Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of CBCP public affairs committee, believes the attacks against priests should not be a reason for them to use guns, even for personal safety.
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Bishops reject proposal to arm priests
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) opposed last Friday a proposal to arm priests following the spate of attacks on clergymen. 

Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of CBCP public affairs committee, believes the attacks against priests should not be a reason for them to use guns, even for personal safety.

“Arming priests is not the solution for crimes against them,” he stressed.

The CBCP official explained that like ordinary citizens, priests don’t need guns as they are also entitled to the protection of the government. 

“If they may have antagonized other people, killing them is unnecessarily excessive and brutal,” said Secillano.

Several bishops earlier rejected the idea of priests owning guns.

Both Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes and Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said that priests should not be involved in any violent act, even when protecting themselves.

“We get our protection from the Holy Angels, not wea-pons,” Bastes stressed.

“I am for a gunless society. We priests are not afraid of danger. If the general public, especially the poor, are exposed to danger, we cannot be less,” Arguelles added.

Three priests were victimized by criminal elements in the last six months.

Last Wednesday, Fr. Rey Urmeneta of San Pablo diocese in Laguna suffered wounds after being shot by riding-in-tandem gunmen in Calamba.

In April, Fr. Mark Ventura of the Archdiocese of Tuguegaraio was shot dead shortly after celebrating Sunday mass in Gattaran town, Cagayan.

In December last year, Fr. Marcelito Paez of the San Jose diocese was also shot and killed by still unidentified men in Jaen, Nueva Ecija.  

CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
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