A religious man educated by the Jesuits, Larry Henares is fascinated by the God of men and the men of God, and with a wit and wisdom that passeth all understanding, posits how shit drove men to populate the earth and enlarge their brains. With incisive humor, he narrates how religious conflicts started with the Father Principle espoused by the Jews, Christians and Muslims and how Our Lady is bringing the world back to the tolerance and understanding of the Mother-based religions of ancient times.
He writes of the Donation of Constantine, the greatest forgery ever perpetrated in history, by the Popes no less, lasting 1,400 years and promoting the dominance of the Catholic faith, how Spanish Dominicans deliberately manufactured saints in the Philippines including eight Asian saints and one Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz.
Then there are the hilarious accounts of the two Hounds of Heaven, Jesuit Father Kinik Bernas and Opus Dei numerary Bernie Villegas. Then Henares turns serious and writes of the Liberation Theology document called The Road to Damascus - which for the first time celebrates a church that stands for the poor and the oppressed.
There are a couple of articles about the mysterious Opus Dei, one written by Henares with the assistance of a higher-up Opus Dei supernumerary, the other a series written by the protégé of Henares, a former Opus Dei priest who was number 6 in the local hierarchy of the Spanish dominated religious order, and is now Henares' executive assistant in Malacañang, and producer of his television show, Make My Day Live.
by Monsignor Nico Bautista
Parish Priest, St. Maria Gorretti Parish
Pius XII Catholic Center, Manila
I am a Catholic priest. I met Hilarion M. Henares Jr., or Larry for short, in the days before the EDSA Revolution, when I was pastor of the St. Alphonsus Mary de Ligouri Church in the Magallanes Village. His parents and sister were my parishioners. I once delivered a stinging homily about the need for a consciencitized citizenry to counter the oppressiveness of the mighty and powerful. And lo and behold, the First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, came for mass the following Sunday. So did Larry Henares, and that is how I met him. He was even then an iconoclast who wrote thinly disguised attacks on the economic policies of Marcos and the IMF in the Bulletin Today, Business Day, and the Marcos crony press, and poking fun at the powers-that-be in the Mr&Ms Special Edition, the oppositionist press at the time. I am a bit of an iconoclast myself, in the same way Larry Henares is a bit of a priest.
I say that because like every Jesuit-trained Atenean, Larry at one time wanted to enter the priesthood, inspired by the adventures of St. Francis Xavier in India and Japan, Edmund Campion in Elizabethan England, Matteo Ricci in China, Isaac Jogues and Jean de Brebeuf in Quebec. His Jesuit mentors incredulously observed, "Do you really think, Larry, that the life of a priest is like those of Tarzan and Superman?" and ended Larry's priestly vocation right then and there.
But Larry prides himself as "child of God and of Father Reuter," and as such never follows the admonition to "avoid arguments about politics and religion." Time and again, as a columnist and a former member of the Sodality of Mary, he finds himself defending the Mother of God against born-again evangelists and fundamentalists. Nobody, he says, can denigrate Our Lady, "My Mother," in his presence, pointing out that his own mother was born on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and was baptized Concepcion in her honor. (More inside the book)