CBCP admits there are priests with kids but says that’s not the issue | Inquirer News
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CBCP admits there are priests with kids but says that’s not the issue

MANILA, Philippines–An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Tuesday said there were some priests with children but that this should not distract the Church from its “Team Buhay/Team Patay” campaign.

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive-secretary of the CBCP Commission on Family and Life, said critics of the Church were using the issue of priests who have fathered children to “change the topic” and evade the Church campaign holding politicians accountable for their vote on the reproductive health law.

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“We will not deny that there are instances (of priests fathering children) but that is not the issue now. It does not mean that if priests make mistakes, then they should be silent,” Castro said in a Church forum in Intramuros, Manila.

“Do not throw stones because we all live in houses of glass. The Gospel should be preached even if we (priests) are the ones hit,” he added.

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Castro said the “Team Tatay” text messages were like a “blackmail” campaign, adding that the Church’s foes in the RH law debates were “well-funded.”

“The `Team Buhay/Team Patay’ campaign is issue-oriented. That is not as judgment on the personal character of candidates. But what has happened now is that they hit back at the Church in a very personal way,” Castro said.

“The issue in the 2013 elections is not the moral character of persons … There are those who promote divorce but we don’t judge their personal lives but their reasons behind proposing divorce or the RH law,” he added.

Castro said the priests were also “born sinners” but that did not mean they should stay silent if they see dangers to their flock.

“We are not the ones who are the candidates here. The candidates are the politicians who were included in Team Patay (Team Death) or Team Buhay (Team Life),” Castro said.

“Maybe some felt politicians felt bad because they were labeled Team Patay but that was because they were proposing the culture of death,” he added.

Castro said “sex scandals” had been present since the start of the Church and what was important was the renewal happening among the clergy and the laity.

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“Even the church in the Philippines, we have had two national congresses of the clergy to address these issues. But in the end, just like in any other institution, it is up to the individual members (on) how to respond to this renewal,” Castro said.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the Church will not be deterred by the “Team Tatay” in proclaiming the Gospel of Life.

“(It) does not intimidate me! It is good for us to know who among us are destroying the Church from within. I know that the enemies of the Church will plan to discredit us by exposing our defects,” Arguelles said.

“This will help the Church rather than silence her. But it is true that some clerics (bishops) included are cowed to silence by such threats. Not me! The Church will not hit back. We expect to be attacked so as to (be) silence(d). They can try,” he added.

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