Balanga Diocese Bans Campaign Posters In Church Grounds

The Diocese of Balanga is prohibiting the posting of campaign materials in the church premises.

Bishop Ruperto Santos said he has issued a pastoral directive to all churches under the diocese that tarpaulins of political candidates are not allowed to be posted in their patios and fences.

“Yes, we have pastoral directive that there will be no political tarpaulins in any church patio and fences,” Santos said in an interview on Monday.

He said they also ordered church workers, who are endorsing candidates for public office, to take a leave of absence from their church commitments.

“Anyone who is working for political candidate and has any parish position must take a leave of absence from their church duties,” Santos said.

He added that they are not going to allow any participation of a candidate during a Mass.

“No political candidate to offer during offertory processions,” Santos said.

Meanwhile, Santos said a march for peace will be held this weekend.

“On February 16 at 6 a.m. is our march for peace, from capitol to cathedral: political incumbents and candidates, clergy and religious groups, police and civic associations will walk, pray, attend the 8 a.m. Holy Mass and sign peace covenant for honest, clean and peaceful election,” he added.

On the other hand, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said he did not issue such directive as the faithful know what is prohibited.

“No need (to issue an order) because our people know that it is forbidden,” he added.

Last December, the Archdiocese of Caceres issued a circular also preventing the posting of any candidate’s or political party’s political advertisement (tarpaulin, banners, stickers, etc.) in church property including political rallies in church premises.

The order signed by Archbishop Rolando Tirona also prohibits the conduct of mass weddings, baptisms and confirmation sponsored by any political candidate or political party.

It also bans the solicitation from political candidates or political parties’ donation for church renovation and constructions or other church projects that may compromise the non-partisanship of the Church during the campaign and election.

Priests are also not allowed to openly and directly campaign for a particular political party or candidate. (PNA)

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