School seeks reconciliation with Bacolod diocese

BACOLOD City – The St. John’s Institute (SJI) community expressed gratitude to Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon for giving attention to their appeal to revert the Queen of Peace church from its present status as a territorial parish into to a personal parish.

In a statement sent to the media here on Feb. 16, 2017, SJI said Buzon “finally answered our prayers.”

The SJI community added that it is thankful “that the Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod has finally answered our prayers and given cognizance to our appeal to revert the Queen of Peace church from its present status as a territorial parish, to a personal parish in fulfillment of the wishes of our founding fathers, Msgr. John Su and Msgr. John Liu.”

“We are also one with Bishop Buzon that the matter of ownership is a non-issue as titles covering the properties are in the name of SJI as intended by the Montelibano family and other donors that facilitated the strengthening of the pastoral care of the school and the entire Filipino Chinese community,” it said.

On Feb. 14, Buzon ruled that “litigation is not the most viable option to resolve ownership because deciding with finality on the matter is not within the competence and prerogative of the Office of the Bishop.”

“Instead, the Diocese will uphold its obligation towards the conduct and growth of the Chinese Apostolate in Bacolod as envisioned by the donors of the property,” Buzon said in the executive summary of his decision.

The Diocese Presbyteral Council will be tasked to deliberate on the manner of reconfiguring the present juridical areas of the parish after due consultation with all stakeholders.

The bishop said he prays all parties will abide by his decision “so we can all begin the process of healing the deep wounds inflicted on us.”

“The controversy concerns the ownership of the property, which the Diocese of Bacolod and the St. John’s Institute Inc. respectively claim,” Buzon said.

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