THE attendees of the second National Congress of the Clergy will be facing each other on Wednesday not only for interaction but also for confession.

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said that part of the schedule for the day is for each priest to say their confession to their fellow priest.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

“You’ll see 5,500 priests confessing to each other because some people think that priests don’t confess,” he said.

The confession will start at 2:30 p.m. during the penitential celebration.

But he noted that what the priest will do is not different from an ordinary confession except it will include a Bible reflection.

“It’s the same process. There’s also penance and absolution,” Quitorio explained.

During the confession, the CBCP official said priests including bishops are free to approach any priest who they want to confess to.

“It (confession) will be face-to-face. They can choose whoever they want to confess to,” Quitorio added.

Prior to the confession proper, the explanation of the Bible will be conducted by Papal Household preacher Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.

Meanwhile, Quitorio expressed disappointment that the suggestion of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to hold a “Kumpisalang Bayan” in Luneta for the laity did not push through.

“The laity confessing to 5,000 priests, I think that’s a good proposal but it was not approved because the security complained,” Quitorio said.

The five-day second National Congress of the Clergy is being held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Corporate sponsors

Meanwhile, Monsignor Quitorio revealed that corporate sponsors and individuals donors helped them in organizing the second National Congress of the Clergy

“Mostly came from corporate and from the P2,000 registration fee of the priests,” he said.

With this, he assured that no funds from politicians were used to finance the five-day meet.

“As of last week I didn’t see any name of politician there,” he said, referring to the meeting conducted prior to opening of the event on Monday (January 25).

Likewise, Quitorio said there were no donations that came from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

He said they are very transparent with their sponsors as some of the streamers are placed outside the World Trade Center in Pasay City, the venue of the five-day priests’ congress.

“Every meeting the names of the sponsors is mentioned. It’s open to everybody which should be the case. It should be transparent.”

Some of the participants said they do not need the donations of politicians since all of their expenses are shouldered by their parishes.

“Two thousand pesos is not much. The parishes can afford that. The parish has a fund for the continuing formation of priests,” said Fr. Pao Barandon of the Diocese of Legaspi in Albay.

The meeting will end on Friday, January 29. (FP/Sunnex)