Catholic prelate opposes installation of free wifi inside churches

MANILA, June 13 — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC) said it is not advisable to put up free wifi inside churches.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, CBCP-PAC executive secretary, noted that while it can help the faithful in praying, the parish will not be able to monitor if the people will use it for other purposes.

“The intention to install wifi in churches to aid people in praying is good but the irresponsible use of it is certainly beyond the church’s control,” he said.

The Catholic priest added that the free internet access in parishes might be used to browse the internet instead of using it for spiritual purposes.

“The danger with installing wifi in churches is this might be used for purposes other than the spiritual,” Secillano said.

He added that people can download apps (prayer and other spiritual-related) somewhere else either in their homes or other places where there is free wifi prior to their visit to church.

“Even without wifi, there are apps that they can download before going to churches and use them for praying,” the Manila priest said.

“While we want to take advantage of what communications technology can offer, we would rather be prudent in their use than let people utilize them possibly for facebook, instagram, and internet browsing,” he furthered.

Some malls, restaurants, coffee shops in the country are offering free internet access as part of their marketing strategies to entice customers.

On Monday, the government launched the free wifi access along EDSA and also at MRT stations.

With this, the public will have access to information such as weather, education and online jobs. Ferdinand Patinio/