IS THERE such a thing as feminist theology? If God were a woman, would there have been female apostles too? If there is God the Father, is there also God the Mother?

In the symposium “The Cult of Dios Ina as an Ersatz Theology” last Jan. 17 at the UST Seminary, Rev. Fr. Ramon Salibay, O.P. explained the growing feminist theology, its beliefs and its teachings.

According to Fr. Salibay, the Cult of Dios Ina (CDI) consists of religious groups that believe in God as a woman or the Mahal na Ina. He explained that these groups believe in a Third Testament where the Philippines is the “New Jerusalem”. He said numerous CDI groups have been found in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Laguna, Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Makiling.

“They prefer to stay in the mountains to accentuate the difference of their world to the outside world,” Fr. Salibay said.

Fr. Salibay said that part of the CDI’s teachings is secret knowledge or gnosis, which members believe is the key to salvation.

Fr. Salibay said that CDI groups believe in an egalitarian or classless Philippine society. And part of the egalitarianism is that women be given an equal status in society.

“They even have women priests and bishops. They also have most of the sacraments we have in the Catholic teachings except for confession and anointing the sick,” Fr. Salibay said.

Fr. Salibay emphasized that CDI groups prefer to be called a kapatiran, and a religion.

“Religion is according to perspective,” the Dominican said. “Religion is the sum of truths and duties binding man to God. It includes three universal experiences – theoretical, practical, and sociological. Much less their belief is a cultic phenomenon.”

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However, Fr. Salibay said that this kapatiran is ersatz or a substitute religion.

“In Gnostic reality, they removed original sin and fear of death and it was chaptered an ideal world,” he explained. “Thus, they omitted an important factor in the history of salvation. It teaches that the grace and effects of Christ’s redemptive work have been insufficient. Sa kanila, kulang ang pagkamatay ni Kristo.”

Fr. Salibay said also said that CDI groups believe in the “Third Testament” which is the coming of God as a woman. They believe that “Mahal na Ina” will continue the unfinished work of Jesus. “They now believe that God reincarnated not as a man but as a woman,” he said.

Furthermore, Fr. Aglipay cited the effects of CDI to Philippine society.

“It is a local form of feminist movement because of its strive to present a feminine God to show special roles to women,” he said.

In conclusion, Fr. Aglipay encouraged women to strive to become leaders and theologians beyond the image and identity imposed on them by society.

“CDI gives us the idea how women can get out of that traditional roles and shape their own destiny and the service of the country, the Church, and God. Theology is not a science only for men, but a science of faith and it is for everyone,” Fr. Salibay said. Ma. Cristina S. Lavapie

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