Pope appoints Filipino priests as missionaries of mercy

MANILA (UCAN): The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, in Pangasinan province, the northern Philippines, that four of its clergy have been appointed missionaries of mercy by Pope Francis according to his apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera published by the Vatican at the end of the special Year of Mercy in 2016.

The pope personally appointed Father Allan Morris Abua, Father Danille Chad Pecson, Father Matt Jason Molina and Father Roy Joel Roscal to preach the message of mercy to the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

The pope also granted them faculties to forgive sins—such as abortion, desecration of the host, assaulting the pope and breaking the seal of confession—normally reserved for the pope as supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church.

“The title (Misericordia et Misera) was a phrase used by St. Augustine in recounting the story of Jesus’ meeting with the woman taken in adultery. It would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful or apt way of expressing the mystery of God’s love when it touches the sinner: the two of them alone remained: mercy with misery,” the pope wrote in his letter.

Missionaries of mercy are supposed to be a “living sign of the Father’s welcome to those in search of forgiveness.” They are tasked to be inspiring preachers of mercy and compassionate confessors who are attentive to the difficult situation of each penitent.

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The recent appointments brings the number of missionaries of mercy in the Philippines to 11 since the pope began the appointments in February 2016.

Pope Francis had called for a “culture of mercy” in 2015 where Catholics are to look at one another with sympathy and unity in the sufferings of the poor.

“Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life … Even at the last moment of his earthly life, as he was being nailed to the cross, Jesus spoke words of forgiveness: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’,” he said his letter.

Fellow priests and parishioners of the new missionaries have offered prayers and support on their new appointment.

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