It was a relief to read in the papers that the Catholic Church was on the verge of showing a different image after Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), urged the clergy to remain humble like Pope Francis, who has slowly moved the Church from being a dogmatic, self-engrossed and authoritative sick institution to being a gentle, outreaching, compassionate and persuasive Church through the power of love and mercy. (Refer to this link: https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/church-to-show-different-attitude/.)
“Perhaps we can reach out to more people by stretching our minds and lowering our fences and listening… without being judgmental or punitive,” Villegas advised.
What a refreshing change in church attitude if, indeed, the advice is to be faithfully obeyed and carried out to the fullest by priests.
But perhaps I spoke to soon.
Alas, a wayward monster of a priest in Cebu by the name of Fr. Christopher Romeo Obach of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R) made a mockery of CBCP’s desire at the most unlikely place and the most holy of occasion – the church and during the baptismal ceremony.
What caused the ranting and vituperating by the officiating priest towards the young mother, and in the presence of friends, relatives and sponsors, was the fact that the baby to be baptized was born out of wedlock.
Instead of showing understand, compassion and support to the hapless mother, after all the trouble and suffering she has gone through, and serving as an inspiration in confronting the uncertain future of mother and child, this monster of a priest instead lambasted and shamed her for her immorality by using foul/offensive words, in Cebuano dialect, describing her shameless deeds.
Was this single parent bashing really necessary?
Many may not be able to understand the pontificating Obach in this video link: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/07/07/14/priest-humiliates-unwed-mother-during-babys-baptism, but just the same the images speak volumes.
Fr. Obach and the many of his ilk are the kind of clergies, that no matter how many times the pope comes to the country for a visit, CBCP will continue to have problems filling up the church with faithful followers.
Repulsive priests, like Obach, should be taught a lesson. Either they are sent to a reformatory school or they get defrocked. Transferring them is not a solution. They will only create more discontents.
How I wish that at the instant Obach was giving his sarcastic moralizing lecture, the crucified Christ had miraculously gotten down stealthily and gave the monster priest a good whacking on the head.
(Note: Fr. Obach has since apologized profusely not only in writing but also visiting and embracing the victims of his scandalous tirade, thus, making him now less of a monster. Video on FB has also been removed. – Quierosaber)