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Archbishop tells priests: ‘Boring,’ long sermons unfair to God, people

... Villegas admits failing to connect with parishioners during homily at times

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Archbishop Socrates Villegas INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has urged Catholic priests to always prepare and think carefully about the content of their homilies, saying delivering “boring” sermons is unjust to God and the churchgoers.

“It is unfair to God. It is unfair to the people. It is also unfair to me because I’m depriving myself of the good encounter with God,” Villegas said, admitting that he himself was guilty of it at times.

“The Mass is the highest form of prayer for every Catholic and I, as a priest, should go into the Mass with the utmost preparation,” he said.

In an article posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website, Villegas cited reasons why priests sometimes failed to deliver better quality preaching.

These included, he said, their failure to prepare for the liturgy.

“I [myself] have done that a few times in the past when I rush into the Mass because of the many schedules that preceded it,” Villegas, the incoming president of the CBCP, said, adding that praying before the Mass would help priests prepare for the liturgy.

Drawing from his own experience, Villegas attributed his long and winding homilies to his failure to “know my people well.”

“In other words, I was speaking about hunger when I did not feel the hunger myself. I was speaking about death, sorrow and loneliness but I have not felt the loneliness, the death and the sorrow that the parishioners are going through,” said Villegas.

“We priests can preach to empty stomachs but only if our stomach is as empty as our parishioners. When our life is so different from our parishioners, then we end up giving long and winding homilies. I don’t speak about anyone. I speak about myself and I’m guilty,” he added.

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  • UrHONOR

    MOMOY….kung nakikita mo ang itsura mo sa unipormeng yan, hindi ba natatawa ka din? Honestly, di ba? Para kang salaguinto’t salagubang na sa alapaap ay palutang-lutang. At lalong nakakahagulgol ng halakhak ang paksang pinaglalandakan ng koponan ng CB na tungkol sa mga bagay na walang katuturan sa buhay at kabuhayan ng mga naghihikahos at nagdadahop….. o sa buhay ng ka-alyado ninyong nakasayang walang kapararakan kundi ang umindak at sumayaw sa himig ng kung ano ang USO.

    (bira-ng-bira at dada-ng-dada, e, yon din naman ng yon din ang pina-iikot na parang tsubibong feriis wil na kwento na pina-iiba-iba lamang ang takbo ng mga eksena. Wala na yong henerasyon na madali ninyong goyo-in at denggoyin ng mga kwento ninyong hango sa aklat ng mga pinagsalin-salin na mga ulat sa kung saan-saang lupalop. This is now a “show-me-the-money” society…..wala na yong mga fairy-tale sheeples)

  • Garo Ungaro

    Well, as the church is much guilty of the present realities of their environment and the only thing that matters are the materialism of the presence…

  • brunogiordano

    Napuna at naka HALATA din si BISHOP kung bakit kumukonti ang COLLECTION nila.

    DAHIL pagdating sa SERMON ng PARI ang MISA mahigit KALAHATI nag UUWIAN.

    • kismaytami

      Dati kasi isang oras lang ang misa, as in isang oras lang talaga. Ngayon inaabot na ng isa’t-kahalati hanggang dalawang oras. Maliban pa sa dalawang beses na ang koleksyon.

  • Jan Crosz

    I admired the personal admission of guilt regarding the long homilies by Arch. Soc Villegas. I suggest that priests prepare their homily at least 5 days before the next Sunday Mass (with prayers/reflection) and delivered 30 minutes max.

  • bangopuwet

    Who brought catholicism in the Philippines? Was it not the Spaniards who colonized us for more than 300 years? They molested our women, took our lands and imprisoned natives in disguise of christianity via catholicism. Dr. Jose Rizal was executed by the Spaniards because he realized the atrocities of the friars, their soldiers and he exposed them via h is immortal novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. The abuses of the Church is still happening with so many pedophile priests abusing young boys inside the church. 20% of our lands were confiscated by the Spaniards and turned into churches, etc. No wonder, more and more Filipinos are turning away from Catholicism and just expressing themselves as Christians, the mighty word start by our savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is not a catholic as well as his disciples.

  • whyinthisworld

    Preaching at all cost must be in accordance with god’s commandment. It should not be invented by men but thru the words and teaching derived from the bibble. No more no less.

  • kismaytami

    Isang bagay lang ang nami-miss ko sa simbahan ni padre damaso, ang boring at nakaka-antok niyang sermon. Sarap kasi matulog dahil walang kawenta-wenta ang pinagsasabi. Kung hindi pakiki-alam sa estado, eh i-share ang ‘blessing’ sa kanila o kaya’y pagsunod sa mga utos at alituntunin ng simbahan.

    • GOOD_NEWS

      May the peace of the Lord God be with you Always

  • bgcorg

    The cynics and skeptics have nothing positive to say about the Church and will, at every opportunity, harp on the “defects” of individuals, as though it were the whole church. Justice and fairness, though, every good thinking man, will recognize at once: it simply is not right by any standards to take the part for the whole. Especially, if the author on which the story is based is humble enough to confess publicly that he is no exemption.

  • UrHONOR

    Ad astra per aspera…..you ain’t Francis kid!

    And to the fanaticos ad aeternam who can’t break from the shackles of mental slavery of the damasings who themselves are slaves of the systematic institution of hierarchy of the slaves before them ad infinitum, go fly a kite to get the your kingdom of La De Da, then come back and start spreading the news. Till then, you ain’t nuttin’ but a empty drum!

    (kung ano-anong kabalbalan at kabulastugan ang pinalulutang at pinalilipad, e, puro haka-haka lang naman ang sinasandalan….at ang tinitingala ay mga nitsong tubog sa kalburo- puti sa labas, inu-uod sa loob)

  • UrHONOR

    ITo ang magandang homily na dapat ulit-ulitin hanggang sa matunaw sa kaisipan ng mga nagpapanggap na SUGO ng kaharian ng kung anupaman:

    “Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” Cardinal Martini said. “The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the Pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation.”

    (hindi yong kung ano-anong pagpapakwelang panlalansi sa kaisipan ng mga mamamayang sunud-sunuran lamang na parang mga baboy na lilusunin sa mga pinaglalandakan ng mga tamad na mga kabayan na halip na magsipag-unat-unat ng bisig, e, bunganga ang inu-unat-unat na yon-ng-yon din naman ang inuulit-ulit-ulit-ulit araw-araw, buwan-buwan, taon-taon, kapalit ng LIMOSNA)



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