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Video shows priest humiliating unwed mother in baptism

Video taken from Jieve Frias’ Facebook page

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CEBU, Philippines–A young unwed mother decried the “sermon” given to her by the priest that officiated the baptismal rites of her infant son in front of her family and friends in a chapel in Mandaue City.

“Makauulaw na magpabunyag ka og walay bana. Nakig dug ka og laki nga dili nimo bana. Wala ma mauwaw (It’s humiliating to have a baptism without a husband. You slept with a man that is not your husband? Aren’t you ashamed)?” Fr. Romeo Ubach of the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Eversely Child Sanitarium asked the 17-year-old woman who carried her months-old baby.

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“Kining bata walay sala pero ang mama nga nakigdug og lalaki nga wala pay kasal maoy nagpuyo sa sala. Mapasa unya ni sa bata ang disgrasya. Dili unta nga nag happy happy unya naay bata. Oo, grasya ni pero nabuhat ni siya sa sala (This child has no sin but her mother who slept with a man without being married to him lives in sin. She may pass on the consequences of her sin to her child. There shouldn’t have been indulging in their passion then bore a child. Yes, a child is a gift from God but the baby was borne due to sin),” the priest said.

After giving his “sermon” Fr. Ubach asked the mother if she was married to her baby’s father.

Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu described the actuations of Fr. Obach as “against the rule of courtesy and charity.”

“Any child, whether legitimate or not, has the right to be baptized. In the same manner, priests have the obligation to baptize anyone because baptism is the only means to remove original sin. Maayo gani gidala ang bata para bunyagan. (Good that the mother brought her child to be baptized),” Binghay, a canon lawyer, said.

The child’s grandmother took a video of the priest’s sermon and uploaded it to her Facebook account yesterday. The video has been shared more than 9,000 times as of Monday afternoon. The young mother told Cebu Daily News they don’t know where to go yet.

“For now we don’t know whom to seek for help but for sure we will have a move on this,” she said. At the time the priest was publicly humiliating her, she said she wanted to walk out.

“Feel unta nako nga mo walk out na tungod sa kauwaw. Kahilakon na ko sa iyang pang-insulto (I felt like I wanted to walk out because of my humiliation. I wanted to cry because of his insults),” she said.

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Her mother who posted the video on Facebook said they went to the church to have her grandchild baptized and blessed and didn’t expect to be insulted by the priest. She said her daughter suffered enough and tried to commit suicide but decided to hold on and keep the baby.

The video and their posts drew comments from the netizens.

“Where is the love that Christ has taught us? Reminds me of the Pharisees in Jesus time. I pity the mother,” said one Netizen who commented on the video.

“The young mother is battling with fear and confusion, dapat agakon niya or as priest individual counseling is best…dli kay publicly humiliate Inday kay nauwaw na gani ang bata sa nahitabo nya..gi pun-an pa jud (he should have comforted her or counseled her in private…not publicly humiliate the girl because she was already embarrassed with what happened to her and then he added to her misery),” said one comment.

Binghay however said that Fr. Obach may have a good intention to remind the baby’s mother about the teachings of the Church.

“Maayo man iyang katuyo-an apan ang pamaagi ‘out of order’. Mora og nangasaba og ultimo. (The intention was good but the manner was ‘out of order’. It’s as if he’s scolding a servant.),” Binghay said.

“As Jesus said, if your brother or sister sins, correct him or her privately, in a manner that only both of you know. But the contrary happened in the case of Fr. Obach,” he added.

Despite what happened, Binghay encouraged the faithful not to lose trust in priests and in Church in general.

“Do not reject your priests. You have a lot of good priests who are doing their best to live virtuous lives. The sin of one is not the sin of all. Continue going to Mass and availing of the sacraments,” Binghay said.

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TAGS: Baptism, Cebu, Church, Fr. Romeo Ubach, Mother, unwed
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