‘Healing priest’ dies from heart attack

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    CONTROVERSIAL “healing priest” Fr. Fernando Suarez died yesterday after suffering from a massive heart attack, said Fr. Melvin Castro, Suarez’ friend.

    Castro said Suarez, 52, collapsed while playing tennis. He would have turned 53 on February 7.

    Suarez was pronounced dead on arrival at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City.

    Another friend of Suarez, Deedee Siytangco, said the priest was playing tennis at the Alabang Country Club in a tournament he organized for priests.

    Suarez became famous for holding healing sessions around the country and had consistently attracted thousands of sick individuals. However, he was criticized for holding the sessions without permit from the diocese, prompting several bishops to ban his healing masses.

    Suarez had been accused of sexual abuse of minors but was found not guilty of the allegations last month by the National Tribunal of Appeals.