial of Dr. Jose Rizal, “the document obtained under moral duress and spiritual threats has very little value before the tribunal of history.”  Dr. Rafael Palma, a respected jurist of his time, was an author on the life of our hero and had studied the trial of Dr. Jose Rizal meticulously.  Of this he says in his book The Pride of the Malay Race about Dr. Jose Rizal, “His defense before the court martial is resplendent for its moderation and serenity in spite of the abusive and vexatious manner in which the fiscal had treated him.”  FOR IN MAN’S OWN TRIBUNAL, THE TRIBUNAL AND TRIAL THAT CONDEMNED DR. JOSE RIZAL TO DIE WAS A SHAM; HIS EXECUTION, A FOREGONE CONCLUSION.

It is common historical knowledge that Ms. Josephine Bracken lived with Dr. Jose Rizal for three of the four years he was exiled in Dapitan.  He truly loved her.  THEY HAD DESIRED A CANONICAL MARRIAGE BUT WERE PRESENTED WITH A PRE-CONDITION RETRACTION OF RIZAL’S ANTI-ECCLESIASTICAL WRITINGS AND BELIEFS.  As we may know, he was never anti-God or anti-Church.  He was anti-cleric to those who abused their mission and hid behind their pretentious cloak of religiosity.  He knew there were those who practiced religion but did not worship God.  NEITHER THE RETRACTION NOR THE MARRIAGE OCCURRED.  He and Josephine were parents to a son, though he sadly passed.  We know that Dr. Jose Rizal had immortalized Josephine Bracken in his unsigned and untitled poem which we now refer to as his “Ultimo Adios”: “Adios, dulce extranjera mi amiga, mi alegria…”  As Ambeth R. Ocampo, Director of the Philippine Historical Institute quotes, “TO ACCEPT RIZAL AS HAVING MARRIED BRACKEN IS TO ACCEPT HIS ALLEGED RETRACTION OF RELIGIOUS ERROR.”  From Austin Coates, British author and historian:  “BEFORE GOD, HE (DR. RIZAL) HAD NOTHING TO RETRACT.”  And from Dr. Jose Rizal himself, I quote: “I GO WHERE THERE ARE NO SLAVES, NO HANGMEN, NO OPPRESSORS… WHERE FAITH DOES NOT SLAY… WHERE HE WHO REIGNS IS GOD.”

Fraudulent Premise

From 1892 to 1896, during his period of exile in Dapitan, the Catholic Church attempted to redirect his beliefs regarding religious faith, albeit unsuccessfully.  A succession of visits from Fathers Obach, Vilaclara, and Sanchez did not find his convictions wanting.  He had decided to remain ecclesiastically unwed, rather than recant his alleged “religious errors.”  Now, there seems to be a “disconnect”, or even a divide among historians as to whether Dr. Jose Rizal had abjured his apparent errant religious ways as claimed by the friars and the Jesuits.  Since a retraction of alleged “religious errors” would have begotten a marriage to Ms. Josephine Bracken, let us look for evidence that will prove this premise fraudulent.  Austin Coates’ book entitled Rizal – Philippine Nationalist and Martyr gives many compelling facts as borne out from his own personal investigation, and with numerous interviews of the Rizal family.  To wit:

1.      Fr. Vicente Balaguer, S. J., claimed that he performed the canonical marriage between 6:00 – 6:15 AM of December 30, 1896 in the presence of one of the Rizal sisters.  The Rizal family denied that any of the Rizal sisters were there that fateful morning.  Dr. Jose Rizal was martyred at 7:03 AM.

2.      Nobody had reported seeing Ms. Josephine Bracken in the vicinity of Fort Santiago in the morning of the execution.

3.      Considering the time it would take for the three priests (Fr. Jose Vilaclara, Fr. Estanislao March, and Fr. Vicente Balaguer) to negotiate the expanse of the walk to give spiritual care to the condemned Dr. Jose Rizal, why is it that only Fr. Balaguer could “describe” a wedding?  Furthermore, where were Fr. Vilaclara and Fr. March to corroborate the occurrence of a marriage ceremony?  Or was there really even one at all?

4.      In Josephine Bracken’s matrimony to Vicente Abad, the Church Register of Marriages kept at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Hong Kong made no reference that Josephine was a “Rizal” by marriage, or that she was the widow of Dr. Jose Rizal.

5.      In the legal register of Hong Kong, Josephine used the last name “Bracken” instead of “Rizal” to be married to Vicente Abad.

6.      In Josephine Bracken’s litigation versus Jose Maria Basa for the possession of Dr. Jose Rizal’s valuable library, a certification from the British Consulate from Manila stating that she was indeed Rizal’s widow would have bolstered her claim.  She did not pursue this.  Why not?

7.      In 1960, inquiry at the Cardinal-Bishopric of Manila for evidentiary proof of a Rizal-Bracken marriage was not fruitful, or possibly, the issue was simply ignored by the religious.  Likewise, we ask the question, “Why?”

“Unconfessed” Martyrdom”

From the dark days of exile in Dapitan, to the even darker days of imprisonment at Fort Santiago, the Catholic Church had demanded from Dr. Jose Rizal a retraction before a canonical marriage could be performed.  In this Inquisition-like setting of the Spanish regime, it was always proclaimed that “the Indio always retracted”, as he walked to his execution.  Austin Coates states in his book: “THE SPANIARDS PUBLISH THE SAME THING ABOUT EVERYONE WHO IS SHOTBesides, nobody has ever seen this written declaration in spite of the fact that a number of people would want to see it…. It is (always) in the hands of the Archbishop.”  I say that if there was no marriage, there could have not been a retraction, and Dr. Jose Rizal met his martyrdom “un-confessed”:

1.      Indeed, at the Paco Cemetery, the name of Dr. Jose Rizal was listed among those who died impenitent.  The entry made in the book of burials at the cemetery where Rizal was buried was not made on the page for those buried on December 30, 1896 (where there were as many as six entries), but on a special page, as ordered by the authoritiesThus, Dr. Jose Rizal was entered on a page between a man who burned to death, and another who died by suicide – persons considered “un-confessed” and without spiritual aid at the time of death.

2.      Father Estanislao March, S.J., and Fr. Jose Vilaclara, S.J. (who had accompanied Dr. Jose Rizal to the execution site) could have ordered a Christian burial, but they did not.  They must have known that no retraction was made.  Dr. Jose Rizal was laid to earth bare, without a sack, without a coffin.  This was the onus of the “un-confessed.”

3.      One must also remember that Dr. Jose Rizal wrote a short and final note to his parents dated December 30, 1896 at 6:00 in the morning, with no mention of an occurred or intended retraction and/or marriage.  A message with that important information would have been of great consolation to Dona Teodora Alonso and to Don Francisco Mercado, whom he loved and respected dearly.

4.      Despite numerous immediate supplications from the Rizal family after the execution, no letter of retraction could be produced.

5.      The Rizal family was informed by the church that approximately nine to eleven days after the execution, a mass for the deceased would be said, after which the letter of retraction would be shown the family.  Though the family was in attendance, the mass was never celebrated and no letter of retraction was shown.  They were told that the letter had been sent to the Archbishop’s palace, and that the family would not be able to see it.

6.      The Jesuits themselves (who had a special liking for their former student) did not celebrate any mass for his soul, nor did they hold any funerary rites over his body.  I take this as a repudiation of the Jesuits against the friars, loudly hinting to the Filipino people that their esteemed pupil did not abjure!

7.      The apparent “discovery” of an obviously forged autobiography of Josephine Bracken claiming marriage to Dr. Jose Rizal, showed a  handwriting that bore no resemblance to Josephine’s and had glaring errors in syntax, which revealed that the perpetrating author’s primary language was Spanish (not Josephine’s original language), thus  proving that the document was  manufactured and disingenuous.

8.      Confession in August, 1901 of master forger Roman Roque that earlier in the year, he was employed by the friars to make several copies of a retraction letter.

9.      In 1962, authors Ildefonso T. Runes and Mamerto M. Buenafe in their book Forgery of the Rizal Retraction and Josephine’s Autobiography, made an exposé of six different articles and books that purportedly presented Dr. Jose Rizal’s “document of retraction” as copied from the so-called “original” testament of retraction.  INTRIGUINGLY ENOUGH, EVEN TO THIS DAY, THE CLAIMED “ORIGINAL” DOCUMENT FROM WHICH THE FACSIMILES HAVE ARISEN HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN BY ANYBODY.  BLATANT IN THESE SIX DIFFERENT PRESENTATIONS WERE DIFFERING DATES AND NOTES THAT HAD BEEN DOCTORED, TRACED-OVER, AND ALTERED, WHEN THESE FACSIMILES WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE COME FROM THE SAME “ORIGINAL” DOCUMENT!  This book of Runes and Buenafe was published by the Pro-Patria Publishers of Manila. The book is extant but unfortunately, out of print.

Though the issue of “Retraction” remains contentious for some people, it is my personal opinion that there is no controversy; that Dr. Jose Rizal did not make any recantation of his writings and beliefs.  THE ARGUMENTS TO THE CONTRARY MADE BY HIS DETRACTORS ARE ALL SMOKE SCREEN AND “RETREADS” OF THE DUBIOUS ACCOUNTS OF THE SYCOPHANTIC FATHER BALAGUER AND HIS GULLIBLE MINIONS.  Let us not allow for the sands of time to cover the blunder of this ignoble and impious event.  Let not the conspiracy of silence keep us chained to this fraudulent claim.  As had been vigorously proposed then, and again now, let the document of retraction be examined by a panel of the world’s experts in hand-writing, and let a pronouncement be made.  Let this hidden document come to the eyes of the public, for they have the greatest of rights to see, and to judge, and to know what is truthful.

When this comes to pass… in this 21st century, in this age of an “evidence-based” society that demands transparency and full-disclosure, it can be stated that with the now enlightened and reformed Catholicism, and in the spirit of Vatican II, if Pope John Paul II can apologize to the Jewish people for the millennia of misdeeds by the Church, if Pope Benedict XVI can, in Australia at the 2008 World Youth Congress, apologize to the victims of pedophilia and other ecclesiastical sexual abuses, THEN IT SHOULD NOT BE BEYOND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO NOW ADMIT THE PIOUS FRAUD IT HAD COMMITTED IN SAYING THAT DR. JOSE RIZAL HAD ABJURED HIS WRITINGS AND BELIEFS, WHEN ALL EVIDENCES POINT TO THE FACT THAT HE DID NOT!”

It is up to you readers to Judge…


  1. Tamang-tama po ito Bro. Aerial, kasi po hindi nasagot iyong tanong ko dun sa kabilang THREAD, kaya repost ko po dito:

    Tanong ko sa iyo Lordiswithyou:

    Kung ang PURPOSE ng paggawa ng RETRACTION ni RIZAL sa DAPITAN ay para mapayagan na MAPAKASALAN si JOSEPHINE BRACKEN sa SIMBAHAN, ano naman ang PURPOSE at pinaggawa si RIZAL ng RETRACTION sa BILANGGUAN NOON, ano ang inalok sa kaniyang KAPALIT ng gagawin niyang RETRACTION?

    Salamat po sa topic na ito very enlightening po.

  2. Sir mas maganda po sana kung magkakaroon tayo ng salin sa tagalog.
    thanks po :)

    1. Iyan po kasi ay orihinal na English, hayaan po ninyo at bibigyan natin ng pagkakataon na maisalin sa Filipino ang Thread na ito.

  3. This is as usual a Catholic style to MISLEAD people due Rizal's expose on catholic clerics SEXUAL ABUSES.

    Fact of the matter is it STILL IS PREVALENT even after Rizal's time.

    The Catholic Church has already PAID 3 BILLION DOLLARs to SETTLE the SEXUAL ABUSE CASES done by their fellow priests. Imagine that.

  4. If Rizal was alive today,he will be crying foul sa bawat ginagawa ng mga Catholic clergy sa kanilang mga deboto.

  5. Batay sa nauna kong nabasa and this is my personal opinion. Sa tingin ko po walang naganap na retraction. Dahil kung meron. Bakit di siya inilibing sa catholic cemetery? Ni hindi man lang sinabi sa pamilya kung saan inilibing. Kung hindi pa nag- spy yung kapatid niya ay hindi pa nila malalaman kung saan ang nitso niya. Patago nilang hinukay ang labi at inilipat para mabigyan ng maayos na burol.


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