The second witless reaction is blaming the Church for not following up its lack of interest in prosecuting the case against Carlos Celdran. Why would you follow up what you are totally indifferent to?
It appears that Carlos publicly and elaborately apologized to Cardinal Rosales shortly after the incident and Rosales forgave him. Two years later, Carlos is convicted. The Church must said, how odd we forgave him. We suppose the state's interest in preserving public order made it persevere in a case that lacks an essential element of the crime: notorious offense to the faithful. The Church's ready forgiveness underscores it because if Carlos had, say, urinated in a chalice, they would have made him drink it first.
Now it is argued that the Church should have followed up its forgiveness by pleading with Bishop Cerbo to withdraw the case and going on to plead with the prosecution to drop it. That is stupid. The Church has better things to do than the job of Carlos's defense atty who should have told the court (1) The Church had forgiven Carlos and (2) This is proved by the failure of the complainant Bishop Cerbo to show up at all and testify about the notorious offense to his religious feelings. The defense merely noted Cerbo's failure to appear and not much else. Neither did the prosecution, whose job it is not just to secure convictions but, like a judge, to impartially proceed only if there continues to be a case and interest in it. Prosecutors are attack dogs.
It is also argued that the Church should have forced Cerbo to withdraw the case. The Church cannot force Cerbo to do any such thing, the first tenet of our faith is free will. Catholicism abhors compulsion. Either you believe freely of God, but not the Church, burns you in hell for disbelief. If Cerbo deeply believed his religion had been desecrated, even the Pope couldn't order Cerbo to withdraw his complaint. Such an order would attack Cerbo's religious conscience which his vow of obedience cannot overrule.
Finally, tomorrow, why this case will be reversed on appeal.