A photo of an alleged “arrogant” priest officiating a burial mass goes viral on Facebook.
In a Facebook post, Nikki Gonzales narrated how the priest supposedly acted arrogantly during a burial mass for her late grandfather in Bacong, Negros Oriental.
According to Gonzales, the priest forced those who attended the mass to kneel, including non-Catholics and persons with disabilities.
Father Jose Abellar, the subject of this controversy, has allegedly warned the mass goers that he will not start the mass unless all of the attendees kneel.
Gonzales said that the priest asked even his disabled uncle to kneel despite them explaining his situation, which fumed Fr. Abellar even more, saying “Kabalo man diay mong pungkol, ngano pa man inyong gikuyog? (Well, you know that he’s disabled so why bring him here?)”.
The Facebook post has since gone viral, with some netizens condemning the unbecoming acts of the priest. While others express their disbelief at how the priest, who supposedly should possess a calm demeanor, have acted.
Read full accounts of Gonzales below:
“I AM A BOSCONIAN AND A PAULINIAN. EVER SINCE, I ALWAYS LOOK UP TO PRIESTS. I RESPECT THEM AND SOME OF THEM ARE EVEN CLOSE TO MY HEART. BUT THERE’S THIS ONE PRIEST IN BACONG WHO I REALLY WANT THE CHURCH TO REMOVE OR ELIMINATE. I DON’T WANT TO SEE HIM CELEBRATE ONE MORE MASS. BECAUSE HE IS A DISGRACE, A SHAME AND A SCANDAL TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. THAT’S WHY OTHER RELIGIONS WILL MOCK THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BECAUSE OF THESE DOINGS!
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED…
EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON, MY FAMILY AND I WENT TO BACONG TO ATTEND A BURIAL MASS AND OF COURSE, A BURIAL. THE DISEASED IS MY LATE LOLO (A VINDIOLA, ON MY FATHER’S SIDE). ANYWAY, NOT ALL OF US IN OUR FAMILY IS CATHOLIC THAT’S WHY THEY WERE JUST SEATED AT THE BACK. MY UNCLE (A SHERIFF) IS HAVING ARTHRITIS ON HIS BOTH KNEES. AND I ALSO HAVE AN UNCLE (65 YEARS OLD) WHO IS DISABLED BECAUSE OF(HIS LEFT LEG GOT AMPUTATED AND HIS RIGHT LEG WAS AFFECTED OF POLIO) AND HE’S BRINGING WITH HIM HIS WALKER. HE CAN’T EVEN WALK AND SIT WELL.
PRIEST: (ON A MICROPHONE) IF DILI TANAN MU LUHOD, DILI KO MU SUGOD. (1ST WARNING) (If everyone won’t kneel, I won’t start.)
PRIEST: USOB, OG DILI TANAN MU LUHOD. DILI KO MU SUGOD. (2ND WARNING) (Again, If everyone won’t kneel, I won’t start.)
MY AUNT (NON CATHOLIC): MANGLUHOD TA. (Let’s kneel.)
PRIEST: (WHILE LOOKING AT MY TWO UNCLES WHO ARE STANDING UP) OG DILI MU MULUHOD TANAN, DILI KO MU SUGOD. (The priest said ‘If all of you won’t kneel, I won’t start.)
(MY UNCLE WHO WAS DISABLED, TRIED HIS BEST TO BEND USING HIS POLIO LEG. WHEN WE SAW THIS, WE WERE IN SHOCK AND WE FELT LIKE OUR HEARTS WERE BEING CRUMPLED)
PRIEST: ANG DILI MU LUHOD, GAWAS MONG TANAN! (Those who won’t kneel should get out!)
COUSIN: DILI KA KITA ANA FATHER? PUNGKOL NANG AKONG UYU-AN! (Can’t you see that Father? My uncle is disabled.)
PRIEST: KABALO MN DIAY MONG PUNGKOL, NGANO PMAN INYONG GI KUYOG? (Well, you know that he’s disabled so why bring him here?)
(EVERYONE GOT CHAOTIC AND SHOCKED. SO WE WENT OUT OF THE CHURCH AND WE CANNOT EXPLAIN WHAT WE WERE FEELING.)
AFTER THE MASS HE CAME OUT AND WE DIDN’T EXPECT THAT OUR WHOLE FAMILY WAS AFFECTED OF WHAT HE DID TO MY UNCLE. WE APPROACHED HIM AND WE TRIED TO TALK HIM OUT. WE WANT HIM TO APOLOGIZE BUT HE NEVER DID. INSTEAD, HE SAID: “I AM A SHEPHERD OF THIS FLOCK. I WANT YOU TO SHOW RESPECT OF THIS CHURCH.” AND MY COUSIN ANSWERED, “NO, FATHER. WHAT YOU DID WAS VERY WRONG. YOU’VE SEEN MY UNCLE’S CONDITION. YOU ARE A WOLF! YOU ARE A WOLF OF THIS FLOCK! WE DON’T EVEN LOOK AT YOU AS A PRIEST ANYMORE. WE ARE JUST LOOKING AT A MAN WHO’S JUST WEARING A SUTANA!” AND MY AUNT (NON CATHOLIC) SAID, “WE RESPECT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SO MUCH. BUT WHAT WE’VE WITNESSED IS THAT YOU ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT OF THE CHURCH. WERE YOU TRYING TO PUT MY BROTHER TO AN EMBARRASSMENT BECAUSE OF HIS DISABILITY?”
IT WAS A SCANDAL, I ADMIT. TO FIND OUT THAT THIS PRIEST WAS ACTUALLY TRANSFERRED FROM SIQUIJOR. HE WAS PETITIONED BY THE PEOPLE BECAUSE OF HIS ARROGANCE. AND HE IS ACTUALLY UNDER OBSERVATION BY THE BISHOP. SO WHAT CAN YOU SAY? AND THIS IS WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE. (PHOTO ATTACHED)”
The Diocese of Dumaguete which oversees the pastoral work in Negros Oriental said it will investigate the case Father Abellar. Dumaguete Diocese spokesperson Father Nathaniel Gomez said the priest may have been misinterpreted for his words.
After the incident, Abellar was asked to take a leave from his post as assistant parish priest in St. Augustine of Hippo Parish.