Priest’s call to ban One Direction is his, not CBCP’s, says Villegas
MANILA, Philippines–The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) clarified on Wednesday that a priest’s call to ban popular boy band One Direction from performing in the country was a personal opinion and not necessarily the stand of the institution.
“This was an individual’s position but CBCP is being implicated in it again. I think this is unnecessary exposure of CBCP to adverse reaction,” CBCP president, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said in a statement sent to reporters through text messaging.
“In the first place, that some members (of One Direction) smoked marijuana or contraband does not make the group itself condemnable,” he added.
Villegas was reacting to Fr. Conegundo Garganta, of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, who said that the group should be banned from holding a concert in the country because they might set a bad example to the youth who idolized them.
Garganta appealed to parents not to allow their children to watch the concert of the British pop boy band in March next year. He made the appeal as a video showing two of the band members smoking what appeared to be marijuana circulated online.
But Villegas believes that there is a better way of reaching out to the youth.
“There has to be a better way of leading them to right path, CBCP loves and reaches out to the youth,” he said.
“One Direction has so many followers. We condemn a group they (followers) idolize, you condemn them,” added Villegas.
Anti-drug advocates earlier proposed that the band undergo drug tests before being allowed to perform in the country.
Anti-narcotic agents were also urged to monitor the band while performing onstage to guard against drug use during the concert.
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