(Based on DPA-I Decrees)

4.4 ON THE CLERGY

4.4.1 THE CLERGY IN GENERAL

4.4.1.1 All priests to attend the following: Mass of Holy Chrism (Tuesday of Holy Week), annual meeting of the Presbyterium, annual retreat of priests.

4.4.1.2 All priests are also urged to attend the following: conferences, seminars, recollections for priests

4.4.1.3 Priests who are habitually absent from these community gatherings to be admonished by the bishop.

4.4.2 TENURE OF PRIESTS’ ASSIGNMENTS

4.4.2.1 The term of office for parish priests should be three (3) years, renewable for another three (3) years.

4.4.2.2 The term of office of parochial vicars should be according to bishop’s discretion

4.4.2.3 Changes in priests’ assignments should be synchronized every three (3) years

4.4.2.4 New assignments should normally take effect at the beginning of July.

4.4.3 REMUNERATION OF PRIESTS

The basic allowance for all priests regardless of assignments should be the same

4.4.4 STIPENDS, BENEFITS AND SECURITY

4.4.4.1 Mass stipends should be according to the approved Kiadapawan, Marbel, Cotabato (Kidmaco)/Diocesan List

4.4.4.2 Mindanao Sulu (MS) Hospitalization Plan –

4.4.4.2.1 Premium is paid by the parish for those who are assigned in the parish and by the diocese for those holding diocesan assignements

4.4.4.2.2 Expenses beyond the amount covered by the plan should be responsibility of the diocese

4.4.4.3 CBCP Retirement Plan

4.4.4.3.1 premium is paid by individual priest himself.

4.4.4.3.2 CBCP starts giving pension when priests reaches the age of sixty five (65).

4.4.4.4 Provision should be made in the Diocese so that priests will be suitably provided for in times of illness, incapacity, or old age. A foundation should be set up as one of the sources that will provide for such purpose.

4.4.4.5 To show concern and recognition for the individual priest’s work of ministry  and service in the Diocese, a common home for priests (Bahay Pari) should be constructed.

4.4.5 VACATION AND ABSENCE

4.4.5.1 Every priest should seriously observe the law of residence (cf. cc. 283, 533, 550, 1396)

4.4.5.2 Vacation and leave of absence shall be allowed with the explicit permission of the bishop

4.4.5.3 Conditions for a vacation leave:

4.4.5.3.1 priest should have Bishop’s permission

4.4.5.3.2 he should also arrange for a substitute

4.4.5.3.3 at most one month for every year

4.4.5.3.4 leave is not cumulative nor commutative

4.4.5.4 If priest has to be away for more than a week, he should obtain permission from the bishop. If he has to be away on Sunday, he should arrange for a substitute

4.4.5.5 Monday is free day, but a priest should be available for any emergency call.

4.4.6 PRIESTLY FORMATION

4.4.6.1 A Diocesan Association on Vocation should be established in the Diocese. The Association shall be composed of priests, religious and committed lay persons whose function, in general is to promote vocation awareness; and in particular:

4.4.6.1.1 To promote priestly and religious vocations

4.4.6.1.2 To establish financial support to diocesan seminary

4.4.6.1.3 To assist in the pastoral exposure of seminarians

4.4.6.1.4 To help parishes establish their own vocation committees.

4.4.6.2 An on going formation program for priests and deacons should be formulated and implemented in the Diocese. This Program should include:

4.4.6.2.1 Training in pastoral planning and management, communication skills, human relations, team ministry, and the like.

4.4.6.2.2 Updating on emerging theological issues, liturgy, new Movements in the Church, recent Church documents, and the like

4.4.6.3 Priest who have spent five (5) or six (6) years in active ministry may avail themselves of a sabbatical leave of one semester for purposes of rest and further formation. (cf. PCP II, #80) However, they must consult with the Bishop on this matter.

4.4.6.4 Priests are accountable to the community regarding their personal, sacramental and prayer life

4.4.6.5 Priests should always strive to give witness to their being “men of God” and “ministers of the Lord” through simple lifestyle and through a sincere solidarity with the poor

4.4.6.6 The Committee on the Clergy:

4.4.6.6.1 should study the possibility of setting up a system of assignment, evaluation and discipline for the Clergy

4.4.6.6.2 should play an active role in helping resolve problems of the clergy

4.4.6.6.3 should make recommendation to the Bishop regarding regular sabbatical leaves for rest and on-going formation in order to enhance pastoral effectiveness of priests

4.4.6.7 An Episcopal Vicar for the Clergy should be appointed and he will head the Committee on the Clergy

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