By Bernie V. Lopez
As seen on the March 2020 issue of Philippine Tribune
I met Fr. Suarez through Fr. Carlos Abesamis, SJ, my mentor in high school at Ateneo de Manila. The late Fr. Carlos was the confessor and adviser of Fr. Suarez. We stayed overnight in Los Baños. I ended up producing one of his many healing prayers on Youtube.
It is amazing how the Lord works. Nothing was planned. I had a gut feel to bring my video camera. Next day, we proceeded to Montemaria, where there was a makeshift altar, with a panoramic view of Verde Island.
I asked Fr. Suarez to say a healing prayer on camera. Spontaneously, he prayed. That healing prayer, at the time of his death on Feb. 4, 2020, had 1.3 million viewers. Then I realized that the Lord was using me to make a million people pray with him on Youtube, many of them healed in cyberspace.
It is a mystery even for Fr. Suarez why Filipino bishops are ganging up on him, including, not the CBCP per se, but some bishops in it. I think I have the answer. I have to tell this to the world, otherwise it would be a sin of omission.
True, Fr. Suarez was a sinner, just like the bishops who accused him. He admitted it openly. He was not beyond criticism. In my short stint with him, I saw him make a lot of fumbles too. Let us just say he is so utterly human.
I was involved more closely with another healer, Sr. Raquel Reodica RVM. She went on a world tour several times, healing thousands abroad. When I told her about how Fr. Suarez was banned in certain diocese because he probably did not ask permission to say a healing mass for people, she said that was standard protocol to ask permission from the bishop.
I do not know the circumstances behind Fr. Suarez being banned in Bulacan and Pangasinan. But Sr. Raquel told me how there was an inherent resistance from the host parish priests and bishops in the States. They tried to inhibit her healing sessions, feeling THREATENED by a healing nun who breezed in from nowhere with such charisma and power to draw the crowd. The parish priests complained how parishioners would normally trickle into church, but with Fr. Suarez, there was a flood. It is partly jealousy.
Then I realized why bishops opposed a powerful healer. So what if Fr. Suarez did not have permission. It is a minor issue, this church protocol, which is more territorial and political than ecumenical. If a bishop is true to Jesus, and Fr. Suarez was healing thousands in his diocese in Jesus’ name, it would be, to me, a sin to prevent Jesus from healing his flock. For Fr. Suarez and Sr. Raquel are mere bridges to the Lord, who is the real Healer.
There is also some confusion. In some cases, the priest who invited Fr. Suarez did not tell his bishop, and Fr. Suarez presumed he did. Even if Fr. Suarez was guilty, a bishop had no business condemning an agent of Jesus for ‘territorial’ reasons. In that way, certain bishops were agents of the devil without them knowing it. They are also human.
Fr. Suarez was a victim of social media, especially on the accusation of pedophilia. The stories were naturally distorted and exaggerated. Fr. Suarez said he was not given a chance to defend himself. The voice of the lone bishop who defended him was suppressed and unpublished.
So, Fr. Suarez went straight to the Vatican to present his case, and there he was exonerated. Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) cleared him of all accusations. In the end, Jesus won, but the devil had a lot of successes. In the end, the Lord healed tens of thousands through Fr. Suarez. Satan could not stop that, in spite of bishops.
This is explained in Genesis, where Jesus would prevail but Satan would bruise his foot. The devil works hard against people who are powerful agents of Jesus, but he never wins.