Controversy at Minglanilla church as parishioners question renovation design

Controversy at Minglanilla church as parishioners question renovation design
Arkeen Larisma

THE parish priest of Our Lady of Holy Rosary Parish (OLHR) in Tungkop, Minglanilla assured parishioners that there will only be renovations in the church and that the image of the Risen Christ will not be destroyed.

However, parishioners still cry for the certainty that the image of the Risen Christ will not be removed from the sanctuary after a video presentation of the proposed retablo design still showed a Crucified Christ.

In a general assembly on Sunday, May 12, 2024, which was attended by the parishioners, Father Nelson Ortizano addressed issues surrounding the parish, which he deemed as “fake news.”

Oritizano has been serving as parish priest in the OLHR parish for almost three years now.

He said “synodality” is all about “pagpadayon sa pag-uban, pagtinabangay, ug pagpaminaway.”

However, Ortizano felt disheartened because there was already fake news being circulated within the parish, reiterating that the assembly was held to unite everyone.

Among the fake news that Ortizano encountered were claims that only children voted in the last December 10, 2023 votation for the sanctuary renovation, and that the image of the Risen Christ would be destroyed.

Ortizano showed a video presentation that the election was attended also by adults.

“Ang kalahian sa renovation ug destruction, and renovation is enhancing dili destruction, fake news na nga gub-on ang Risen Chirst, as is na,” Ortizano said.

Father Joselito Danao, District 2 Episcopal Vical, brought a letter from Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma dated February 14, 2024, granting the authorization of Ortizano to proceed with the renovation works in the OLHR parish.

However, Father William Alcalde, a parishioner of OLHR and who currently serves as principal at the Academina de San Pedro Calungsod in Naga City, Cebu, despite acknowledging the letter, questioned the finality of the design of the retablo.

“Nagpasalamat ko ni Archbishop Palma nga nihatag sa authorization to proceed with the project, but as to the details of the project i-approve paman na nato,” Alcalde said.

Alcalde said that despite Ortizano's statement that the Risen Christ will not be destroyed, the presented perspective suggested otherwise, as it depicted a Crucified Christ instead.

Alcalde said there is no opposition to proceeding with the project, but as to the finality of the design, there should be a consensus.

He added that it is "cringe" to hear the word synodality, but in reality, there is no room for dialogue so that everyone can be heard.

During the open forum, one of the parishioners said the claims of Ortizano were not absolutely true (referring to the fake news), saying Ortizano was not even during that day that’s why there was chaos.

The parishioner said there was no fake news about their claims, emphasizing that their questions were based on the proposal for renovations.

“Nganong nakaingon man mi nga inyong tangtangon, kay naa man gipakita nga proposal nga inyo tangtangon,” he said.

He added that the parishioners were not against the parish priest, but were only asking about the details of the renovations and the system of conducting the works.

In a chat message on Sunday, Alcalde said the assembly ended with a votation whether to proceed with the project.

Alcalde said the YES for the project won, but for him, it was not really a good vote because there were still many things that needed to be decided.  (AML)

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