CBCP thumbs down proposal to arm priests

Erik Tenedero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 12 2018 04:58 PM

MANILA - Church leaders in the Philippines have opposed the idea of arming priests amid killings of clergymen in the country. 

In an interview with the Church-run Radio Veritas, CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said the "danger of death" has always been a part of a priest's ministry.

The prelate added that it is the duty of the priest to face the perils of carrying out his mission. 

"I would strongly oppose to arm the priest. We are men of God, men of the church and it is part of our ministry to face, not always, but to face dangers, to face deaths if one may say that way. But we would do it just what Jesus did," Valles said. 

Meanwhile, Military Ordinariate Administrator Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio said arming priests is not the solution. 

"It will create more chaos, it will not solve anything," the bishop said. 

This comes after the slay of Rev. Fr. Richmond Nilo, parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in the Diocese of Cabanatuan. Nilo was gunned down just as he was about to begin Mass. 

CBCP thumbs down proposal to arm priests 1

In May 2018, Rev. Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura was also shot dead by an unidentified gunman after celebrating a Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan. 

In December 2017, Rev. Fr. Marcelito Paez was also gunned down by unidentified assailants after assisting the release of a political prisoner in the town of Jaen, Nueva Ecija.

Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. Rey Urmenta, a former PNP chaplain, survived an ambush in Calamba, Laguna just last week.