MANILA, March 18, 2013— A Catholic priest has lectured Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman who accused him and other priests of breaking the seal of confession, an offense punishable by excommunication.
Fr. Melvin Castro scored the principal author of the Reproductive Health Law in the House of Representatives for making a claim of a Church’s principle he is not well versed of.
“He (Lagman) doesn’t know what constitutes the violation of the seal of confession,” said Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
Castro earlier disclosed the observation of many priests over a growing number of people driven to confession to ask forgiveness for using artificial contraceptives.
He said because of the controversies that hounded the RH law, many people, especially the youth, became aware of the church’s position against abortion and artificial contraception.
With this, Castro said that they are somehow thankful to Lagman and other RH supporters for this surge of awareness.
“He should be happy. God uses him for the conversion of souls,” he said.
The seal of confession, he explained, is only violated when the identity of a faithful has been revealed to the public, the Church official said.
Under the Church law, every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy of sins that his penitents have confessed to him.
“It is violated only when the identity of the penitent is publicly identified,” said Castro.
Instead of criticizing the Church, the priest called on the lawmaker to just focus on his advocacy of promoting the use of contraceptives.
“If he is such an advocate of women’s health care, he should be concentrating on their welfare. Unless, his real intent is to put down the Church,” said Castro. (CBCPNews)