MANILA - The National Youth Commission slammed a Cebu priest for “persecuting” a teenage mom during the baptism of her child.
In a statement, Commissioner Perci Cendaña said: "To humiliate a young mother during the baptism of her child in the presence of family and friends is not only most unkind, it is also an act of cruel persecution."
A video is making the rounds showing Fr. Romeo Ubach of the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Eversely Child Sanitarium in Cebu rebuking a 17-year-old single mother.
Speaking in Cebuano, the priest castigated the woman for having a baby with a man who is not her husband.
Ubach also warned the mother that the consequences of her actions may be passed on to her child, as her child was born in sin.
The NYC said the priest should apologize.
"We support the call of the teen mother's family for a public apology from the erring member of the clergy not only for this extreme act of unkindness but also for the blatant violation of her rights and the stress the young girl suffered," Cendaña said.
"Stigma and discrimination will not curb the rising incidence of teen pregnancy in the country where almost 600 teenagers give birth every day. Education, guidance and compassion are very much needed to address this generational concern," he added.
Meanwhile, netizens took to social media to express their anger towards the priest. Many have asked to make the video viral in order to reach the Pope himself.
In an ironic twist, a story regarding Pope Francis blessing the child of an unmarried couple also made the rounds in social media.
In a story posted by the dailymail.co.uk, it was reported that the highest official of the influential Roman Catholic Church baptized the child during a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel.
“The Pope has previously spoken out to encourage priests to baptize the children of unmarried women in order to pass on the Christian faith, calling those who refuse hypocrites,” the report read.