Cebu News

More proof needed to back Camomot sainthood campaign

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints (SCCS) is asking for more preliminary documents and statements from witnesses that may prove the reputation for saintliness of the late Cebuano prelate Teofilo Camomot.

Camomot is currently a candidate for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church after the SCCS did not object to the September 2010 formal petition of the Daughters of Saint Teresa, the religious congregation he founded, to open a cause for his beatification.

“More documents like testimonies will have to be added for them to be submitted so that we can say that not only a few has been touched by him but there are many. We are on the process on the completion of the documents,” Cebu Archbishop José Palma told reporters yesterday.

Camomot is now called Servant of God, a title given to a person who is being investigated by the Church for possible canonization as a saint, but has to pass through first the steps of a declaration of “heroic virtues” and beatification.

It is the SCCS or the congregation of the Roman Curia that oversees this complex process leading to sainthood. Investigation involves gathering of documents like historical data, published writings, a chronological account of his life, and a thorough deposition of individual witnesses.

Father Mhar Vincent Balili, vice postulator for the diocesan tribunal on Camomot’s beatification, announced yesterday that an online page has been set up so that people across the world can inquire and share their own experiences with the late priest easily.

“Some Filipinos overseas had organized themselves with the purpose of making more people know about the pastoral works of the archbishop so that many people will pray for him for his beatification,” Balili said.

He said people will also know more about Camomot on www.archbishopcamomot.ph, which also features the priest’s biography, writings, and pictures, among others.

Another important part of the process is looking for a miracle, or most likely named as “favors received,” that occurs through the intercession of the Servant of God by the faithful.

“We hope if this (gathering of documents) is completed, the next thing we are waiting are the reported healings especially those in the nature of the miracle since this will prove the sanctity (of the candidate) or may be the unmistakable sign of God approving the process of the beatification or the canonization,” Palma said.

Palma presided over the Pontifical Mass celebrate yesterday to commemorate the 28th death anniversary of Camomot. The priest died in a vehicular crash at age 74 on September 27, 1988, while yet a bishop. He has since been elevated to archbishop posthumously.

The liturgical celebration was one of the activities lined up for the weeklong observance dubbed “Saulog 2016” to remember Camomot’s death and his notable virtues.

Yesterday, hundreds of Catholic faithful flocked to his hometown in Carcar City, Cebu yesterday that the chapel of Daughters of Saint Teresa in Barangay Valladolid spilled of attendees.

Among the participants were The FREEMAN Chairman Jose “Dodong” Gullas and his wife Nena.

Globally renowned University of Visayas Chorale sang during the celebration.

This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Living out mercy and compassion through the example of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot.”

Aside from praying for Camomot’s eventual beatification and canonization, Palma called on the Catholic faithful to follow the priest’s example.

“If we follow his works, and act of mercy. We live out our concern for the poor… This is following the will of God. The secret is to see in the poor Jesus. If we claim to love the Lord, we love his love. This, an example is Archbishop Camomot,” Palma said.

Reverend Mother Maria Loulla Grace Buscato, mother superior of the Daughters of Saint Teresa, announced that retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will visit Rome in October to follow up on the beatification process.

Following the Mass was the groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed museum that will hold the personal effects of Camomot such as his death bed, desk, and chair, among others.

Buscato said the construction of the museum, including the landscaping of its premises, will start on October 1 and is expected to carry on for up to six months.

The DST congregation was hopeful that contractors will meet the target date of completion on March 3, Camomot’s birthday.

She said the vacant lot covers more than two hectares but the museum will only occupy 300 square meters. She said P25 million has been earmarked for the proposed site development.—/JMOree (FREEMAN NEWS)

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