By LITO RULONA
THE Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental will soon get rid of “fixed donations” for the different services of the church like funeral masses and baptism.
Archdiocese vicar general Msgr. Rey Monsanto said the church wants to put a lid on controversies that the church has been charging fees for its services.
“Kini aron mawagtang ang gi-ingon abuse by parish priests. Ang perception sa mga tawo kay dili na donation but fixed fees. Para mawala na ang ingon ana nga impression then tangtangon na kini namo,” he said.
Monsanto said the church plans to fully implement the new system nationwide by 2021 in time for the 500th anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines.
“Pero dili namo pugngan ang mga pari to handle one to three masses everyday in their respective churches,” he said.
Monsanto said the donations would be used for operational maintenance of the churches.
With the new regulation, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is expecting that more Filipinos and members of the Catholic Church will participate in different holy sacraments without having to worry about the fees.
In a press statement, the CBCP said it has been taking further steps to remove fees for sacraments and other services.
This came in the wake of a March 12 circular by Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga who ordered the removal of fees for funeral masses and blessings in his diocese.
“Financial obligations from the perspective of the Church are not of prime importance and must not be a burden,” said the prelate.
Priests were told not to charge fees for masses even in private memorial chapels. The prelate said parishes would only accept whatever parishioners give.
The archdiocese also stopped parishes charging fix rates for issuing canonical certificates. Fees for baptisms, weddings, confirmations, and masses will be removed after the diocese finishes assessing the readiness of parishes to do so.
“According to reports that reached our church nga duna man gud mga pari karon nga kung gamay ra imong ihatag dili mobunyag og mag-misa which is also considered a violation of the code of priests,” Monsanto said.