MANILA, Philippines – Retired Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan is one of the 7 Catholic bishops included in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund scam. Just recently, media networks in the Philippines were able to get hold of a document from Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showing the bishop has invested millions in one of the country’s biggest company.
Talamayan owns more than 24,000 common shares of Ayala Corp. valued at Php8 million, according to PSE records.
His holdings put him on the 73rd spot of Ayala’s top 100 stockholders with 0.0049 percent of the total shares.
In his 25th anniversary as a bishop way back 2009, Talamayan asked then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) for some funds to finish a retirement home.
PCSO’s public relations funneled funds amounting to Php200,000 into “operational expenses” for Talamayan’s retirement home located in Solana town, Cagayan.
Reportedly, he wrote a personal letter to GMA asking for funds for the “finishing touches” of his retirement home.
“Our retirement home, which you helped construct, needs only the finishing touches. And I pray that God give me the graces to adjust smoothly to my new phase in my life,” he said in his letter to GMA.
Sometime in November 2009, PCSO granted request from the Office of the President specifying Talamayan’s wishes. The exact amount was not disclosed but PCSO said the money will be charged to the PCSO Charity Fund. However, according to its Charter, those kinds of funds could only be used for “medical assistance and services and/or charities of national character.”
POVERTY, OBEDIENCE, CHASTITY
While Filipino look up at priests and bishops being the servants of God and the shepherds of the flock, are they really living this kind of life?
People often hear from religious that they have three basic vows: poverty, obedience and chastity.
It is about time they should tell the people what these vows really mean because after the controversies involving the Catholic Church, the faithful are losing faith.
Some priests would say that it is spiritual poverty that is important. Thus, they can acquire wealth from people’s donation for as long as they submit their poor spirit to God.
Other priests also say that their vow of chastity means “chastity of heart.” Does it also mean they can have girlfriends or children?
What about obedience? Do bishops and priests nowadays obey God and their superiors?