MANILA - Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said on Wednesday the report about the spread of a flesh-eating disease in Pangasinan is the least thing the country would have to deal with at this time.

“I think we should not give it too much attention. I think it is causing unnecessary panic to the people and it is not what we need at this time,” he said.

It was reported earlier that Indian prophet Vincent Selvakumar has made a prophecy about a "deadly disease that would spread across the world, consume human flesh and would pierce through the bones."

The founder of Jesus Ministries Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj claimed that the disease would originate from Pangasinan in the Philippines.

Villegas urged the public not to believe it.

On Tuesday, reports revealed that a mysterious disease has victimized two persons in Pangasinan. But the local Health office has dispelled the news about the disease.

“As a Catholic, we should say that God loves us. Number 2, it is not the way of God to punish people. The way of God is always compassion, mercy and hope,” said the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

He added, “My request is to just ignore it at this point; what the people need is hope. We don’t need something to be afraid of. We have suffered enough. This can't be from God. This kind of news is unfair to people who need hope at this time."

Villegas said this kind of report should not affect the faith of the people.

“I stick to the principle. What can be explained naturally by medical doctors and scientists, we must not attribute to supernatural causes, that’s the basic principle. You have to exhaust all natural means first before you attribute supernatural reasons for anything that happens,” he added.

Asked if the faith of the people is weak because they believe in such things, the prelate said, “No, I think it’s not the faith that is to be judged there. I think it’s the disposition of some people to cause panic and to be sensational.” (PNA)