Catholic execs in Cebu tell Lozada: Say sorry to Vidal
CEBU CITY – Catholic Church officials in Cebu, including a key supporter of Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr., are demanding an apology from the national broadband scandal whistle-blower for alleging that Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal stopped priests from officiating a Mass during his visit here last Monday.
“The least (Lozada) could do is ask for forgiveness. Jun Lozada should include this among the things that he has admitted to have committed. I felt sad with what they (Lozada and his provincial tour organizers) did,” said Fr. Max Abalos, Sanlakas national chairman.
Sanlakas was one of the groups organizing Lozada’s visit to Cebu.
Abalos said he was contacted by Manila-based Benedictine nun Mary John Mananzan who asked for his help in looking for a priest to officiate Mass for Lozada’s group.
He said that Mananzan informed him that the priest who agreed to hold the Mass backed out at the last minute and that Vidal allegedly asked the priests not to say Mass for Lozada.
Abalos said he told Mananzan that he did not hear of any order from Vidal preventing priests from holding Mass for Lozada. He said Mananzan also asked him to celebrate the Mass but he declined. “It was not in the original plan (and) they just wanted to include the Mass at the last minute. This made me think. What is the value of the Mass to them,” he explained.
Abalos said Lozada’s statement against Vidal was uncalled for and only diverted public attention from the issue of corruption.
“They collected enemies unnecessarily. What they did to Cardinal Vidal with their baseless accusations was done in bad taste to say the least,” he said.
Msgr. Esteban Binghay, Episcopal Vicar of the Cebu Archdiocese, also asked for an apology from Lozada.
As Episcopal vicar, Binghay said all orders from the Cardinal would pass through him before reaching the priests under his district. No such order was given, he stressed.
Since Lozada is campaigning for truth, he should not issue any false statement and should have verified the information first, he added.
“He should apologize (to the Cardinal) or else, no one would believe him,” Binghay said in Cebuano.
He added that Lozada insulted not only the church but also the Cebuanos since Vidal is not an ordinary person, but is a respected prelate worldwide.
Msgr. Roberto Alesna, secretary of the Presbyteral Council of the Cebu Archdiocese and parish priest of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, said the Cebu clergy would like Lozada to tell only the truth.
“They (Lozada’s group) have been going around. His T-shirt reads ‘united in search for truth.’ And then when they came over to Cebu, they created a situation that would go against their cause to search for truth,” Alesna said in Cebuano.
The Presbyteral Council released Monday evening a statement supporting Cardinal Vidal.
“In our communal search for truth, there is a need for prudence in our words and actions because truth will not be served if we make claims that are not backed up by facts,” the statement said.
Copyright 2013 INQUIRER.net and content partners. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.