By Tara Yap
April 9, 2012
Three Catholic Ilonggo priests with families are calling fellow Filipino priests who have children or who are married to continue celebrating the Eucharist.
“We, the married priests or priests with families from Iloilo, urge our brother priests to go back to their fundamental calling and celebrate the Eucharist,” said Fathers Hector Canto, Jesus Siva and Jose Elmer Cajilig.
“Begin with your family, especially on the day of the Lord,” they said, addressing the Philippine Federation of Married Catholic Priests Inc., which is holding its 13th national convention in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
The three priests are continuing their priestly function even as they urge the Vatican to grant optional celibacy to priests.
Canto is married with three children while Siva and Cajilig are unmarried priests who also have children.
The three perform weekly Sunday masses at a mountainous village in Lambunao, Iloilo and also perform rites for baptism and burial in various Iloilo towns and even in Iloilo City.
Canto and Siva are said to have been suspended from functioning as a member of the clergy by deceased Jaro Archbishop Alberto Piamonte in 1998 while Cajilig took an indefinite leave in 1997.