• ‘Avoid falling in love with money’


    CBCP issues stern reminder to priests

    Marking 2015 as “Year of the Poor,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday challenged priests to stay simple and humble and not to fall in love with money.

    CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said there is much to be done in 2015, but the first thing that the priests should do is to simplify their “priestly lifestyle.”

    “The renewal of the Church begins with the renewal of the priests. Let us take the lead in embracing the poverty of Jesus on the Cross,” Villegas said in a statement dated January 2, 2015.

    The CBCP head issued seven “simplicity rules” that will help remind priests of their vocations and the true meaning of serving the poor and God.

    He said priests should “avoid foreign travels and frequent recreation in expensive tourist destinations, even if such are paid for by friends and family.”

    “High-end cars and expensive vehicles smack of vainglory and luxury. There is no excuse for any priest to have such high-end vehicles,” Villegas said.

    He explained that priests need to have vehicles to reach poor villages and bring them the blessings of God, but “expensive cars alienate the poor from the Church.”

    “We smell differently from the sheep,” he said.

    He urged priests to always wear their clerical attire or clerical cross in public places as a symbol of poverty instead of loud-colored signature shirts and pants, adding a priest’s room and a bachelor’s pad “are exact opposites.”

    “It is a serious sin of omission for a priest not to have a regular poor person to help whether for education, health or livelihood,” Villegas said.

    “Be honest in reporting to the Curia the true financial condition of the parish or school. There are no fixed rates of offerings for the celebration of Masses, for confirmations, for funerals, for weddings and other sacramentals,” he added.

    “Always give alms to the poor who come to you. Do not be afraid to be fooled nor turn them away empty. Do not be afraid to pamper the beggars. They have no one to help them.

    If you have to make a mistake, make a mistake in being too charitable, in being too kind,” he added.

    He said before priests were ordained, they were first trained for a difficult life in the seminary, deprived of the warmth of family life.

    “We wanted to be priests hence nothing was unbearable,” he noted.

    Villegas lamented that the “sickness of accumulating” possessed some priests.

    “Money got stuck in our hands instead of sliding to the needy. The car became a status symbol even for the newly ordained when the chrism of anointing had hardly dried. The recreation became more sophisticated to expensive tourist sites unreached by the working class. We were no longer lacking in food; we were now choosing our food after being initiated into the palate of the filthy wealthy,” he said.

    “It is bad for a priest to fall in love with a woman. It is worse if he falls in love with money.

    Ordination gave us access to church money but that money is not ours to enjoy,” he said.

    “We priests can start touching hearts again if we talk less about our powers and instead expose ourselves more to the power of Christ to change us. When we demand integrity from public officials, can we humbly say like Saint Paul ‘imitate me because I imitate Christ?’ In this Year of the Poor, self accusation must precede prophetic denunciation of social corruption,” he said.


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    1. Thank you, Lord, that our church is beginning to see the light of day! I am sure that Pope Francis, when he comes, will remind our priests and bishops their vows of poverty. But it seems it is a little bit late. We have witnessed our bishops who asked for Monteros and Pajeros from GMA before. After that, we witness how the money of Janet Napoles was used to bribe some priests and monsignors! How? She was able to asked the priest incharge of the image of Black Nazarene in Quiapo to bring it to her own house at Magallanes! That is corruption whatever you look at it!

    2. Ang kailangang-kailangan na gawin ng CBCP ay magpadala ng pare at madre sa Mindanao para makapagtayo ng mga Catholic elementary- at high-schools. Eh ang lumalabas, ang mga bagong nakakatapos sa dseminaryo, pinapadala sa Spain, Ireland, Mexico. Ano ba naman iyan? Kailangan ng mga pare at madre sa Mindanao.

    3. “if we talk less about our powers and instead expose ourselves more to the power of Christ to change us.”
      The “powers” of the clergy that Christ demonstrated for the Apostles to follow is the master washing of the feet of his servants.

    4. This directive must be strictly enforced to the members of the clergy. Many priests have amassed wealth and big tract of lands. Instead of them sharing the bounties to the poor, it is them collecting money from the marginalized sector of the society.

    5. To priests (or bishops) who have found themselves as fathers…. do not forget that the CBCP has adviced and the CBCP can give the same advice again —-> career is more important and to “…leave the child and the child’s mother” and nurture your priest career.

    6. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, that’s homily is long over due and with all due respect, the Bible in the book of 1 Timothy 6:10 -” For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from faith, and pierced themselves through with sorrows.” (KJV)… Eh bakit mayrun special na kasal, binyag, sa patay? Ceguro yon ang I turo sa mga pari na hwag nilang gawing business ang mga kasal, binyag, pag conduct ng alleged mass pag may patay at tatakutin ang mga mahihirap na pag diumano madala sa kanilang simbahan at hindi kuno ma bindisyonan ng pari ay hindi maililibing!!! Kung concern ka sa mga poor at sinasabi mo na “Year of the Poor” walang bayad dapat? Nag ta tanong lng po kami! Salamat.