• Church seeks heaven’s help for priests


    THE Catholic Church has deemed it necessary to seek divine intervention to address the shortage of priests in the country.

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippnes (CBCP) president, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, has issued a circular calling on all clergy, superiors of religious communities and heads of secular institutes in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan to pray the Oratio Imperata for new and idealistic priests who will bravely spread the truth and the words of God amid a rash of unnecessary killings and alleged persecution of the Church.

    “To be prayed after Communion before the Post-Communion Prayer in all Masses in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan from February 11, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, until March 25, Solemnity of the Annunciation,” Villegas said of the Oratio Imperata.

    “Hatred, violence and oppression have wounded us, send us courageous priests and seminarians to be heralds of truth, justice and grace. Misery, poverty and distress afflict so many, send us generous priests and seminarians to set your people free from the shackles of sin,” the prelate added.

    Villegas called on the flock to pray for people who have the calling and vocation to become servants of God.
    “Fear, discouragement and restlessness trouble multitudes, send us priests and seminarians who can show your face of hope for the world,” he said.

    Villegas aired a similar call last year, from January 10, 2016 to March 23, 2016.

    Church records show that there are more than 8,000 priests serving 74 million Catholic believers in the country or one priest for every 8,000 plus parishioners.

    Oratio Imperata or Obligatory Prayer is commonly issued to seek divine intervention during times of natural calamities and also during times of war, plague and disruption of public peace in society.

    A month after the May 9, 2016 elections, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle issued a special prayer for President Rodrigo Duterte and other incoming elected government officials to have the wisdom and courage to lead the country to prosperity and progress under a culture of peace, justice and respect for human life.

    Earlier, Villegas also released a prayer for peace or the Oratio Imperata for Peace, which seeks divine intervention for a peaceful settlement of the problem in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

    The CBCP and Duterte have not been seeing eye-to-eye on a number of issues, particularly on the President’s plan to reimpose death penalty and extrajudicial killings.

    Aside from illegal drugs, the Church is apparently also among Duterte’s favorite whipping boys, even branding it as the “most hypocritical” institution.


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    1. Misery, poverty and distress afflict so many, send us generous priests and seminarians to set your people free from the shackles of sin,” the prelate added.

      Priests do not have the power to set the people free from sin, only Jesus Christ. Kaya hindi nasasagot prayer nyo eh, you are guilty of usurpation of power from God. Besides, if you close your prayers by Mary’s intercession, wala na talaga, dahil maling tao ang ginagawa ninyong intercessor. Mary does not have any saintly role except to be the mother of the Saviour and she is not a saint.

    2. Mahiya naman kayo, mismong mga katoliko na ang nagagalit sa mga kalokohan ng mga padre damaso nato. puro pakialam ayaw ayusin muna yung simbahan.

    3. It would be best to revisit your teachings first, purgatory doesn’t exist in the bible, calling them father is against the bible, collecting fees for mass, burial, baptism, communion contradicts the teachings. Kneeling and praying on molded objects, curved stones and woods are pagan acts. And these idiots have the time to condemn and interfere with the state against illegal drugs. Wake up Catholics. They keep on fooling us.

    4. Seeking heaven’s help? OMG, what a pity! Clean your dirty brain, your selfish stand and strictly follow the constitution (Church separation from state) and you’ll save not just your soul but the rest of your blind followers. What a shame RC CBCP!!

    5. Recruit from the slums. Show them how fat priests are, eating 5 times a day, with their own vehicles, and keeping mistresses or boys on the side. Show them what priests do, in their golden vestments. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of applicants fleeing hunger, as the current crop of priests did.

      • I’ll say…when they started a double offering collection per mass, that’s when I stopped going to church, I started generously tipping the taxi driver or waiter, at least they earned it through hard work, that’s how I tithe to God now.

    6. “Misery, poverty and distress afflict so many, send us generous priests and seminarians to set your people free from the shackles of sin,” the prelate added.”

      Too funny. Almost comical. Seems self-sacrifice of ones life for a wish and a promise in the future has fallen on decline.

    7. To temporarily alleviate the priest shortage, stop sending our priest to other countries, their shortage will be their problem.