THE shortage of offerings has caused a drastic drop in church collections for the Archdiocese of Cebu.
This is an offshoot of the suspension of Catholic public Masses and religious gatherings for more than two months due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Fr. Joseph Stephen Anore of the Archdiocese’s Office of Economic Affairs-Oeconomus, said since the churches in Cebu were ordered closed for the public last March 18, 2020, they have not collected the Archdiocese’s share or remittances from the parishes, which has been one of their sources of funds.
“There has been a huge drop. There are still a few who sponsor Masses since we’re having livestreams but it’s different from having actual collections,” he added in Cebuano.
There are around 170 parishes, including mission stations, under the Archdiocese of Cebu, Anore said.
Anore, though, said the Archdiocese has continued with its operations while utilizing its remaining funds from savings, investments and several donations from various benefactors.
It has also continued to give subsidies to its commissions and maintain the benefits of the priests, especially those who have retired.
Anore said the Archdiocese is still extending monthly assistance to its eight subsidized parishes.
Among those that have been receiving funding despite the ongoing crisis is the Cebu Caritas Inc.
It also gets donated cash and goods from various donors, which are distributed to their beneficiaries.
Anore said they are refraining from laying off workers in the Archdiocese, given the increasing number of employees displaced by the pandemic.
Like other offices and establishments, the Archdiocese has adopted flexible work arrangements to cushion it from the effects of the crisis.
With some areas in Cebu already placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), Anore said they are hoping that the financial status of the churches can recover slowly.
In his Circular no. 12/20 issued last Wednesday, May 20, Archbishop Jose Palma ordered church officials assigned in GCQ areas to prepare their churches for the possible return of Masses. (WBS)