Bishop Enrique Macaraeg and priests surround the casket of Fr. Melvin Castro during his funeral Mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral Parish in Tarlac City on April 12, 2023. TARLAC CATHEDRAL

By CBCP News

April 13, 2023

Manila, Philippines

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has joined mourners in paying tribute to the late Fr. Melvin Castro, who was laid to rest in Tarlac City Wednesday.

Castro, known to many as “pro-life warrior” for his advocacy to protect life and family, died due to an illness at age 52 on April 5.

Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, CBCP Secretary General, said the priest’s “unwavering dedication” to defend life “was a testament to his deep compassion and commitment to the well-being of all people”.

“His legacy will continue to inspire us to advocate for the sanctity of life and the protection of families,” Pantin said.

Castro had served as executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

In 2012, he made headlines for being at the forefront of the church’s opposition against the controversial “reproductive health” measure.

At the time of his death, Castro was serving as parish priest of Our Lady of Sorrows in Tarlac province’s Dolores town.

The Tarlac Cathedral was packed with mourners who attended the funeral Mass presided by Bishop Enrique Macaraeg.

The bishop paid tribute to the priest, who served the diocese for nearly 25 years in various capacities.

“He has done a lot in our diocese… It is indeed very painful for us to see when our priest dies,” Macaraeg said.

Castro also served at Pro-life Philippines and was the first director of Radio Maria in the Philippines.

He was laid to rest at the Good Shepherd Clergy Cemetery, following the funeral service.


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