Facebook video of priest deleted

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Friday, July 11, 2014


THE video has been removed, personal apologies have been offered and accepted.

The 17-year-old girl took down on Thursday morning from her mother’s Facebook page the video that showed her being berated by a priest during the baptism of her son last Sunday morning.

She did this after Fr. Romeo Obach visited her family in Barangay Jagobiao, Mandaue City Wednesday night. Kaye (not her real name) said she deleted the video because her mother, who uploaded it online, does not know how to remove it.

She requested everyone who shared the video to delete it “aron sa kaayohan sa tanan (for the good of everyone).”

Despite the resolution, C.Ss.R media liaison Fr. Alfonso Suico Jr. said their congregation will continue with its investigation on the incident. Fr. Obach is still suspended from saying mass.

Obach arrived at Kaye’s house at 7 p.m. He was accompanied by Fr. Tito Pascual and Fr. Cruz Manding, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R) Cebu head.

Kaye said Obach bowed before her, embraced her, cried and asked for forgiveness.

“I am now relieved because we have talked about the incident in person. We can now move on,” she said in Cebuano.

“I pity him because of the bad words the people said about him in the Internet. I also felt sorry for him because he has not had enough sleep.”

ATONEMENT.
CEBU. In this July 8 foto, Fr. Alfonso Suico Jr., Redemptorist Church media liaison, issues a statement on an incident where Fr. Christopher Romeo Obach (not in foto) berated an unwed mother during her child’s baptism in Mandaue City. The Redemptorist Church and Fr. Obach have apologized to the mother and her family. In another act of reconciliation, Fr. Obach and his superiors visit the 17-year-old mother to ask for forgiveness. (Sun.Star file)


The priests did not give financial assistance to the family, but gave three religious pendants for Kaye, her mother and the baby.

Kaye said that the resolution was not done in exchange for money. During their hour-long meeting, Kaye said Obach regretted saying inappropriate words to her.

The Redemptorist priests offered for her family to undergo stress debriefing. The priests also cuddled Kaye’s baby.

Obach told her that he always prays for guidance before performing baptism and wedding rites. But last Sunday morning, he forgot to pray before the baptism of Kaye’s son, held at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Jagobiao.

He felt a burning sensation in his body and head that time. After the rites, Obach immediately showered and ate out with his sisters. He told them he had just scolded a single mother, but it did not cross his mind to visit Kaye’s house that day.

The priest told her he was confused why he spoke to her that way.

Kaye’s mother Carlota (real name withheld) also apologized to Obach for posting the video. Carlota, Kaye said, only intended to share the video with her friends on Facebook and did not expect it to go viral.

Obach is not mad at Carlota for posting the video, which made him realize that there is a need for him to mend his ways, said Kaye.

“He said he will find ways to change the way he speaks during mass,” said Kaye. “I think he was bothered by his conscience.”

She said Obach scolds parishioners during his sermons.

For his part, Manding also apologized to Kaye. He said there should be a “new start” and “healing” not just for Kaye’s family, but also for the Redemptorist Church.

Manding later led them to a prayer.

“I felt my son was baptized for the second time,” said Kaye. “The priests said they hope my son will live in a righteous manner.”

Meanwhile, Kaye said she will pursue filing a complaint against her former boyfriend to compel him to support their child. She will go to the Commission on Human Rights Central Visayas next week to prepare the complaints. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 11, 2014.

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