Manila archdiocese warns faithful vs fake priests

Manila archdiocese warns faithful vs fake priests

THE Archdiocese of Manila is warning the faithful over the presence of individuals pretending to be priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

In a radio interview, Manila Archdiocese-Office of Communications (AOC) Director Fr. Roy Bellen said the public must be vigilant against the continued prevalence of non-Roman Catholic individuals holding Masses outside churches while posing as Catholic priests.

"As much as we respect ministers of other denominations or sects, it is very saddening when they pretend and project themselves as Roman Catholic priests, with the intention to mislead a Roman Catholic congregation or mass attendees," said Bellen.

One way to insulate themselves from fake priests, according to the official, is by following the established protocols in celebrating Masses in offices, schools, or other public places outside the church.

Bellen said this in order to allow the Catholic Church to ascertain the legitimacy of the would-be presiding priests.

"The organizers need to coordinate beforehand with the respective parish that has the ecclesiastical jurisdiction to inform them about the Mass that is to be celebrated and who will be the presiding priest," Bellen said.

"It is of great importance for organizers of the Catholic Masses outside the church to coordinate closely with their respective parishes for their own assurance and for the protection of the Holy Sacrament," he added.

Priests usually carry identification cards called celebret, which is a testimonial stating that he is in good standing and has the authority to perform religious functions. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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