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NO BLESSING FOR REPLICAS DURING BLACK NAZARENE FEST

ISKO TO DEVOTEES: Stay away from Quiapo Church

The city government of Manila has appealed to all replica owners of the Black Nazarene not to go to Quiapo Church as traditionally done.

Every year, before and during the January 9 feast day of the Black Nazarene, replicas are brought by devotees from the National Capital Region and neighboring provinces to the minor basilica for the blessing.

However, rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections placed Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 while the Archdiocese of Manila will not hold physical masses from January 7 to 9 to prevent the crowd.

Sa mga organisasyon na may mga replica katulad sa amin, kami mismo, meron kaming replica sa Velasquez, Tondo, ipanatili nyo na lamang sa ating mga chapel ‘yung ating mga replica at yung mga deboto ng Nazareno at doon na lamang tayo magdasal sa kaniya kaniyang chapel (To the organizations that has the replica, like us, we have a replica in Velasquez, Tondo, keep your replicas in your own chapels, and to the devotees of the Black Nazarene, just pray in your chapels),” Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said in a PNA report.

NO BLACK NAZARENE PROCESSION; QUIAPO CHURCH CLOSED DOWN

Quiapo Church to heed NTF reso scrapping feast activities

Officials of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, commonly known as the Quiapo Church, will follow the decision of the government prohibiting in-person Masses at the basilica during the celebration of its feast this weekend.

ALSO READ: NTF OKs suspension of Traslacion 2022, physical masses

“We are complying because of the health situation,” Quiapo Church rector, Monsignor Hernando Coronel, said in an interview on Wednesday.

This came as the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, in a resolution, ordered the temporary closure of the church from January 7 to 9, as Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 3 due to soaring coronavirus infections.

“We are once more in another surge. We pray for an end to this pandemic. For those who passed away, we commend them to the mercy of the Nazareno. For those who are sick, a fast recovery. For those affected by economic hardships, help from a concerned community. For those affected by Typhoon Odette, compassion from those more blessed in life. We continue responding in faith and charity as long a

CATHOLIC CHURCH HANDS OFF ON SANCHEZ

No CBCP move to influence case of convicted rapist, murderer ex-mayor 

ex-calauan-laguna-mayor-antonio-sanchezThe Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Thursday said there is no move from the clergy to influence the case of convicted rapist and murderer, former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez.

This came after retired Pasig City Regional Trial Court Judge Harriet Demetriou claimed in a news report that the late former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin met her during the trial of sanchez and gave her a letter from the late Lucena Bishop Pedro Bantigue. 
“As I understand her comments, It’s not as if the bishops were stalling or influencing her to rule in favor of Mayor Sanchez,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA) said in a statement. 
“I think, Judge Demetriou also said that Cardinal Sin told her to do what was necessary,” he added. 
Secillano also reiterated that “whatever the law says, the church adheres to it”, clarifying that the Church is not being asked regarding its opinion on legal matters, thus its silence on the case. 
“Because the church wasn’t asked for an opinion. The media was focused on the legality of the issue. I don’t think the opinion of the church on legal matters is needed,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA) said in a statement.  
Meanwhile, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Prison and Pastoral Care (CBCP-ECPPC) executive secretary Rudy Diamante believed that Bantigue just expressed his opinion when he claimed the innocence of the former mayor.
“The late good Bishop (Emeritus) of San Pablo (Laguna) was just stating his personal experiences and knowledge of the former mayor,” Rudy Diamante, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Prison and Pastoral Care (CBCP-ECPPC), said in an interview. 
“He must not have been aware of the dark side of the mayor until the crime was committed,” he said. 
In 1995, Demetriou meted seven counts of reclusion perpetua (up to 40 years imprisonment) to Sanchez and six others for the rape-slay of University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her companion Allan Gomez in 1993.
The late bishop was appointed to the Diocese of San Pablo on January 25, 1967 and stayed there until his retirement in 1995.
Bantigue died in 2012 at the age of 92.  (PNA)

DUTERTE: No more ‘stupid God’ comment vs. Church

putanginaAgrees to halt remarks

President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed not to talk about the Catholic Church after his one-on-one meeting with Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Romulo Valles on Monday, according to Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“PRRD agreed to a moratorium on statements about the church after the meeting. It was a one-on-one meeting,” Roque said in a text message to Palace reporters.

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Also Read: Valles hopes dialogue with PRRD to foster Church-gov’t cooperation

Also Read: Church not an opponent of gov’t

Roque said the closed door meeting between Duterte and Valles took place at 4 p.m. before the President presided over the Cabinet meeting.

“At the beginning of the Cabinet meeting, he (the President) said he told Archbishop Valles, Archbishop Valles is his friend,and he said ‘bahala ka na Archbishop’ (It’s now up to you Archbishop),” Roque said in a media interview.

Pressed for clarification on “bahala ka na”, Roque replied: “He just said he will no longer talk about the church after that one-on-one”.

Meanwhile, Roque described as “very tame” the pastoral letter that CBCP has issued about a number of issues plaguing the country.

“I thought it was very tame. I was expecting the worst, it was a very tame pastoral letter, I thought,” Roque said.

Roque believes the Church is avoiding “outright confrontation” when it issued the pastoral letter on Monday through the CBCP.

“So, it’s nothing new. There was no outright condemnation. So I thought the Church was avoiding an outright confrontation with this pastoral letter,” he said.

Roque said he expected a better relationship, not only between the Duterte administration and the Church but with everyone after Duterte made it clear that he will step down once the Federal Constitution is adopted by 2019.

“I expect better relationship with everyone now that the President has made it clear that he wants to step down in 2019 after adoption of the Federal Constitution,” Roque said.

“It includes the Church because the Church knows that as soon as there is a transition to a federal government, he will not stay up to 2022,” he added.

Roque said the President has instructed the Consultative Committee (ConCom) to include in the new Constitution a provision that a transitory leader would be elected by the people.

“Because before the President said he can serve as transition leader up to 2022, but a while ago he announced that he wanted to have a provision that would elect transition leader and that he is ready to step down if the new Constitution will be approved,” Roque told the media.

He said Duterte wanted to erase suspicion that he has hidden agenda for pushing Charter change that would give way to a shift of government to federalism.

“Secondly, he said he was very tired. He is old and perhaps this electing a transition leader would enable a young leader to take over,” Roque said. (PNA)

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