ABS-CBN pulls out Pope Francis shirt on race, religion


Posted at Dec 29 2014 01:19 PM | Updated as of Dec 29 2014 09:36 PM

MANILA -- ABS-CBN is pulling out a shirt bearing the “No Race, No Religion” slogan, which was inspired by statements from Pope Francis.

“ABS-CBN assures the public that there was no intent to deceive or mislead the public through the commemorative shirt that carry statements inspired by Pope Francis’ message of love, openness, and humility,” ABS-CBN spokesman Bong Osorio said.

“We apologize if a particular statement shirt offended anyone. We are pulling out the item from our online shop and all retail partner stores,” he added.

The slogan is one of different designs used on commemorative shirts in celebration of the coming visit of Pope Francis. The other designs include “Ganito Ako. Ganyan Ka. Who Am I To Judge,” “Thank You sa Malasakit. Pope Francis sa Pilipinas.”

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) disagreed with the particular design, saying it was “misleading” and “erroneous.”

In a statement, CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said: “Pope Francis is aware of the fact that he heads an organized religion with a vast membership throughout the world. He is also as aware that race forms part of the identity of individuals and of peoples.”

“He has never said and taught that religion and race do not matter, because they most certainly do. It is what selfish, uncharitable and judgmental people do with religion and race that is a problem,” he added.