By Ador Vincent S. Mayol (Cebu Daily News) | Posted: 08:22 PM January 4th, 2018
The body of the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot may have decomposed.
However, forensic experts noted two uncommon aspects about the prelate’s remains.
“On opening the wood casket, the remains and clothes of the decedent was noted to be in pristine condition, uncorrupted by any form of infestation and insect activity. There was a remarkable absence of foul smell and odor of decay,” said Dr. Erwin Erfe, head of the forensic team that examined the skeletal remains of Camomot.
“In my 15 years as forensic-anthropologist, this is the first time I encountered something like this. This is something unique,” he added.
“Usually, there is an odor of decay whenever we examine remains even decades after the death of the person. And usually, the remains are infested with insects considering that the coffin is made of wood. In the case of Archbishop Camomot, there’s no foul smell and its remains were neither infested with insects.”
Erfe said it is now up to the Vatican’s Causes for the Congregation of Saints to determine whether or not to declare Camomot a saint, not just based on its remains, but on the virtues lived by the well-loved prelate who is now a candidate for sainthood.
The skeletal remains of Camomot were exhumed on Wednesday and interred at the Domus Teofilo (House of Teofilo) in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City on Thursday afternoon after a Mass was celebrated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
Camomot’s remains were placed on a fiber glass effigy and laid on a white coffin which was sealed by Palma.
At least 5,000 persons trooped to the Daughters of St. Teresa (DST) compound in Carcar City where Camomot’s remains were interred.
In his homily, Palma called on the people to pray unceasingly to the Lord as the Archdiocese of Cebu continues the stringent process for the beatification and canonization of Camomot.
“We thank the Lord for giving us Monsignor Lolong. By God’s will, may he be declared a saint soon. May God bless our hopes,” he told the crowd during the open air Mass at an open space inside the DST compound.
Palma said calls for the canonization of Camomot started even after the latter’s death in 1988. However, at that time, the Cebu archdiocese was still processing the sainthood of Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod.
When Calungsod was declared a saint in 2012, the archdiocese immediately petitioned the Vatican to allow the local church to process the cause of sainthood of Camomot who was known for his extreme generosity and love for the poor.
“Thanks be to God, the process is moving fast,” Palma said.