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Filipino prelate open to monthly pay for priests

This will assure there is no discrepancy in the priests’ allowance, he says

Archbishop Jose Palma Archbishop Jose Palma
  • ucanews.com reporter, Cebu City
  • Philippines
  • January 27, 2011
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Archbishop Jose Palma of the central Philippines Archdiocese of Cebu is open to giving his priests a monthly compensation.

“I would welcome the possibility of our priests discussing the feasibility of a standard living allowance," the prelate said.

The allowance will be distributed equally to priests for their personal expenses every month.

The archbishop said it can be one of the financial solutions for elderly priests who can no longer work.

"The principle is that while they are young and earning there is a system that can help them to save. The savings can be used for a rainy day during old age and retirement," he said.

Archbishop Palma said this will also assure that there will be no discrepancy in the priests’ allowance.

Father Ramon Echica said giving out an allowance will promote priestly solidarity, make the finances of the Church more transparent, help fund projects of the archdiocese and enable priests to live a simple life "in conformity with the values of the Gospel."

He said Vatican II states that all priests even though they may be assigned different duties, fulfill the same priestly service for the people.

"The present setup, wherein some priests earn much while those assigned in new village parishes earn little, needs to be reformed," Father Echica, a seminary professor, said.

He said giving an allowance to priests is possible in the archdiocese. "But much would depend on the strong political will of those in the hierarchy and the goodwill of the parish priests and even the cooperation of the laity," he said.

He said "monetary considerations should be the last concern when administering the Sacraments."

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