Talibon diocese scraps fixed fees for sacraments
TAGBILARAN CITY –– Wanting to be a church of the poor, the Diocese of Talibon in Bohol has decided to abolish fixed rates for baptisms, marriage, confirmations, and other sacraments of the Catholic Church under its jurisdiction.
The abolition of the fixed payments called the arancel system would take effect in the diocese starting May 1, according to Talibon Bishop Daniel Parcon.
The decree also covers burials, funerals, and fiestas.
“I, after having listened to and consulted the people of God, do hereby decree that there will no longer be a fixed amount for the sacraments in the Diocese of Talibon; the arancel system is hereby gradually abolished,” Parcon said.
The bishop, however, clarified that offerings that are freely and sincerely given are most appreciated.
“Like any normal family, every member of the diocese, parish, and basic ecclesial community has the duty to support the Church in the fulfillment of Her mission,” he said.
“Both the rich and the poor are called to contribute, heeding the call to be a Church where no one is so poor as to have nothing to give, and no one is so rich as to have nothing to receive,” the prelate added.
The decree was issued by Parcon on March 29 during the Chrism Mass when priests renewed their vows.
Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, earlier said the fixed amount for church services “can be a hindrance for the poor to receive God’s grace and blessings.”
“Let us do our best, then, to remove obstacles to genuine service, especially to the poor,” Valles said.
“This is a concrete step in renewing ourselves in the practice of stewardship, praying that others may see us truly ‘as good stewards of God’s varied graces,” he added.
Last month, the Archdiocese of Manila under its administrator, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, also took a bold move to abolish the arancel system, which was first envisioned by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II), a historic gathering of bishops, priests, religious, and laypersons aimed at reforming the Philippine Catholic Church.
The abolition was fully implemented nationwide since the end of PCP II in 1991.
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