Multiple stories running today out of the Philippines on the country’s ivory trade, the role of certain priests in the trade, ivory dealers in Manila’s religious district, Tayuman, and commitments to prosecute “Blood Ivory” traders. Amazingly, one priest is saying that Msgr. Garcia’s ivory collection is all centuries old (it’s not). Encouragingly, another is saying that ivory is no long an appropriate medium for Catholics to express their devotion. For the record, we do not report that Cebu is the center of the country’s ivory trade, but rather that it is the origin of Catholicism in the Philippines, including devotion to carved images. There are certainly prominent ivory collectors there, too. The center of the PH ivory trade is Manila.
Perhaps the most interesting is this quote from an employee in the Archdiocese of Cebu’s secretariat, who suggests I am the devil making his presence felt:
Margie Matheu of the Archdiocese of Cebu’s secretariat, said the timing of the magazine article was suspicious. “Every writer has his own style of writing and gathering information. It’s difficult to discern his intentions. This can only be part of the devil’s machinations in his desire to divert and threaten the spiritual prepration for the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod. He’s making his presence felt,” Matheu said.