MANILA, Nov. 14, 2011— A Catholic bishop has warned the public against two ‘erring priests’ who continue to hold Masses, breaking a suspension order issued against them three years ago.
Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera was referring to Fathers Efren Avenido and Roque Bacayo who were both suspended from their priestly ministry since 2008.
Garcera said that he received information that Avenido and Bacayo continue to celebrate Mass in Metro Manila and in the case of Avenido, in Bicol region also.
“We would like to reiterate that Fr. Avenido and Fr. Bacayo remain suspended and thus cannot discharge their ministerial duties,” Garcera said in a circular issued recently.
Avenido’s faculties were withdrawn on February 18, 2008 due to “delicta graviora” or an offense committed against morals as specified in the motu propio “Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela”.
Garcera, however, did not specify the kind of offence that Avenido committed that spurred the diocese to suspend him.
Bacayo, on the other hand, was suspended on December 21, 2008 for violation of Canon 1371 or “delicts against ecclesiastical authorities.”
The priest, according to Garcera, refused parish assignments twice and resisted to work inside his diocese of incardination.
Bacayo also committed an offense against the Church law for trafficking in Mass offerings, in the context of unlawful manipulation of Mass stipends in order to gain or make profit.
“A person who illegitimately makes a profit from a Mass offering is to be punished with a censure or another just penalty,” the canon law said.
Garcera also notified his fellow bishops in Metro Manila and Bicol region to “warn your parishioners and others who may be misled by these erring priests.” [CBCPNews]