Below are the Jose Rizal's letters the Catholic church hid from Filipinos for 100 years. Rizal was in exile in Dapitan when these letters were written. By then, he was already a Mason, a freethinker. Knowing this, the Jesuits, through Fr. Pastells, Rizals mentor during his formative years, attempted to bring him back into Catholicism. Their correspondence is like a treatise on Rizals religious beliefs.
It is believed and appears to be the documents they used to have Rizal executed. It essentially proves what Filipino nationalists have long believed, that Rizal was executed not just for fighting for the rights of Filipinos, but for heresy as well, that is, his non-belief in the Catholic church as the one true faith.
The Catholic church continues to deny this and maintains the retraction myth. In case you did not know, these letters and the document that Rizal allegedly signed retracting everything he wrote against the Catholic church were repeatedly asked for by Rizal's family for decades and the church could not produce them.
RIZALS FIRST LETTER TO FATHER PASTELLS
Dapitan, September 1, 1892
My ever esteemed Father:
Although you have not honored me with a letter, the precious gift you deigned to send me through my beloved professor, Father Sanchez, and the few lines devoted to me in your letter to Father Obach, place me under obligation to write you as there is nobody in Manila I could ask to thank you for me.
For years I have been acquainted with Sarda, having read him in college. In my humble opinion, he is the most adroit polemist to diffuse in a certain class of society the ideas he sustains. You can thus readily see how important his works will be to me. This with regards to the works themselves. Now, with respect to their sender, had the volumes come blank, I still would have appreciated them, knowing that they came from Your Reverence. My only regret is that being a deportee in a poor town like Dapitan, I have nothing with which to reciprocate. I hope, however, that an opportunity will present itself some day; that is, if we are going to live that long; if not, I shall say with the Visayans, Dios Magbayad (God will pay you)!
I shall now turn to the lines Father Obach read to me. I consider them as interesting as your valuable gift, if not more. "Tell him," you enjoyed, "to stop being silly by wishing to see all his affairs through the prism of his own judgment and self-esteem: nemo judex in causa propia (no one ought to be a judge in his own case). Here my attention was powerfully drawn not to the word silly which I know I well deserved to be called, though it struck me as rather strong coming from a pen so refined as yours, and though for some time I have been inured to the most acrimonious criticisms and the most vitriolic accusations from friends and foes alike, from superiors and inferiors, but to the fact that Your Reverence should deem it silly for me to wish to see my affairs through the prism of my judgment and self-esteem. Frankly, I do not understand what you mean I must have misconstrued your meaning.
Though I do not have the least idea what acts of mine Your Reverence could be alluding to, the act of looking at ones business through the prism of ones reason and self-esteem does not seem to me censurable. For some purpose God must have given such qualities to man. Were we to see our personal affairs through the prism of others, we would find that it is not very practical, as there are many prisms as there are individuals. Besides, we would not know which to choose; and in choosing we would have to use out own criterion or judgment unless we chose indiscriminately. But in that case, the result would be that some of us would be wise in other peoples houses, so to speak and others in our own. They would be directing our acts and we theirs. Everything would be confusion unless we renounced our private judgment and self-respect. In my opinion, such an attitude would be offensive to God because it would mean that we were scorning His most precious gift to mankind. I say so on the assumption that God has endowed everybody with a mind of his own, knowing what is best for him. Surely, God does not wish that he who has less brain should think like the one who has more, and vice-versa. No one should digest with the stomach of another even if that were possible. Like perfect machines made differently and adapted to different purposes, each is designed to consume so much coal in its engine, to run so many miles an hour, and to move with so much speed. He who made them that way must know why.
To me, the mind is like the lamp that a father gives to each of his sons before they depart on a trip along rough and tortuous paths. He will not give a leaking oil lamp to the son who will pass through ravines and over precipices. If such son has to go through storms, the father will protect the light with strong glasses. If the light is of inflammable gas, he will shield it with a wire screen like a miners lamp. If the lamp-bearer suffers photophobia, he will provide him with smoked lenses. If, on the other hand, the son has cataracts, he will give him an electric light, especially if the son has to pass along very dark roads. Unfortunate that son would be who out of whim or madness exchanged his lamp for another while on the way. Everyone should try to keep and improve his light. Let no one envy or despise any of his brothers. Nor should anyone fail to take advantage of the rays from the other lights and of the sighs and warnings left behind by those who have gone before him.
With regard to self-esteem, I must confess that for some time I have been praying that God divest me of it. Knowing, however, what is best for us, He has preserved it. Now I understand why a man should never be without it, though he should never inflate it. My understanding is that self-esteem is the greatest good with which God has endowed man for his perfection and integrity. It saves him from many base and unworthy acts when he forgets the precepts which he has learned or have been inculcated upon him. Precisely, when not passionate, self-esteem is to me a worthy trait. It is like the sap that forces the tree to rear its head high in search of the sun. It is like the power that launches the steamship on its voyage. Reason, to be sure, should temper or moderate it. My belief is that man is the masterpiece of creation, perfect within his sphere. He cannot be deprived of any of his component parts physical or moral without disfiguring him and rendering him miserable.
I do not know how you will take these ideas of mine. Perhaps, they may strike you as bold and independent. But I am like that. I have been brought up that way, and I would be offending you if I did not write with all sincerity. I for one do not believe they spring from pride. For that matter, I do not know whether I am proud or not. Only God who is infallible can tell.
In Your Reverences letter, you continued: "The man who directed his conscience during far better times dares give him this advice without regard to anything except the present circumstances." Your Reverence should feel free to give me all the good advices that your good heart suggests; for it is the duty of men to help one another. You may be sure that I shall always listen to them with attention and gratitude, and will weigh each and everyone of them and will reflect long on their import. Everything that comes from Your Reverence I esteem highly not only for what you have been to me, but also for what you still are. It would not be nice if some day God should ask me to give an account of myself and inquire what heed I paid to your advices.
As to whether those times were better than the present, I can not say with absolute certainty. I consider myself happy for being able to suffer a little for a cause which I deem sacred. I can not accuse myself of any act which would abase me before my conscience. At the beginning, I confess I was distressed by the change of fortune; but later I consoled myself with the thought that juster and worthier men have suffered greater wrongs. I know it is not possible for anybody to make everything conform to his wishes. If this is fanaticism, then may God forgive me; for no matter how I look at it, I do not see it in that light.
Your Reverence added; "Which advices I hope he will now accept with pleasure since they are the only ones that will redeem him as they surely possess the efficacy of restoring to him the old tranquillity of the prefect of that congregation of interns of 1875, the tranquillity that he now lacks."
Whether or not they possess the power of saving or redeeming your advices will always be received by me with pleasure. I always appreciate everything that is offered with a good heart. Now, whether to follow them or not, that will depend entirely only own judgment, since every man is responsible for his acts. At heart, however, I will ever be grateful for them.
As regards tranquillity, I believe I have invariably been tranquil. Many, it is true, pity me and lament my fate. Others think I am a fallen tree. Perhaps my spirit is to many what the sky is to observers, if you will pardon me to comparison. The sky looks overcast. There is, they say, a tempest or storm in the sky. In reality, it is only the atmosphere that is overcast; it is only the atmosphere that is troubled. A few miles beyond, there is absolute calm.
I should like to clear the air and plains of my country. Is it strange that reptiles should hiss when they see themselves driven out of their lairs, that rocks should fly and crush me when they fall? Am I not doing right? Maybe, I am mistaken; but if I am, it is not because of egoism or interests.
Now, with regard to consulting you about my doubts, that is a different matter. I should be glad to clear up three or four of the many doubts that assail me, certain that Your Reverence would throw much light on them. But this letter is already too long. So I shall leave the thing for another occasion.
For your prayers, I am very grateful to Your Reverence. I, too, pray from time to time; but when I do, it never occurs to me to ask for anything. I believe I have everything, and since whatever happens to me reflects Gods will, I am satisfied and resigned. Is this Oriental fatalism? I do not know, but I always tell to myself: I will do this and that. In the end, God will invariably have His own way. Hence I will go ahead ...