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A leading prelate in the Philipines has warned his priests against the practice of simony: the offering of spiritual goods for sale.
"My dear brother priests, the sacraments are not to be celebrated in exchange for money," Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan wrote in a letter to priests. "The trafficing for money in spiritual things is simony. It is a sin." Archbishop Villegas, who is the vice-president of the country's episcopal conference, insisted that there "should be no prejudiced distinctions between the materially affluent and the materially deprived" in the administration of the sacraments.