The Devil's Advocate

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Apparently our crusaders against illegal numbers game have been receiveing 'donations' from the state run PAGCOR. Although there is nothing illegal if the Church accept funding from gambling especially if it is legal gambling money. But its a question of morality not legality.

THE PRICKLY issue of gambling money and the Church has again been highlighted by allegations that three prominent bishops are receiving "donations" ranging from P500,000 to P4 million from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

A source in the state-run gambling agency named the prelates as Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, outgoing president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando town, Pampanga province.

The source, who provided the Inquirer with documents but asked not to be named, said the donations to the bishops were usually taken from the "intelligence fund" of Pagcor chair Efraim Genuino.

This intelligence fund is not subjected to regular auditing procedures, and only Genuino and a ranking official of the Commission on Audit know how it is disbursed, the source told the Inquirer.

When money talks, everybody listens. Especially the clergy.

Pagcor has also been giving cash gifts to clergymen on special occasions like Christmas, according to the source.

"These amounts are given regularly," the source said. "They are open to the eyes of those who'd like to see them."

The source furnished the Inquirer a copy of a three-page memorandum showing the breakdown of "Christmas gifts in the form of cash donation" to five bishops, 45 priests and monsignors and 18 religious groups.

This is quite bothering since the main problem the Catholic Church is facing today, is not lawsuits from sexual abuse cases but rather most of the clergies are being consumed by material wealth when they should be living a simple life like Jesus Christ. The Philippines has developed an elitist system, from the State all the way to the Church. They are living large at the expense of the poor.

Practice what you Preach

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