Bataan bishop to remove fees for funeral Masses
MANILA, Philippines — Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos has ordered the removal of fees for funeral Masses and blessings in the diocese starting April 21.
“Financial obligations from the perspective of the Church are not of prime importance and must not be a burden to them,” Santos said, as quoted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News on Tuesday.
“We should not oblige them either for the arancel, but we can be open for their free will to give or donate for the Church,” he added.
The arancel system refers to the practice of giving stipends to priests for specific church services.
The Balanga prelate also said they would start removing fees for baptism, weddings, confirmation and masses in the coming years.
“But as we will celebrate our 50th year in 2025, it is our dream to our people that there would be no arancel system for sacraments in our diocese,” Santos said.
Other dioceses have already started preparing guidelines for the gradual removing of the arancel system.
Manila archdiocese communications officer Fr. Roy Bellen said the target was to end the arancel system by 2021.
“This hopefully can be a gauge of the faithful of their change of paradigm in support the Church rather than thinking of ‘buying the sacraments’ from the Church,” Bellen said, also as quoted by the CBCP News.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas in 2015 abolished the system of charging fixed rates for sacraments and sacramentals in the archdiocese. /cbb
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