MANILA — Healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez died on Tuesday afternoon due to heart attack. He was 52.
Fr. Melvin Castro of the Diocese of Tarlac confirmed the news about Suarez’s death.
“Kare-receive ko lang ng text…tumawag ako sa ka-close niya, nasa Asian Hospital sila (I just received the text message. I called his close friend. They are at the Asian Hospital now),” he said in an interview.
Castro said Suarez was playing tennis in Alabang when he collapsed. He was then brought to the hospital where he eventually passed away.
“I was in shock and I didn’t want to believe it. The last time we talked was when he was declared not guilty. He was happy. He said it’s about time. I think the Lord just waited for him to be cleared. It was really sad,” Castro said.
Last December, the Vatican has cleared Suarez from accusations of sexual abuse of minors.
In a letter, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed Judicial Vicar and retired Novaliches Bishop Most Rev. Antonio Tobias of the “not guilty” verdict on the Filipino priest.
The case was submitted by the National Tribunal of Appeals to Rome in May last year.
Suarez was known for conducting “healing” masses in and out of the country.