Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Filipinos want their priests back

He said that the recruitment by American dioceses of Filipinos is not limited to priests. He pointed out that the US Catholic churches are also recruiting seminarians who are offered scholarships to study in American seminaries with the commitment, of course, to serve in the diocese which shouldered his studies after he finished his theology course.

Filipino priests must find it difficult to refuse offers from US-based Catholic dioceses. The "recruiters" offer to work on the immigration papers as well as free airfare. American Catholic churches which are the richest in the world also provide for all the needs of their priests including comfortable accommodation, generous allowances, a car and other needs.

The offer is tempting especially for priests who are assigned to poor parishes and who must get other jobs for their needs. There was a priest, for example, assigned in Laguna who was featured in a story because he was working as a jeepney driver on the side to augment whatever contributions he gets from his parishioners. His story is repeated in poor communities all over the Philippines.

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