Priests in Politics

Editorial, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:49:00 01/09/2008

Bishop Leonardo Medroso Of Tagbilaran did right in cautioning other priests against doing a Gov. Ed Panlilio. “To those contemplating to follow the steps of Father Panlilio, I will advise them not to enter politics anymore. There’s no more need to enter politics,” the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Canon Law said the other day.

His advice, however, is incomplete. Priests (and even bishops too) wouldn’t be tempted to enter politics if they did their part to make the laity they shepherd more politically responsible.

Reached for comment, Panlilio said much the same thing. “I agree that priests should not run but they have to really prepare their lay persons for responsible politics.” The question is: What kind of preparation is necessary? And who defines responsibility? We suspect the bishop and the governor would have different answers.

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