MANILA, Philippines – The Diocese of Cubao has suspended the parish priest who was found to be frequenting a nightclub.
Father Bong Guerrero, parish priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cubao, was already suspended by Diocese of Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco last September 25, according to Father Aries Sison who is chairman of the diocese's media ministry office.
"Iyon po ang unang measure, tinanggal siya bilang parish priest, pangalawa: sinuspendi din ni Bishop Ongtioco ang kanyang mga faculities as a priest.Itong dalawang bagay na ito ay ginawa in order to avoid further harm, further scandal and to [stop] the priest [from falling] into greater sin," Sison told Church-run Radio Veritas.
Sison said Guerrero will undergo rehabilitation to help him realize his mistakes and go back to his work as a priest.
Sison also clarified that the diocese had been doing its disciplinary work on Guerrero even before the parish priest's activities made the news. The story first came out in ABS-CBN's XXX.
Due to the suspension of his faculties as a priest, Guerrero would not be able to celebrate mass and perform other sacraments.
The diocese also apologized for the scandal Guerrero got involved in, and asked the public to pray for him instead of condemning him.
"Unang-una, gusto ko liwanagin na ang pari ay tao. A priest is a human being, paminsan-minsan ay nagkakamali, lahat din tayo. Ang pari, ang layko ay tinatawag ni Hesu Kristo na magpaka-banal. Kaming mga pari, in a very special way, because of our vocation, we are called to holiness, so pagka meron mga nagkakamaling pari ay nakiusap po ako huwag naman natin silang i-condemn pero ipagdasal natin sila na maging faithful," Sison said.
"Dapat sikapin natin na maging tapat sa ating buhay panalangin kasi kapag nawala ito lahat ay babagsak.We ask pardon for all of the people who have been scandalized for this action of Fr. Bong but at the same time we asked for your understanding and compassion and above all please pray for Fr. Bong and please pray for the Church," he added.