Repercussion of sedition charges vs clergymen feared

Repercussion of sedition charges vs clergymen feared

Seminarians hold candles during a solidarity prayer event at the San Jose Seminary in Quezon City Sept. 4. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By Cris Simon Abadilla and Carmelo Garcia

September 6, 2019

Manila, Philippines

A Jesuit-run seminary has warned that the sedition charges against some clergymen may imperil the country’s democratic existence.

In a statement, San Jose Seminary said that the accused priests and bishops are “persecuted” on account of their promotion of justice.

“We are alarmed at the possible repercussions of the sedition case on our fragile democracy, especially on efforts for genuine social inclusion of the poor.” the statement read.

The seminary community on Sept. 4 gathered for a “Mass for Truth and Justice” to show support for the accused clergymen and others “who championed causes for and engagement with the poor”.

“They are Filipino citizens whose advocacies have been firmly rooted in a profound respect for human life, for due process, and for our Constitution,” they said.

The statement was released in three different languages: English, Tagalog, and Cebuano.

The formation house of soon-to-be-priests expressed hope that the “light of truth” will illumine the hearts and minds of the prosecutors so as to reveal the truth behind the charges.

Four of those accused — Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and Fr. Robert Reyes – are all alumni of the said institution.

San Jose Seminary is a Jesuit-run interdiocesan seminary for the formation of Diocesan priests from all over the Philippines. CBCPNEWS