Filipino priest excommunicated for breaking vow

A priest in the Philippines has been excommunicated for breaking the seal of confession.

Archbishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said that Fr Alejandre Galias was under the severest possible Church penalty after investigating an allegation he had violated the secrecy of a confession, Catholic News Agency reported.

Fr Galias has also been accused of running a fraudulent group that poses as a religious community.

"We found out that he really violated such rule and thus incurred an automatic excommunication," Archbishop Bastes said.

"A formal complaint reached my office accusing the priest of violating the seal of confession which spurred me to immediately call for an investigation."

Under the excommunication, Fr Galias is barred from administering or receiving the sacraments and cannot hold any position within the Church.

Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz explained the priest would need to appeal to Pope Benedict if he wished to reconcile with the Church.

"It requires the Holy Father to lift an excommunication," Archbishop Cruz said.

Filipino priest excommunicated for violating the secrecy of confession (Catholic News Agency, 22/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Sorsogon
Excommunication - Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Bishops Conference Philippines

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Vatican calls married priest summit over Milingo (CathNews, 15/11/06)
Vatican affirms US bishop's excommunication of lay group (CathNews, 11/12/06)
"Fake" Philippines congregation warning (CathNews, 20/07/07)

23 Oct 2007