My thoughts on the Fr. Boy Celis controversy

I listened to the radio interview of Fr. Boy Celis over Aksyon Radyo Iloilo this morning with anchorman Junjun Buyco Sornito. Fr. Celis explained that under Canon Law, he has the right to appeal his case because he is aggrieved.
He is aggrieved, he said, because he needs to finish what he has started for the St. Anne Parish Church in Molo, and his parishioners don’t want him to leave because he is the only priest who responds to requests for confession 24/7.
He believes the Archdiocese of Jaro should wait for Rome to rule on his appeal on his transfer to Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.

Fr. Celis hangs on

Fr. Boy Celis explains his reasons for defying an order from the Archdiocese of Jaro reassigning him from Molo to Barotac Nuevo on Nov. 28. (Photo credit: The Daily Guardian)

I think Fr. Celis overstretched the meaning of the word “aggrieved” in his case.
This transfer involves a regular reshuffling of priests to other parishes, and does not involve him alone in which the grounds for transfer are unjust, oppressive or unfair.
No priest is anchored to any parish, and while parishioners might feel sad that their pastor whom they have learned to love is leaving them, it is not as if they are deprived of the spiritual services of a parish priest.
Every transfer is a fresh challenge, a fresh opportunity to spread the word of God through the ministry. Each priest cannot turn down a rightful and just order for reassignment.
I don’t see even a shadow of injustice as to cause Fr. Celis any grief. His reasons are flimsy and lack the grounds for Rome to overturn the decision.
Fr. Celis should realize that he doesn’t have a monopoly of dedication and passion in the service of God.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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