SAN FERNANDO (PHILIPPINES)
Philippine Daily Inquirer [Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines]
May 7, 2021
By Tonette Orejas
Pampanga Archbishop Florentino Lavarias has appealed to the public to respect the privacy of a Catholic priest and the married couple involved in an affair scandal shared on social media by the couple’s son.
“As I invite everybody to respond with introspective concern and earnest prayers, may I also kindly implore all of us to please respect the privacy, identity, and right of the parties concerned,” Lavarias said in a circular released to the clergy, religious and laity on Thursday (May 6).
His appeal came after a five-minute video of the confrontation between a man and the priest he accused of having an affair with his wife went viral on social media courtesy of the couple’s son with some channels naming the priest, the man and his wife.
In the video taken by one of the sons, the man accused the priest of having sex with his wife when the latter went for counseling.
Last Wednesday (May 5), one message hinted of homosexuality and unrequited love.
According to Lavarias, the parties “seek to deal with this sensitive and complex issue with divine guidance and in the most Christian way possible.”
The priest has been removed from his parish since Tuesday (May 4) and was allowed to celebrate Mass in his home.
It was not immediately known if the husband, who furiously confronted the cleric on May 1, has already filed a complaint with a prosecutor.
The wife, who has not spoken a word during the confrontation, has remained silent. Their two sons have reportedly avoided friends.
“I want to assure the faithful that the office of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Fernando (RCASF) continues to reach out to the parties concerned to have a better appreciation of the situational canvass, with the ultimate objective of seeking the truth and offering pastoral guidance and support,” Lavarias said.
He did not say who were investigating the scandal and the time it would entail.
Lavarias stressed that the RCASF “reserves the right to take appropriate actions as a more thorough investigation progresses, after the receipt of a formal complaint from the concerned party.”