The Catholic Church in 2018: ‘Year of the Clergy’ turns challenging

Manila Bulletin

December 24, 2018

By Leslie Ann Aquino

The Year 2018 is indeed the “Year of the Clergy” in view of the different challenges that the Church and its leaders faced this year.

Among these challenges was the killing of a number of priests in the country. Father Mark Ventura was killed in Gattaran, Cagayan on April 29 only four months after Father Marcelito Paez was killed in Nueva Ecija. In June, Father Richmond Nilo was also killed by unknown gunmen in Cabanatuan.

On the same month, Father Rey Urmeneta of the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Calamba, Laguna, was wounded after being shot by unidentified suspects.

Despite these, Catholic prelates rejected the idea of arming their priests.

The Church and bishops were also often the subject of President Duterte’s tirades.

At a public event, Duterte accused Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, a vocal critic of his ruthless campaign against illegal drugs, of stealing church donations to give it to his family.

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