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Cebu priest tells Amlan wedding priest ‘do not insult community’

Fr. Ciano also expressed the need to not condemn the priest involved, but to pray for his 'weakness.'

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 15,2024 - 12:21 PM

amlan wedding

Rev. Fr. Ciano Ubod, a canon lawyer and spiritual director, speaks about the viral wedding that took place in Amlan, Negros Oriental, during an online mass he officiated.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Reverend Fr. Cresenciano Ubod, a canon lawyer and spiritual director from the diocese of Cebu, gained attention for his no-holds-barred comment on the viral wedding in Amlan Negros Oriental.

Known for his ability to articulate the messages from the prophets and the Gospel, Fr. Ciano, currently the parish priest of San Vicente Ferrer Church in Liloan, Cebu, has amassed a million viewers and followers worldwide.

In his online sermon last Tuesday, June 11, Fr. Ciano addressed the recent controversy surrounding the Amlan wedding, where another priest was criticized for admonishing a bride, Janine Seit Suelto-Sagario, who came in late. The priest also proceeded with the ceremony before the bride could reach the altar.

“Og tan awon nato ang kinatibuk-an sa nahitabo, kinsa kahay mag una nga mahimong kahayag og asin sa katawhan [sa nahitabo]? Ang pari… Tinuod kaming mga pari kay kami man ang leader kay katawhan naman ang gihisgutan… Mas importante gyud unahaon ang kalipay og ang kaluwasan, kadasig sa community, dili sa personality -dili ang person,” he expressed.

“Mao bitaw ang simbahan mao ang gi-alagaran sa mga pari. Ang simbahan mao ang community of people. Kaming mga pari mao ang alagad sa simbahan, nihural mi ana, nidupa mi niana, nihapa mi ana, nagpa ordina mi to serve the community not to turtore the community, not to disgust the community, and not to insult and put into shame the community,” Fr. Ciano said.

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However, Fr. Ciano also expressed his deep sorrow and concern over the incident, particularly on the actions of a fellow priest. He conveyed his hurt and empathy to the parishioner.

“Nasakitan ko sa nahitabo. Naluoy ko sa akong igsuon na pari nga wala mo ‘practise sa pagka asin og pagka kahayag para sa katawhan.’ Ni viral ang event dili mahitungod kay gidayig ang event, niviral ang tibuok event tungod sa pagsaway sa tibuok kalibutan sa maong aksyon namo mga nagpangulo sa simbahan, sumusunod nila San Pablo, nina San Pedro, ug San Bernabe og uban pa mga santos,” Fr. Ciano said.

Despite his disappointment, Fr. Ciano stressed the importance of not condemning the priest involved, but rather praying for him as he faces his own struggles.

He shared that he often tells his fellow priests to thank each other for reminders of their own weaknesses and to support one another in practicing heroic virtues.

“Pero dili ko gusto nga i-condemn sa maong pari atong iampo kay duna siyay struggle sa iyang kaugalingon,” he said.

Fr. Ciano concluded with a call for understanding and compassion within the community. He stressed the need to endure pain and criticism with heroic patience, humility, love, forgiveness, generosity, and charity toward others, even when the community may seem torturous or condemning.

The incident has sparked widespread debate over the role of clergy and their interactions with parishioners during sacramental events.

The Amlan wedding of Suelto-Sagario and her husband, Jove Deo Gracias Sagario, was originally scheduled for 8 a.m., but they received word from a godparent on June 7 that the ceremony had been rescheduled to 9:30 a.m.

“Big day or special day jud dapat namo ning adlawa sako partner because wedding namo. Pero ang dapat moment namo kay naguba, perting gubaa,” she wrote in her social media post.

Responding to the controversy, Msgr. Albert Erasmo Bohol, parish priest of Saint Andrew Parish Church in Amlan, issued a public apology.

He acknowledged the offense caused to the couple and their families by the sequence of events in the Amlan wedding.

“We sincerely apologize to the bride, the groom, and their families who were directly affected by these events, and to those who witnessed our humanity as priests in a moment of uncontrollable circumstances,” Bohol stated in his apology.

Bohol clarified that the parish did not authorize or communicate any changes to the Amlan wedding schedule and attributed the confusion to a previously scheduled funeral Mass on the same morning.

The incident prompted discussions on priestly conduct and communication protocols within religious communities, with many advocating for improved transparency and sensitivity in handling such delicate occasions.

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