Activist priest Fr. Archie Intengan, 74
Fr. Romeo “Archie” Intengan, a Jesuit priest who was forced to go on exile during martial law, has passed away at the age of 74.
The elderly priest died on Tuesday morning while being brought to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center.
“(Fr. Intengan) died quite suddenly early this morning. He suffered cardiac arrest while being brought to the hospital,” the Society of Jesus in the Philippines said.
He would have turned 75 on Oct. 18.
Activist priest Fr. Robert Reyes mourned the passing of Intengan, whom he considered not only a professor at the Loyola School of Theology (LST), but also mentor and father.
“He was my mentor in my important and fundamental matters as a young seminarian and priest,” Reyes said in a text message to the Inquirer, adding that he owed a big part of his idealism, activism and decency to Intengan.
At LST, Intengan was an associate professor of Moral Theology and specialized in Christian social ethics, medical and sexual ethics.
Reyes also described Intengan as a “great light to my young and hungry soul searching for depth, meaning and relevance during the dark years” of the Marcos regime.
Fr. Eliseo Mercado, OMI, wrote on Facebook: “Fr. Archie was known for his passion and activism and sharp analysis of the social ills that continue to hound the country! I will miss his sharp mind, passion, fire and his wits.”
Intengan cofounded the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party in 1973 with Norberto Gonzales, according to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.
He was later jailed in 1978 for protesting the fraudulent elections held that year.
The Jesuit priest had to flee the Philippines in 1980, seeking refuge in Sabah, Malaysia, to escape the wrath of Imelda Marcos who had him summoned to Malacañang.
He ended up in Spain two years later, where he took up further studies in Theology.
He returned to the Philippines after the strongman Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by a people’s revolt in February 1986.
His wake will be held at the Oratory of St. Ignatius at the Loyola House of Studies on the Ateneo de Manila campus, the Society of Jesus said.
The funeral is tentatively set for Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Sacred Heart Novitiate Jesuit Cemetery in Novaliches, Quezon City.—JULIE M. AURELIO
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