Priest tells RH bill supporters to leave Mass

Posted at 04/19/11 10:16 PM

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – A priest at the Baguio Cathedral drew flak from some Catholics after he ordered people supporting the reproductive health bill to leave the church and stop hearing Mass.

His remarks drew outrage from some parishioners, who walked out in consternation.

The priest, whose identity was withheld, used his sermon to mock supporters of the bill such as former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel.

"Kung meron nakikimisa dito pero pro-RH bill… Please, go out. It's useless," the priest said.

"What is this mass for if you are pro-RH bill? What is going to Church for if you're pro-RH bill?" he asked.

The priest's statements were recorded on video by a parishioner.

The prelate also criticized Hontiveros-Baraquel. "Ang ganda-gandang babae niya...pero ang pangit-pangit ng stand niya."

The former legistlator said she was shocked by the priest’s statements.

“Nakaka-shock, nakakalungkot, nakakagalit. Can’t they let people worship in peace? Mahal na araw pa naman ngayon."

“Don't use the pulpit, which belongs to all the lay people, as attack vantage point,” she told ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN News tried to get the side of the priest, but he left for a vacation in Laoag.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines also declined to give a statement, saying the body prefers to air its stand in dialogues. – report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News