Archbishop Socrates Villegas, of Lingayen-Dagupan, said on Friday rthat the Catholic Church in the Philippines did not face a problem of shortage of priests but a ‘zeal shortage.’
In a letter addressed to priests, Archbishop Villegas said members of the clergy have descended into just ‘maintaining the Church, keeping the schedule, continuing the order of the day.’
‘This cannot continue,’ said the prelate, who will start his term as head of the bishops’ conference in December. ‘We must get out to the [villages] and public schools, visit the charity wards of hospitals, teach catechism again, visit homes again, make a “mess” in society,’ he said.
He said one of the serious problems the faithful are subjected to is ‘long-winded and dry homilies’ of priests. ‘Our youth complain about lifeless and uninspiring liturgies. How can we set their hearts on fire if we ourselves are not afire for God?’ he said in his letter to the clergy.