CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma was correct in asking parishioners to raise directly to him their complaint against a priest who allegedly has enriched himself while serving in a Mandaue City parish. The issue is, after all, one that can only be addressed by the Catholic Church hierarchy.

Unlike government officials who can be charged in the anti-graft office for unexplained wealth, priests who pocket parish funds are mainly answerable to the parishioners who contributed the money and ultimately to church officials like Palma. In this case, Palma promised to investigate once the complaint reaches him.

While going to the media may help especially in exposing the alleged irregularities the priest committed, there is a limit to how far journalists could go. The problem still needs to be addressed by those directly concerned. That is why it would be good for the complaining parishioners to do what Palma asked.

This is actually the problem with the aggrieved not only in the Catholic Church but in other organizations as well, including the government. Instead of taking the bull by the horns, sort of, by raising their complaints directly to those concerned, they go to the media and wallow in anonymity. But exposing shenanigans is one thing and making the guilty answer for their actions is another.

The Office of the Ombudsman, for example, is tasked to look into grievances even in the absence of a formal complaint. Media reports or entries in columns would suffice. In the end, however, the investigation needs to be strengthened by whatever help the aggrieved and those knowledgeable of the issue provides. Again, what the media and even the anti-graft office can do is limited.

Of course, it would be good if Palma would conduct the investigation even without the parishioners’ complaints. But even if he does so, those who provided the information to the media should come out. That may need a good dose of courage but that is required if they want to make the priest, if he is guilty, answer for his deed.