As leaders of a Catholic Church, priests are called upon to lead a simple, humble life.
In fact, they are even required to make a vow of poverty.
This is in keeping with the Christian call to shun material or worldly possessions.
But how true is the priesthood to this spiritual vow?
To ensure their fidelity to this pledge, a lifestyle check is being proposed for members of
A Catholic prelate has called on members of the clergy to do their own “lifestyle check”.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza wants priests to assess their activities everyday and to
know how much time and resources they devote to “cultic, prophetic, administrative” activities.
He said that cultic activities are administering of the sacraments, house blessings, etc,
while prophetic activities include helping the needy through organizing livelihood projects or
cooperatives, helping resolve conflict situations, violations of justice, human rights cases, and
the like while administrative work involves fund-raising for church needs, doing church repairs,
Likewise, Alminaza asked priests to check how they socialize and with whom.
“How many of our friends are among the rich, the middle class, the poor? … How many houses
of the poor have we visited? … What socializing activities do I engage in? In what places and with
whom? … Which places do we frequent for rest and recreation? ” asked the prelate during his talk on
“Perspectives and Direction to the Ongoing Formation of the Clergy” he said in an article posted on
the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website.
The Catholic prelate spoke to some 120 priests at the National Discernment of Priests on
their Prophetic Role organized by the National Clergy Discernment Group last week.
At the same time, the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries also brought up
the question of finances and priests.
“How much of the people’s money do I spend for the education of my nephews, nieces?” asked
Also, he would want the gadgets used to be looked at. “Are we satisfied with a workable
phone or should I have the latest Blackberry or iPhone?”
Alminaza noted how much a priest’s monthly financial statement reveals.
“For me, every month, a financial statement is a spiritual document. It reveals my values,
my priorities… Does it go to food, recreation, to helping somebody?” he added.