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Tag Archive | "Sendong"

Billionaire Archbishop Holds Second Collection for Sendong Victims

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?

The Billions of Bishop Tagle

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:

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Open Letter to CBCP: Donate One Billion to the Victims of Sendong

Dear CBCP,

Yesterday, your Pope prayed “for the people without homes and for the many missing,” assuring the victims of his “closeness” to them. I don’t know what he prayed for, but surely he didn’t just ask God for more people to pray for the victims. In addition to spiritual assistance, the Pope probably asked God for people to give material assistance, too.

One of your priests, Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, was more explicit in his request for material assistance:

“In the spirit of Christmas, I am appealing to our countrymen that if they have excess money, they just give it to our countrymen who were affected by the typhoon.”

So in the spirit of Christmas, I humbly ask that you answer the Pope’s prayer and Fr. Pascual’s request by donating to the Sendong victims one billion Pesos.

This should be easy. According to Philippine Stock Exchange records, you have at least 18 billion Pesos invested in various corporations as of July 2011. What is one billion when you’ll have 17 billion left?

Your former president, Oscar Cruz, said in an interview that the 18 billion has been there since the time of the Spanish occupation. If it’s been sitting there unused for so long, every peso invested is just the kind of excess money Fr. Pascual is requesting. Cruz also said that you can’t simply do what you please with the money, implying that donations such as what I’m asking for won’t be that easy.

But recently, former archbishop Rosales allegedly sold more than a million shares of Philex Mining Corporation (PX) in April and May this year to Manny Pangilinan.

Regardless of whether you really did sell stocks to Mr. Pangilinan, it shows us that it’s possible to acquire (and therefore sell) more than a million shares in the span of a couple of months.

With the extent of the damage done by Sendong, recovery will surely take more than a few months — even more than a year — and rebuilding will take millions of pesos. This should give you enough time to sell enough shares to make the one billion peso donation.

Your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven (Matthew 19:21).” Is it so hard to imagine Him telling you to sell some of your stock and give to the victims of Sendong?

He also said that you cannot serve both God and Money (Matthew 6:24). Bishops of CBCP, show us once and for all which is your master. Donate one billion to the Sendong victims and prove that you are truly a Church of the Poor.

Red Tani

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