IN a span of less than a month, two parishes in Cebu have fallen victim to theft or robbery. St. Joseph Parish in Mabolo had P 400,000 stolen from its vaults along with the assault of a church worker. More recently, the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Bantayan was burglarized with over P 140,000 stolen from the parish priest’s drawer.
These incidents raise questions over Church security and proper custody of funds. These involved six-figure sums of money that were kept within Church grounds.
It is now imperative for parish priests to deposit the funds as soon as possible to the banks where the parish has accounts. This is the biggest deterrent to any future burglaries.
Keeping such large amounts of money, especially for extended periods, increases the risk of someone getting hold of its location. The Constitution of the Philippines (Article VI, Section 28) maintains the immunity of religious institutes from taxation, so we have even more incentive to be watchful of how Church funds are kept.
This furthers the discussion towards the overall handling of money in the Church. The parish, which sustains itself financially on donations and offerings, should exercise extreme care with the money given to them.
It is a serious responsibility to ensure that the hard-earned cash that people give out of love for the Church be properly cared for. With these types of earnings, the faithful should be able to see concrete results such as reverently celebrated Masses, frequently available confessions, and an overall quality to the service from the parish.
The hefty fees that people pay to rent the Church space are a frequent complaint of poor parishioners. Yes the Church also has financial needs, but our leaders should be more generous in making the Sacraments more available and less of a burden. Furthermore, since the people gave monetary offerings, they expect that the Masses they attend will be properly celebrated; not rushed or filled with gimmicks and innovations.
In these secular times, many people bash the Church when it comes to money. When news of the robbery in Mabolo was posted, one of the comments I read stated, “400k? What is the Church doing with that kind of money?”
Clearly, money for the Church has obtained a bad rap in secular people’s eyes. If our Church leaders will be more responsible in handling these funds, it will go a long way in correcting their perception and it will bring trust back to our parishes. –Gerard Biagan
Drugs in Barangay Kasoy
Naunsa na man ni ang Syudad sa Toledo, labina sa Barangay Kasoy. Naghitak nag maayo ang shabu. Si Rodrigo Duterte na nuon ang presidente, daghan na man nuon kaayo ang droga diri nga naghatag na og kadaut sa among mga anak. Palihug ko ninyo og sumpo ani. –Dodong Rafin, Barangay Kasoy, Toledo City
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 13, 2017.
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