Last night, Archbishop Luis Tagle ordered all priests, rectors, and chaplains in Manila to hold a second collection for the victims of Sendong:
“In the spirit of Christian solidarity, I request that a second collection be made at all Masses in all parishes, shrines, and communities in the Archdiocese of Manila from today until Christmas Day,” he said.
This is good news. But when you consider the fact that Manila is the richest archdiocese in the Philippines with P17.26 billion invested in stocks, you have to ask: Shouldn’t they be doing more?
For starters, they can sell a fraction of their shares and send money directly to the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and the Diocese of Iligan. As far as I know, these churches aren’t as fortunate to have stock investments of their own.
Anything short of this would cast doubt on Tagle’s statement that the calamity “saddens us and breaks our hearts.” Tagle would also be a hypocrite. How can someone encourage people to have simple Christmas parties or remember “Jesus who became poor” while he has P17 billion he could share?
If he truly wants to “make our Christmas this year more meaningful by our solidarity with each other,” Archbishop Tagle should answer my open letter and donate to the Sendong victims.
I urge all Catholics to remind the clergy of their vow of poverty and mission of charity. Before holding even more second collections, Catholics should demand a first collection from their bishops first.
Before giving to that second (and first) collection, please consider visiting these pages to learn how you can really help Sendong victims: