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Apr 24

Priests forbidden to become congressmen

Fr. Ed Panlilio is making waves in Pampanga because of his campaign against jueteng and mulcting quarry income. However, if he were to be elected to the House, he would have to leave the priesthood (there is an unclear story that says he has already been suspended from his priestly duties, but whether it’s a kind of leave of absence, or an ecclesiastical penalty, is what’s unclear):

“Canon 285, Sec. 3: Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.

Robby Tantingco‘s argued no one, not even the Pope, could stop Fr. Panlilio. Not so. See above. And Fr. Robert Drinan was elected to the US Congress five times and served there, until Pope John Paul II ordered him to leave office or leave the priesthood. In 1983, the Code of Canon Law (last revised in 1917) was promulgated by John Paul II and it contains the prohibition on political office above.

That is, of course, from the point of view of Church law. From the point of view of secular law, our laws are silent on the matter.

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  1. realist

    Paano na yan? Hinde nga masunod ang sariling batas ng simbahan na kanyang kinasasapian papaano pa ang pambansang batas? Diba bad example yan?

    Bakit kaya gustong gusto nitong mga pari ang magbida? Mahusay sana kung yung mga walanghiya at abuserong pari, obispo, cardinal ang asikasuhin niya – House cleaning muna!

  2. john marzan

    i actually think fr. panlilio has a good shot of winning.

  3. cvj

    Realist, dito sa Pilipinas, nasasapawan ng batas ng sambayanan ang batas ng simbahan (o ng anumang pribadong samahan). Walang mangyayari sa bayan natin kung puro tayo puna na lang. Buti na lang ay may iilang mamamayang tulad ni Fr. Panlilio na umaaksyon.

  4. missingpoints

    realist: you could say the same thing about actors and basketball players.

  5. janie

    if fortunate, i think fr. panlilio should really be careful in discerning whether he’d leave his vocation for public office.

  6. justice league

    If I remember right, members of the priesthood can run for Congress. What is frowned upon is as a “representative” of the Church.

  7. DJB

    MLQ3, The Law is not silent on the matter, but it is confusing:

    (ART III. Sec. (5) Bill of Rights): No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

    (ART VI):(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

    As you can see, the party list provision is weird!

  8. john marzan

    djb:

    (ART III. Sec. (5) Bill of Rights): No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

    (ART VI):(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

    As you can see, the party list provision is weird!

    =========

    di dapat bawal dyan yung mga partylist groups that represent the muslim groups or interests?

  9. Marcus Aurelius

    My current district in the US was represented by a priest back in the ’70s. If I recall correctly he got out of it at the same time for the same reason. Back then I was young and lived in a neighboring congressional district.

  10. manuelbuencamino

    John,

    A friend from Pampanga told me he was surprised at the support Panlilio os getting. One motorcade had about 150 cars and people brought their own food, And Panlilio is not giving away T shirts, People are buying them to raise money for his campaign, Kung sabagay Pineda raises money by selling slips of paper and Lapid’s castle was built from sand.

  11. zapper

    Both CIBAC and BUHAY partylist are representing religious sectors. CIBAC is a creation of JIL of Eddie Villanueva and BUHAY is a creation of El Shaddai of Mike Velarde. Proof are the nominees of both parties are sons of the two religious leaders. They are voted into office by the followers of the two religious groups and should be disqualified in violation of the party-list law prohibiting religious sectoral representation.

  12. john marzan

    I hear Alagad is connected with the INC too.

  13. vic

    Check the qualifications of our candidates for Federal Parliament in a hurry and these are the only people disqualified:

    • A person guilty of any corrupt eledtoral practice or of an illegal electoral practice is disqualified for five years after found guilty. (this is subject to challenge under the charter of rights and one case has won the right for re-election, on a case to case basis)

    • Persons who were candidates in a previous election and failed to file an auditor’s report or statement of election of election expenses forfiet the right to run again.
    • Certain officials (sheriffs, clerks of the peace, county or judicial district crown attorness) are also disqualifed, as are members of provincial legislatures and territorial councils. (to qulify individual has to resign the present post. no double dipping)

    With some exceptions, anyone who is entitled to vote can also become a canditdate for election; a candidate must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of Canada, and have established residency sosmewhere in the country (although not necessarily in the constituency of his or her candidacy). The disqualification applying to electors also generally apply to candidates.

    There is nowhere in the code mentioned about religious leaders not able to run or any educational qualifications or even individuals convicted of crimes other than elections related. After all let the voters decide…

  14. camry

    If Fr. Ed Panlilio wins, he might not be able to take his seat in the house because the administration will try to disqualify him.

    I wish that his allies will advise him to make it sure that all his credentials are not questionable under the eyes of the administration before the elections.

  15. hillblogger3

    In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald back in 2001, Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, said, “I’m sorry Jesus Christ did not have a good public relations office because maybe he wouldn’t have had the bad problem of being crucified.”

    In the same vein, brave and now politicized Fr. Ed Panlilio (and rightly so) runs the risk of being crucified by Gloria’s administration if he isn’t careful (and then blame the NPAs for whatever may happen to him).

  16. justice league

    When the SC deliberated on their decision regarding the criteria for inclusion in the party list system; their decision included the following deliberations of the Constitutional Commission:

    (Third, in view of the objections directed against the registration of Ang Buhay Hayaang Yumabong, which is allegedly a religious group, the Court notes the express constitutional provision that the religious sector may not be represented in the party-list system. The extent of the constitutional proscription is demonstrated by the following discussion during the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission:

    “MR. OPLE. x x x

    In the event that a certain religious sect with nationwide and even international networks of members and supporters, in order to circumvent this prohibition, decides to form its own political party in emulation of those parties I had mentioned earlier as deriving their inspiration and philosophies from well-established religious faiths, will that also not fall within this prohibition?

    MR. MONSOD. If the evidence shows that the intention is to go around the prohibition, then certainly the Comelec can pierce through the legal fiction.”

    The following discussion is also pertinent:

    “MR. VILLACORTA. When the Commissioner proposed “EXCEPT RELIGIOUS GROUPS,” he is not, of course, prohibiting priests, imams or pastors who may be elected by, say, the indigenous community sector to represent their group.

    REV. RIGOS. Not at all, but I am objecting to anybody who represents the Iglesia ni Kristo, the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church et cetera.”

    Furthermore, the Constitution provides that “religious denominations and sects shall not be registered.” The prohibition was explained by a member of the Constitutional Commission in this wise: “[T] he prohibition is on any religious organization registering as a political party. I do not see any prohibition here against a priest running as a candidate. That is not prohibited here; it is the registration of a religious sect as a political party.”

    —————-

    If CIBAC and BUHAy are indeed trying to circumvent the law, then they must be challenged in court.

    But something interesting is the phrase “of those parties I had mentioned earlier as deriving their inspiration and philosophies from well-established religious faiths, will that also not fall within this prohibition?”

    It’s as if what was being referred to in that part of the deliberation were “exemptions”. But I haven’t read a larger part of the concerned deliberation so anyone can carry on with that.

  17. baycas

    if (h)e wins, i (h)ope (h)e is for impeachment (like fr. bob) but against abortion (unlike fr. bob)…speaking like a true-blooded kapampangan

    —–

    excerpt of fr. ed’s earth day speech (april 22, 2007):

    Tutu pu, dakal ya batas a dapat ipatupad ing gobyerno tamu. Sasabyan da pu reng aliwa, ali na kailangan ing bayung batas nune ing mahigpit a pamipatupad kareng batas a atyu na. Lampas na pu niti, atyu na kekatamung memalen ing sagut.

    it’s true, there are a lot of laws which our government has to impose. others will say, new laws need not be created, just strictly enforce the existing laws. far from this, the answer lies in ourselves.

    Atyu tamu keni ngeni, mangarap at manigobra para mika-malinis a pamangobyerno, mika-malinis a halalan, at mika-malinis a kapaligiran. Kumusta ya pu ing kapilub-luban tamu? Malinis ya naman kaya? Ala ta kayang dakal a pidala-dalang basurang pangkilub a makasira king kapaligiran at king bie tamu?

    it’s within us…here…today…dream and work for a clean government, clean election, and clean environment. how are your inner selves? are they likewise clean? or are they loaded with personal rubbish that can only harm our surroundings and even our homes?

    YES to a good Kapampangan Leader!

    …Among Ed Panlilio (Our Ed Panlilio) para Gobernador.

  18. baycas

    Fr. Ed’s speech here.

  19. baycas

    sorry…in the translation (2nd paragraph), homes should be lives

    bie as in buhay.

  20. Happy

    My cousins are voters in Pampanga:

    “Tatlo pagpipilian namin sa governor. Isang jueteng lord, isang quarry lord, at isang praise the Lord.”

  21. Bencard

    Priests are people too but if they want to partake of the temporal “power” and wealth that go with political clout, they should leave the priesthood and not try to have it both ways. There is no better example of hypocrisy than a priest preaching humility and poverty and at the same time seeking exaltation and adoration through politics.

    Our electorate should wise up to so-called men of the cloth and demagogic preachers who use religion for political ends. They represent the biblical brood of vipers that Jesus drove from the temple of his Father.

  22. hvrds

    I think it is erroneous to address Mr. Panlilio as Fr. The minute he singed his candidacy papers even if he did not formally resign from the ministry he is considered resigned.

    However I believe that he had already informed his bishop of his intentions and that means this man formerly of the cloth is no longer a priest. He may decide to become a simple lay minister like the Opus Dei Lay Ministers. Like Pat Robertson and Bro. Eddie Villanueva they can all run for public office.

    Please remember that being an ordained priest of the Catholic Church means that your political authority rests with the Vatican. Your boss is the Pope. No ifs, buts and maybes.

    Please remember the important distinction between priest and minister and more importantly remember the difference between being ruled and governed.

    The Vatican is a dictatorial state but today you do not loose your head or be turned into charcoal if you disagree with the dogma. You can resign.

    Please note Limbo no longer in effect. More important though is the Church has already accepted the theory of evolution as a valid thesis.

    The Justice Secretary would stand as prime example of it. He needs some serotonin to calm his testosterone based outbursts vs women. Being the country’s chief law enforcer in a fast deteriorating body can affect the mind.

  23. UPn student

    The “Limbo ruling” is much more significant in that there is a stronger basis to say that Gautama Buddha or Confucius, before Anno Domine, are in heaven.

  24. Blackshama

    Paradoxically it is only in a country where the State has an Established Church can the state ban clerics from government. In England, Parliament has passed acts that bans any cleric from sitting in the House of Commons. No priest/minister/rabbi/imam can sit in Parliament. This protects the Queen’s prerogative in government.

    Anglican Bishops still sit in the Lords but if Tony Blair has his way, the Lords will be composed of all elected individuals. And if the Church of England gets disestablished (as the Prince of Wales would like to see) then the bishops will go.

    Actually the American idea of church-state separation has more pluses for the churches rather than the state. While I don’t think it is favourable to the State to define what a religious organization really is and who is a religious worker. I think religious workers should not seek elective office. If they file for candidacy they should resign their ministry. This concept is not far from Civilian supremacy that prevents a soldier from seeking office unless he resigns his commission. But civilian supremacy is an older convention dating from Rome itself “cedant arma togae”. Arms should give way to the toga. If soldiers are prohibited from seeking office, why should the state not prohibit priests, minister, pastors and “brothers” and religious workers?

    The Church and state separation concept is a fruit of the Reformation. The Reformers knew and experienced the abuses of the Papacy. Unfortunately the Protestants also abused liberties and minorities when they were in power. So when the English Colonists revolted and formed their United States, they enshrined religious non-establishment.

    It was only after the Second Vatican Council when the Catholic Church had to accept religious liberty. But as you see there are still who can’t accept this.

    In the Philippines a major factor we have to consider is that the Philippine Catholic Church has never experienced persecution. (If it had why do we have only two canonized saints?) In fact it was intolerant of all other faiths until after Vatican II. Thus it historically can’t appreciate why it should keep its hand off politics. Our bishops meddle in all sorts of political issues. In Protestant England the Catholic Church does not engage in politics unless its freedom of conscience is under threat. I think this is fair enough since EU law demands that its adoption agencies give services to gay couples, something contrary to church belief.

    Unfortunately some Evangelicals have fallen into the same trap. Not having experienced state sponsored persecution, they also meddle in all sorts of politics.

    Thus I am not in favour of lay preachers running for election. Lay preachers can narrowly represent their religious constituency (which makes a mockery of our religious non-establishment clause). If these preachers head a congregation (as most of them do), they should be banned from running for elective office.

  25. justice league

    Blackshama,

    Your ideas are well and good and I understand your point but I hope you realize that the corporeal “power” of a soldier is several notches higher than the corporeal “power” of a member of the church.

    For one, the soldier and more specially officers have government materials at their disposal which includes government arms, materials, etc…

    The officer also has the advantage of a more corporeal “authority” over his subordinates than a clergyman over his parishioners.

    If you don’t do what a clergyman orders you to; what is the worse that he can do to you within his “authority”?

    If a lower ranking soldier disobeys his officer; an order to do 100 push-ups is quite a punishment already.

  26. Expose a Scam

    His succumbing to the temptation of holding public office and being hailed a hero only shows the weakness of his spirit. Canon law is specific in prohibiting men of the cloth in getting involved in politics, but somehow, he found an alibi to justify his actions.

  27. Joseph Renus Galang

    Hey guyS! This is how it works!!!
    Fr. Ed Panlilio was suspended earlier before he filled his candidacy for governor here in Pampanga. This suspension doesn’t mean that he cannot go back to his priestly ministries but this suspension will temporarily forfeit Fr. Ed’s assignments and faculties as a priest. Fr. Ed said that win or lose he will still go back to his vocation. I hope that this issue is now clear to all of us. Thanks for supporting AMONG ED!!!

  28. Joseph Renus Galang

    Hey guyS! This is how it works!!!
    Fr. Ed Panlilio was suspended earlier before he filled his candidacy for governor here in Pampanga. This suspension doesn’t mean that he cannot go back to his priestly ministries but this suspension will temporarily forfeit Fr. Ed’s assignments and faculties as a priest like. Fr. Ed said that win or lose he will still go back to his vocation. I hope that this issue is now clear to all of us. Thanks for supporting AMONG ED!!!

  29. Expose a Scam

    And that’s not how it should work. Check the record of the Catholic church. How many priests in the Philippines who strayed into politics was ever accepted back. Why should Ed Panlilio be treated differently? What happened to equality? What if those who were never accepted back question that decision? Would that not divide the church?

  30. Regine

    medyo di maganda tingnan!

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