Nalzaro: Team Ministry should be disbanded


By Bobby Nalzaro

Friday, January 6, 2012

A FEW years ago, then Cebu archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal assigned six priests, most of them involved in controversies, to compose the Team Ministry of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Minglanilla. The priests succeeded the group headed by the outgoing parish priest, Msgr. Esteban Binghay, who was promoted episcopal vicar overseeing the parishes under the province’s first district.

The formation of the Team Ministry was a way of giving the controversial priests a second chance. Two of the priests sired several children. Another underwent rehabilitation for alcoholism and had one child. One is gay. The other was charged with statutory rape (the case was settled).

Parishioners initially resisted the move but church officials managed to convince them to accept the priests. Everything went smoothly until recently when some church acolytes exposed the sexual misbehavior of two of the priests. They accused one priest of engaging in sex with different women on separate occasions at the back of the church. The other priest was accused of sexually harassing acolytes after a drinking session.

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