Priest, teenage mom bury hatchet
After sending two letters, an apologetic Fr. Christopher Romeo Obach of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (CSsR) visited the house of the teenage mother he scolded during her son’s baptismal rites.
The teenage mom and the rest of the family were watching TV past 7 p.m. when someone knocked on the door thrice.
“I opened the door and was surprised to see Fr. Obach. He immediately hugged me and sobbed asking for forgiveness,” the 17-year old girl told Cebu Daily News in Cebuano.
It took the priest five minutes before he let her go. She said she had to calm Fr. Obach down as he was crying terribly and told him she already forgave him.
Fr. Obach was with two other priests from the same congregation and was only wearing a casual white polo shirt and jeans.
The teenage unwed mom told the press she did not hold any grudge against the priest who scolded her in a sermon on the value of marriage during her son’s baptismal rites at the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Jagobiao, Mandaue City last Sunday.
She said she only wanted to be clarified on why the priest did that to her. During the visit Fr. Obach said he didn’t expect that he would scold the girl during the sacrament of baptism.
“Wala siya magdahum na masulti to niya. Sa wala pa ang bunyag nanginit na daw iyang ulo. Usually mag pray siya before sa baptism but ato nga time ingon siya wala siya ka-pray. Ako siya gipasaylo. Ako siya giingnan na OK ra to father. Nagpasalamat ko nga gibisita ko niya aron ma close na ang issue (He said he didn’t expect to say those words. Before the baptismal rites he said he was not feeling well. He said he usually prays before conducting the baptismal rites but that time he was unable to pray. I told him I already forgave him and told him it’s OK, father. I thanked him for visiting me so that there will be a closure on this issue),” the teenage mother said.
She also apologized to Fr. Obach about her mother uploading the video of his tirade against her last Sunday at the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Jagobiao, Mandaue City.
“I told him we are sorry for what happened and that a lot of people are angry at him. I feel pity for him because he got a lot of bashers already. At first I told myself I could not forgive him but my mother advised me to forgive. Like ordinary people when we get angry we also say hurtful words and father is not excluded. He is only human,” she said.
Fr. Alfonso Suico Jr., media liason officer of the Redemptorist Community in Cebu said they are very thankful of the development.
“This has been very providential. We never expected how things turned out. We’re hopeful that the persons involved in this issue will find healing and be able to move on. What Fr. Obach did (going to the girl’s home) was a very sincere move. It was a humbling experience to go there personally. It only proves his desire for reconciliation. That to me is very grace-filled,” Suico said.
But despite the reconciliation between two parties, the investigation of Fr. Obach will still continue.“Sanctions will depend on what the Canon Law provides. For now, Fr. Obach still could not celebrate the sacraments in public pending the results of the investigation,” Suico said.
The teenage mom said the incident did not affect his faith as a Catholic. She said she is going to hear Mass again at the chaplaincy on Sunday. In fact if her son decides to become a priest she wouldn’t mind.
“While he is still in my tummy I would read him the Bible and he moves and I told him before that if he decides to become a priest I don’t mind and he moves again,” the young mom said.
She has also taken down the viral video last night so everyone can move on. She also urged those who uploaded the video on YouTube to remove it as well.
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