IN one of his last acts as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo issued a decree abolishing the arancel system or the practice of paying allowances to priests for specific ecclesiastical services .
“There will no longer be fixed rates for the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and for the offering of Mass intentions in the churches of the Archdiocese of Manila,” said Pabillo.
Instead, the bishop said they would just encourage the faithful to donate.
The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan as well as several archdioceses and dioceses have abolished the system.
There are approximately 92 churches under the Archdiocese of Manila, which covers the cities of Manila, Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan.
The new policy will take effect on April 14, as the Roman Catholic Church celebrates 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.
“May this be one of the legacies of our celebration of the five-year anniversary of the arrival of the Christian faith in our country,” added Pabillo.
An obstacle for the poor
Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the fixed amount requested for religious services “may be a barrier for the poor to receive the grace and blessings of God.”
Pabillo is set to relinquish his post as apostolic administrator after Pope Francis appointed Cardinal José Advincula de Capiz as the new Archbishop of Manila.
The appointment was made public in Rome at 12 p.m. (7 p.m. in Manila) on Thursday, the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.
Advincula will succeed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who was appointed by Pope Francis as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican, last Friday.
The archdiocese has been without an archbishop since Tagle left for Rome to assume his new mission in February 2020.