A Catholic bishop said members of the clergy can only run for public office in “extreme cases.”
Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. of Novaliches made the pronouncement following reports that several priests have filed their certificates of candidacy for next year’s elections.
“There will be consequences for priests who will run for office without the bishop’s permission,” said Bishop Bacani in an interview over Church-run Veritas 846.
The prelate said that as citizens priests can be leaders and guide the faithful in choosing the right people to hold office.
“We priests should be involved in politics but we should not politicize. We should get involved as priests not as politicians,” he said.
“We should not hold power in government but guide the people to choose the right leaders,” said Bishop Bacani.
Church law prohibits members of the clergy from assuming public offices that entail participation in the exercise of civil power.
Veritas 846 reported that at least three priests have filed their certificates of candidacy for local elective posts for next year’s elections.
Father Granwell Pitapit of the Diocese of Libmanan is running for mayor in Libmanan, Camarines Sur; Father Emmanuel Alparce of the Diocese of Sorsogon is running for councilor in Bacacay, Albay; and Father Emerson Luego of the Diocese of Tagum is running for mayor in Mabini town, Davao De Oro.
“If you are elected, make good in your governance. It is not enough that we are good priests, we should also be good in governance based on the responsibilities that the people entrust to us,” said Bishop Bacani.