In Nick Joaquin's story or novella "The Order of Melchizedek", Guia, the main character's younger sister, has become a member of a religious organisation that is referred to as the Order of Melchizedek. Another member of the "order", Sister Juana, explains,

Well, Mr. Estiva, we try you might say, uh, to bring the Vatican Council to the masses. For example, more public participation in ritual. But our parish priests don't have the time to train all their flocks in the procedure. This is where we come in. Wherever we go we gather a crowd to train. We use the techniques of traveling salesmen: our personnel put on a show. We are usually a combo of four, with guitars. Sister Guia here does an exhibition of the twist or the frug, we sing Beatles songs. But we also slip in the songs now enjoined for Mass. Presently the crowd is joining in. It's the guitars, Mr. Estiva. They make even sacred songs native and contemporary.

(The Second Vatican Council took place in the years 1962–1965; "The Order of Melchizedek" was published in December 1966.)

The "order" later turns out to be something more sinister. For this reason, I would like to know whether Joaquin is here referring to an organisation or efforts that really existed in the Philippines after the Vatican Council and is using the order's violence as indirect criticism of things that really happened in the Philippines.

  • Maybe a question better asked on Christianity SE or History SE? (But then most questions about cultural or historical context have some overlap with other sites.) – Your Uncle Bob Oct 31 '20 at 18:31

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