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Comics and catechetics

MAKATI (Agencies) : Comic book fanatics and most especially Catholic geeks now have a reason to celebrate, as a series combining CCC-graded (not dangerous) material and clean fun, The Exorcist and Aquinas is set to hit stores in Manila in October.

“Patron Comics has it all: 100 per cent entertainment fused with 100 per cent Church teaching,” the creator of Catechomics, Anthony James Perez, from ReginaCaeli Publishing, was quoted by CBCP News as saying.

Perez said that Patron Comics, which is set to be launched on September 19 at the Bosco Hall, Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City, taps into young people’s fascination with the supernatural to catechise on the reality of exorcism in a way that is not hard sell or preachy.

“In the first book alone, we delve into important topics, such as the call to holiness through our daily duties, strengthening the soul against evil and temptation through the sacraments of the Eucharist and confession, and the need to have a strong spiritual life,” Perez says.

While he admits the theme revolves around expelling demons, he points out that Patron Comics go beyond the Catholic ritual in order to dwell on controversial, but important topics like divorce, abortion and same-sex attraction.

“It is very important to talk about the moral issues we are experiencing right now and to properly guide our readers to what is right. I created the comics exactly to depict these current moral issues that affect our society and families nowadays,” he explained.

“At the end of the day, the exorcism is but a metaphor for the characters’ daily struggle against their sinful desires and personal issues,” he added.

Perez laments that many people today doubt the devil exists, despite real-life exorcists vouching that demand for the ritual has swelled dramatically in recent times.

“Some people get scared, because they think I am writing about the devil. But people seem to forget that exorcisms are all about God’s power, first and foremost. It is all about God’s victory over the devil, good over evil, light over darkness,” he added, as he thanked the Office of Exorcism in Manila for helping him with the project.

Perez said that Patron Comics has been endorsed by several bishops and features characters who are “ordinary humans trying to live extraordinary lives.”

He added, “In a society where giving in to sin is vogue, the characters choose a noble and heroic alternative: sainthood.”

He said, “I want to be a faithful Catholic, but my same-sex attraction tells me to give in to what I feel. What do I do now? This is the crux of each story and of each character.”

Perez believes in the potential of catechising the readers via Patron Comics, saying that while the concept is not entirely new, the concept of catechism through entertainment has not been fully explored and mined.

“These are exciting times, especially when you realise that there is a new way to bring the people closer to God and the Church. I call on the clergy and my fellow laity to support this holy endeavour,” Perez said.