Wednesday, 16 September 2020 10:14

Priests also vulnerable to depression--Bishop

Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Kalookan and acting president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), calls on Diocesan Bishops in the country to check on and extend moral support to their priests during this pandemic.

“I am also calling on my brother Bishops na alalayan din natin ang mga pari natin lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” said Bishop David said in an interview with Radio Veritas.

Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan and Acting President of CBCP | File Photo of RCAM-AOC


His statement was after some reports in the media of alleged suicide cases among the clergy.

The Bishop explained that priests are not exempted in suffering for they are also human beings. They are also victims of mental health issues like anxiety, trauma, and depression during this pandemic. This is mainly because they cannot perform their pastoral duties as priests due to the strict rules being implemented by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Many of them are also very vulnerable; I know some of them feel depressed and very guilty dahil hindi sila makalabas and they cannot attend to their pastoral duties,” the Bishop added.

Radio Veritas priest-anchor, Rev. Fr. Victor Sadaya, CMF, which is the Executive Director of Porta Coeli Center for Psycho-trauma Management, has called for the initiation of mental health programs for priests.

Bishop David also encouraged the minsters of the Church to use the new technology and new means of communications especially through the internet and social media to reach their parishioners in creative ways.

Rev. Fr. Dan Cancino, the Executive Secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care, emphasized that mental health should also be an important concern during this pandemic. According to the data of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), there were 33 suicide-related calls from January to March this year, but the number soared and went up to 115 calls this July.

Also, the Social Weather Station released a survey last July wherein 84 percent of the Filipinos are experiencing stress due to this COVID-19 pandemic.  (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)


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