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Manila archdiocese relieves, suspends ‘defiant’ priest

THE Archdiocese of Manila has ordered the relief of Fr. Alfonso Valeza as parochial administrator of the St. Joseph Parish in Gagalangin, Tondo in Manila.

A three-man panel will temporarily take over the administration of the parish.

Valeza was also suspended from exercising “priestly faculties,” effective June 5.

“He is therefore prohibited from administering the sacraments. Any sacrament he administers is illicit,” Manila Archdiocese Chancellor Fr Isidro Marinay said in a statement.

Valeza’s relief from his duties as parochial administrator took effect on June 3.

“From then on, any act he does in relation to the position is illicit,” he said.

Marinay said the suspension and relief was due to Valeza’s continued failure to follow orders from Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula.

“(This is) because of his persistent defiance to the Archbishop of Manila despite orders and warnings,” he said without giving details.

Earlier reports showed Valeza getting into a scuffle with retired Bishop Antonio Tobias, who heads the Manila Archdiocesan Commission on Clergy Concern, inside the St. Joseph Parish office, supposedly over the former’s ouster from his post.

The Manila Archdiocese has designated a three-man panel, namely Fr Reginald Malicdem, Fr Nolan Que, and Fr Gilbert Kabigting, to oversee the parish.

“The Archbishop of Manila is taking charge of the administration of St. Joseph Parish, through the parish administration team,” said Marinay.

He appealed to parishioners to respect the decision of the Manila archdiocese.