Manila Archdiocese abolishes fixed rates for baptism, confirmation starting April 14

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 25) - The Archdiocese of Manila on Thursday announced there will be no more fixed rates for baptisms, confirmation, and the offering of Mass intentions in all the churches it encompasses starting April 14.

"Donations, however, from the faithful for the support of their church are encouraged," Manila apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a statement.

The Manila archdiocese covers the cities of Manila, Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan.

Pabillo said the move is in accordance with the pastoral letter issued by the bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila on stewardship and the abolition of the arancel system.

"In response to this letter, we, in the Archdiocese of Manila, have gradually prepared to establish stewardship programs and implement the removal of the arancel system," he said.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines defines the arancel system as "the practice of giving stipends to priests for specific church services."

The Catholic church has reaffirmed its commitment last January to abolish that system, saying it has become prejudicial against the poor.