POLITICIANS are not welcome in the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy to be held in Pasay City starting January 25.

Bishop Florentino Lavarias, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Clergy (CBCP-ECC), said the event is for priests only.

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“We have our rules... the congress is for the priests and we will keep it that way,” said the Iba, Zambales prelate.

Some 5,000 priests from all over the country are expected to attend the five-day meeting to be held at the World Trade Center from January 25 to 29.

At the same time, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales appealed to politicians to refrain from using the event for political purposes.

He said individuals who are seeking public office should not post banners in areas near the venue to promote themselves just like what the other national and local politicians did during the celebration of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.

“Let’s not politicize the whole thing... there’s place for politics. They’d rather pray for us,” Rosales said.

The event is focused towards moral, pastoral and spiritual concerns. The Congress will be conducted “retreat-style.”

The dynamics of the retreat-congress involves prayers and liturgy, conferences, group reflection and journal writing and the encounter with host and families.

The gathering is organized by the CBCP-ECC. (FP/Sunnex)