Don’t use pulpit for political campaigning, Cebu archbishop reminds clergy

February 14, 2022 - 10:34 AM
In this August 2021 file photo, Archbishop Jose Palma presides a Mass. (Sammy Navaja via 500 Years of Christianity - Archdiocese of Cebu)

With less than three months before the local and national elections, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu on Friday reminded his clergy not to use the pulpit to campaign for any candidate.

Speaking to reporters after Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, he said that the pulpit is not the right place “to campaign for any candidate”.

However, he stressed that priests, as citizens, have the freedom to back a candidate in their personal capacities.

Cebu is among the country’s vote-rich provinces with more than three million voting population.

Palma said the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is set to release a guideline on how to be a “responsible voter” in the coming elections.

“We are coming out, the CBCP, with a pastoral letter,” said Palma, who formerly served as CBCP president.

As a general rule, he said that Church leaders should be nonpartisan, “but lay people should feel involved”.

“They should campaign for those they believe will deliver the good for the country,” he added.