Priests who ‘enrich’ themselves slammed

Priests who ‘enrich’ themselves slammed
Fr. Rey Romero blesses his father during the offertory of a Mass to mark the priest’s 25th sacerdotal anniversary at the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, San Fabian, Pangasinan, June 24, 2017. CHANDA PASCUA

SAN FABIAN, Pangasinan – In a stirring message given at a priest’s 25th sacerdotal anniversary on June 24 in this town, Lingayen – Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said priests should not use their ministry to enrich themselves.

“The story of a priest cannot be a story from rags to riches…because if the story of a priest is from rags to riches then that priest is a Judas who enriched himself with 30 pieces of silver,” said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president, who gave the homily during a Mass at the parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr in this town, to mark the silver anniversary of Fr. Rey Romero, head of the archdiocesan commission for social communications.

“We may start rich and we should die poor,” stressed the prelate, saying the role of the priest, just like St. John the Baptist, is “to diminish.”

During his homily, Villegas said priests should emulate St. John the Baptist whose feast day was celebrated on Saturday, and how he discerned God’s voice and diminished to give way to Jesus.

Ending his message, he thanked Romero, who was ordained in 1992, for his faithfulness to his ministry.

Poking fun at his weight, Villegas said: “Fr. Rey, thank you for being that discerning man of God. After 25 years, your weight seems to be the same and we thank you that you have not enriched yourself. You have not become a wealthy priest.”

“Stay with us, Fr. Rey, and allow the Lord to constantly shine through you,” he added.

Lingayen-Dagupan Auxiliary Bishop Elmer Mangalinao was also present at the event together with hundreds of parishioners, friends, family, relatives, as well as Romero’s batch mates, priest friends, and religious sisters. CBCPNews