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Pope Francis appoints two Filipino priests as missionaries of mercy

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Two Filipino Catholic priests from the Diocese of Malolos in Bulacan have been appointed by Pope Francis as “missionaries of mercy.”

Fr. Prospero Tenorio (right) and Fr. Nap Baltazar are welcomed by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, during an official visit to the Vatican on Dec. 2, 2019. (CBCP NEWS)

Fr. Prospero Tenorio (right) and Fr. Nap Baltazar are welcomed by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, during an official visit to the Vatican on Dec. 2, 2019.
(CBCP NEWS)

Fathers Prospero Tenorio and Nap Baltazar were appointed on March 30 but the priests received notice of their appointments only last week.

According to a CBCP News post, Fr. Tenorio is currently the rector of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Marilao and the national spiritual director of Divine Mercy-Philippines, while Fr. Baltazar is the parish priest of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes in DRT, Bulacan.

Tenorio and Baltazar are also the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Asia, respectively.

Pope Francis had earlier appointed four Filipino priests from the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan as new “missionaries of mercy.” They are Fr. Allan Morris Abuan, Fr. Danille Chad Pecson, Fr. Matt Jason Molina, and Fr. Roy Joel Rosal.

For the past few years, Filipino missionaries have been working to offer an avenue for mercy through their daily ministries, including talks and retreats in and outside the country. An emphasis on confession is also central to their work.

Each priest was granted special authority to pardon sins that carry penalties that only the Vatican can lift, such as an attempt against the life of the Pope or a priest who violates the seal of confession.

The Pope also gave the missionaries the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors.

The other missionaries of mercy in the Philippines are Franciscan priests Andrew Litigio, Joe Litigio, Robert Manansala, Andres Rañoa, Fr. Jose Lito Escote of the Antique diocese, and Davao City-based Fr. Darek Drzewiecki of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/30/pope-francis-appoints-two-filipino-priests-as-missionaries-of-mercy/)

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