Latest Stories

Prelate refutes book’s assertions on Pampanga clergy


San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto: No toleration of erring priests PHOTO FROM CBCPONLINE.NET

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto said he had not tolerated erring priests in Pampanga, particularly those who had violated their vows of celibacy and poverty or committed indiscretions.

Aniceto, 76, issued the denial in reaction to a chapter in the book, “Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church,” by Aries Rufo, which put the spotlight on Catholic priests and parishioners in Pampanga.

“Was the Kapampangans’ forgiving attitude the reason behind Aniceto’s lax attitude as well? Regardless, critics said he perpetuated a problem by abusing the reverence that Pampanga Catholics reserved for their priests,” Rufo wrote in the chapter, “Leading double lives,” subtitled “Viral disease.”

The author quoted an unnamed Church official as describing the parishioners to have become “desensitized to the real situation.”

Sought for reaction, Aniceto, who oversees the archdiocese with 120 priests, said “every decision is contextual.”

“It involves discernment that builds and promotes a lasting value. This value is both human and divine, [involving] the will of God and the good of the person,” he said. “Its application is tempered by circumstances, relation, time and context.”

Aniceto, however, declined to say how many priests have been suspended, dismissed or reintegrated in his archdiocese.

Extended term

Aniceto, the fourth archbishop of Pampanga since the diocese’s founding and separation from the Archdiocese of Manila in 1948, has led the Catholic Church in the province for 24 years since 1989. Last year, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI extended Aniceto’s term after the latter reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Pampanga was the first and last mission of the Augustinian Order from 1572 to 1960, with Filipino priests serving only in the late 19th century, local church records show.

Fr. Ed Panlilio, a Catholic priest who served as governor of Pampanga from 2007 to 2010, said his reply to a question on a supposed indiscretion, which was mentioned in the book’s section on “Abusing the privilege,” should be taken as a “human fact.”

“I have had my mistakes. Who does not?” was Panlilio’s supposed reply when a pastor from the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Movement asked about rumors of his having sired a child or children. The book said JIL pastors met with Panlilio to assess whether they would support his gubernatorial bid in 2007.

Panlilio, who has sought dispensation from the priesthood, reiterated that he had no children.

“I was stating a human fact when I said we all commit mistakes. These mistakes could mean infidelity, especially when done repeatedly. However, a mistake does not necessarily mean an obliteration of the fidelity to the priesthood. After a mistake, a priest could even learn from the experience and come out as a stronger person,” Panlilio told the Inquirer.

Not condoning

Asked about the book’s account of Aniceto’s action on erring priests, Panlilio, known as Among Ed to his former flock, said: “[The archbishop] may have taken time before he intervened but priests, in the past, had urged him several times to act.”

He said Aniceto had been acting on clergymen accused of wrongdoing. “That is why we hear of this priest stripped of his faculties, of another suspended from pastoral ministry or one undergoing a formation program,” he said.

“Rufo’s assertion that Archbishop Aniceto or [our] brother priests are condoning this is not true,” Panlilio said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Aries Rufo , Books , Catholic Church , Ed Panlilio , Paciano Aniceto , Pampanga , Philippines - Regions , priests , Religion

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem
  • Tanchanco, former NFA head; 83
  • Pope seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of the Earth’
  • Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  • Positive in UAE, returning Filipino nurse tests negative
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace