BORONGAN CITY, April 26, 2918–Lay leaders who filed their certificates of candidacy for the upcoming barangay and SK elections arendeemed resigned from their positions.
Decree #205 of the 1st Diocesan Synod of Borongan states that “Lay leaders who wish to run for elective government offices shall be deemed resigned from their positions upon filing of candidacy and can re-assume such offices only upon approval by the parish priest or in the case of the diocesan workers, by the Bishop”. But if he wins, he cannot resume his position to avoid possible conflict of interest.
Included in this order are officers of pastoral councils, diocesan workers, basic ecclesial communities, extraordinary ministers of holy communion and those with administrative functions in the parishes and chaplaincies. Faith communities are autonomous but since they are under the parishes and diocese, they are also covered by the rules of the church.
Fr. Neil Tenefrancia, Diocesan Chancellor said that allowing church leaders to run for government position will compromise the neutrality of the church and being active in different church ministries give them undue advantage over the other candidates.
The Church has encouraged lay Catholics to proactively participate in political exercises. “And in fact there is a duty for the Christian Catholic to transform politics by the Gospel. The Church, God’s people, must evangelize politics,” says the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in its 1997 Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics.
“An implication of PCP-II’s stand urging persons in responsible positions to promote actively the election of worthy candidates is the necessity of preparing these candidates for public office,” adds the CBCP document. (Eden Cidro/ Este News)