MANILA – The bishop of the Metropolitan of the Old Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East Inc., clarified that the services rendered by one of their priests are part of the missionary duties.
“The masses and funeral services he has rendered to the people are part of the missionary efforts that the Church is trying to meet the religious needs of the people,” Bishop Mar-Shimmun Artemus Bar Kepha said in a letter to the Bishop of Novaliches, Roberto Gaa. dated November 20.
The bishop added that they serve slum dwellers who cannot afford such services in Roman Catholic parishes.
“We use the ‘Qurbana Qaddisha’ for our liturgical rite and we strongly ask our clergy to use it and to inform those attending the services that we are of the eastern jurisdiction of the Church. It is only through invitations from our friends and those we know personally that we respond, ”he said.
“Thus, for our part, we do not give our names indiscriminately to funeral homes or to any person or institution. We primarily serve informal settlers in the small communities of Metro Manila, especially those who cannot take advantage of the well-paid services of Roman Catholic parishes, ”he added.
The letter was published in response to a circular published by Gaa on November 19, warning the Roman Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Novaliches against one of his ordained priests, Fr. Alladin Castro.
“This chancellery has received information on a certain Brother Alladin Castro who celebrates mass in certain parishes of the diocese. Bro. Alladin Castro is not an ordained priest of the Roman Catholic Church, ”Gaa said in the circular.
Gaa added that Castro “cannot be invited to celebrate mass or administer the sacraments in churches and semi-public oratories in this diocese, not even funeral masses in funeral homes or to perform blessings.”
On the other hand, Kepha said that they provide their services for free.
“We are invited to the different places to administer the sacraments for free because we believe, ‘what is given for free must be given for free’. In the spirit of ecumenism, we will continue to work in parallel with churches and religions in areas where we have our existing communities, in order to build a deeper and more living Christian presence, ”he said in the letter.
He said the Eastern Apostolic and Catholic Church, the Church’s former Aramaic jurisdiction, has been active in the Philippines since 1994.
“We have several missionary bishops and priests who render service all over the Philippines, especially caring for our poor brothers and sisters,” he added.
He also said Castro worked as a staff member of broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo, saying his policy was for clergy to have regular jobs to provide for their families.
Castro, in a separate message, also clarified his status as a priest to “shed light on the misinformation about people who have misled some of the faithful about the validity of his priestly ordination.”
“Instead of using the term ‘non-Roman Catholic priest’, the appropriate term is ‘an ordained priest of the Eastern Apostolic and Catholic Church’ since the circular issued by the Diocese of Novaliches is official information of my origin. of priestly ordination, “he said.
Based on documents, Castro was ordained a priest of the Metropolitan of the Eastern Ancient Catholic Apostolic Church Inc. on December 13, 2013, which enables him to perform ecclesiastical functions such as celebrating Masses, preaching and administer the sacraments of baptism. , penance, marriage and anointing of the sick. (ANP)