Priests Take Evangelism To Television

( [email protected] ) Jul 05, 2003 04:16 PM EDT

Three Catholic priests embrace the advantage of technology to take evangelism on television. The fusion is an uncharted territory for the clergy in Pampanga, Philippines. But three priests -- Pablo David, Raul de los Santos and Ed de Leon -- are facing the boob tube with lots of verve.

The three took less than two weeks to premiere their show "Men in White." Through Infomax.8 (Channel 8 on the local Satellite Cable Network) and its seven cable partners, the program will be shown all over Pampanga at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The priest said this is a way of sharing the gospel through media.

Multi-awarded film director Marilou Diaz-Abaya agreed to direct, for free, the show's initial episodes.

Abaya said the project is timely because of the criticisms that haunted the Catholic Church at present.

Through the one-hour weekly program, she said she could help "bring the real priests, the real men who are blessed and gifted beneath the sutana (cassock) back to the trust and embrace of the congregation."

The members of the clergy, Abaya said, need support because "far many more priests, who inspire the people they serve, are unsung and unknown."

In the preview of the pilot episode that discussed the topic, "I don't know how to love Him" (taken from the musical hit Jesus Christ Superstar), David, De los Santos and De Leon explored how they and the Catholics relate with God.

During the taping, the three priests worked without a script. They were spontaneous, expressing themselves in everyday language, while punctuating their views with humor.

They did not touch on the alleged sex scandals involving Bishops Crisostomo Yalung and Teodoro Bacani Jr., both Kapampangans.

Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto said he wanted the issue left to Church authorities investigating the issue.

David and his elder brother, Professor Randolf David, are Abaya's friends (Abaya directed Randy in the defunct television program Public Forum, which ran for 12 years), while De Leon was Abaya's former student at the Ateneo de Manila University. De los Santos is Abaya's spiritual director.