HomeInternational Journal on Social Innovation & Researchvol. 6 no. 1 (2013)

Catholic Religious Orthodoxy and Disaster: Analyzing the Salvation Narratives of Typhoon Victims in the Philippines

Vivencio O. Ballano

Discipline: Religion



This paper argues that studying religious orthodoxy especially in the Catholic tradition must focus on doctrinal rather than moral teachings, particularly on the Church’s official teaching of salvation, the most central of all doctrines in the Catholic Church. To provide empirical support to this argument, this paper examined qualitatively the doctrinal orthodoxy of the religious narratives of a group of typhoon victims in a Philippine relocation site using F. Lynch’s (1979) theoretical framework on folk Catholicism in order to determine the extent of conformity of beliefs with the Church’s teaching. Analysis showed that the victims’ beliefs on salvation were more unofficial, although tolerated by the Church, rather than official, revealing a web of intertwining religious beliefs in the people’s minds between the official and nonofficial and between the religious and cultural, suggesting a serious lack of orthodox knowledge of ordinary Christians, such those of the Typhoon Ondoy victims in Southville 8 Relocation Site, on the Church’s official doctrines.