The Catholic Church Goes on Making Filipinos Poorer
A typical Catholic church in the Philippines built by Spaniards with forced labor of Filipinos
The Catholic church has used its political, economic and priestly powers to make the Filipinos poorer
While Filipinos work hard to improve the economy, the Catholic church is carting away their money
There is no question that the Catholic church is impoverishing Filipinos. We will see how this happens.
One million pesos of alms per day
Let us start at the Quiapo church, a Catholic church domain in the heart of Manila. Quiapo church receives alms from church goers at least one million pesos per day. How do we arrive at this estimate? About 20 years ago Quiapo church was robbed. The alms deposit box was carted away by robbers. When policemen asked the parish priest how much the deposit box contained he said that it was about two million pesos, collected for the past two days. The Catholic church does not give a report of its alms collection, it is not required to give an accounting either.
So, we start with one million pesos of alms collected per day and trace what will happen to it. Suppose the parish spends 10,000 pesos a day for electricity and water; 10,000 pesos for salaries of maintenance labor; 2,000 pesos for communications; 5,000 for transportation; 5,000 pesos for linen; 5,000 pesos for food; 5,000 pesos for charity; 10,000 pesos for materials and supplies; 20,000 for allowance of priests and their assistants; 3,000 for miscellaneous. The total expense per day is 70,000 pesos. Some 930,000 is the net from alms in one day.
These figures are not exact, they are estimates. Some actual expense items in maintaining a parish may be different. However, it is a fact that expenses are incurred in maintaining a parish church. It is a fact that church goers give alms to the Quiapo church.
In addition, donations are given to the parish that are more substantial than the alms.
This 930,000 pesos is considered as income as far as the Quiapo parish is concerned but it is not income as far as the Philippine government is concerned. The reason is that the Catholic church is not paying taxes.
As income, at least 3% on it should be paid to the government. So, the government loses 3% of revenue from this money, 930,000 pesos, of the Filipino church goers.
Creation of more money out of alms
The Quiapo parish deposits 930,000 pesos to a bank that is owned by the Catholic church. The Catholic church bank must make a reserve of 10% from this amount so that some 827,000 is left as excess deposit. The Catholic church bank can loan out this excess deposit to another Catholic church business enterprise that is not paying taxes. Once this 827,000 pesos is loaned out, the Catholic church bank will have created money of 827,000 pesos. That is, the Catholic church bank will have increased its money assets (Ruffin, R.J. and P. R. Gregory. "Commercial Banking and the Federal Reserve." Principles of Economics. 1983:130-144). This does not go to the economy of the Philippines but to the assets of the Catholic church corporation.
So the Catholic church has created money for itself with zero equity (no capital) because the alms were given by Filipino church goers.
To summarize, the 70,000 pesos turn as income for suppliers or vendors or laborers, in short it can go to the circulating money of the Philippine economy. But the 930,000 pesos will go to the Catholic church corporation in the Philippines or will go to the Vatican. In either case, 930,000 pesos is lost from the Filipinos. That means the Filipinos are impoverished by 930,000 pesos per day.
The interest on 827,000 pesos that had been loaned out adds to the profits of the Catholic church that also make the Filipinos poorer still.
Alms not for god
A church goer who gives 2 pesos as alms believes that he helps his parish. For him/her that 2 pesos is so small an amount. But as you can see that 2 pesos accumulates to one million pesos per day. The Quiapo church parish spends about 70,000 out of the alms per day and nets 930,000 per day out of the alms. This amount does not go to god because he does not need it. It goes to the Catholic church corporation that is registered as a private corporation in the Philippines. This corporation is owned ultimately by the Vatican in Rome. That is, whether that money is kept physically in the Philippines, or it is remitted to Rome.
Now, there are 12 archdioceses in the Philippines with at least one church building or cathedral. Each archdiocese collects at least one million pesos of alms per day.
This amount of collection has been accumulating for the past 100 years. Try to multiply 365 million pesos times 100 years times 12 archdioceses. What do you get? I get the figure Php 438,000,000,000. That is mind-boggling! There are several Catholic churches in the Philippines that serve as collection centers of alms.
Your computations result in trillions of pesos or more. The Filipinos have become poorer by about Php 438,000,000,000 as you have computed. Your computations show how much the Catholic church have impoverished the Filipinos and still doing it.
By loaning out excess deposits out of the alms, the Catholic church has created trillions of pesos for itself or the Vatican. These trillions do not go to the Philippine economy even if they remained in the Philippines because they are kept in the bank of the Catholic Church, Trust Bank. It has invested nothing. Zero equity - like the Marcos cronies during the Marcos dictatorship. These cronies used the budget of the Philippine government, and resources of government banks obtained with just a note in a presidential letterhead of Marcos - no collateral.
Then the Catholic church bank charges about 7 - 14% on loans. This untaxed interest goes to the Catholic church or Vatican economy not to the Philippine economy. Then the accumulated interests will be loaned out again, creating new money. That is only from one collection center, the Catholic church of Quiapo, Manila. Once the recovered capital is loaned out again it will create another batch of money again. This loaning out of capital and interests is done again and again and will create new money again and again.
The profits made with the use of loans is taken out from the economy of the Philippines, further making Filipinos poorer still.
In one way, the charity work of the Catholic church is for public relations and cosmetic purposes. In another, it is a camouflage for political and economic powers.
This is not to demean Filipinos who work for charity out of compassion and love of their fellowmen. They may not know it or they cannot do anything about it that the Catholic church is making the Filipinos poorer. I have friends who are volunteers of the Hospice. They care for the sick without compensation; sometimes they spend for hospitalization and medication of their patients out of their own pocket. That is not to mention being drained emotionally and getting sick themselves.
You can see that the Vatican is richer than the European economic community because it has thousands of collection centers of alms around the world.
That is only on matters of alms.
The Catholic church is not required to plow back any part of its income to the Philippine economy. It can repatriate all of its income to the Vatican. Filipinos do not know the amount and they cannot stop such remittances to the Vatican.
The deposit in the bank of the Catholic church is protected by the foreign investments law. This law says that the dollar accounts of a foreign investor cannot be opened or made public without the consent of the depositor. One implication of this law that is being actually done is that earnings from the Philippines can be laundered out of the Philippines. Peso accounts can be converted to dollar accounts.
Being a private corporation owned by the Vatican, the Catholic church is considered as a foreign investor.
More than alms
The Catholic church has landholdings in the Philippines, virtual Vatican empire. These landholdings can be put to productive use like growing crops if they were owned by the Philippines or Filipinos. .
The Catholic church owns the church buildings. The Spanish church and state were one entity because of the unity of church and state during the Spanish regime. That is why when the Spanish state lost authority over the Philippines due to the Philippine revolution of 1898, the Catholic church likewise lost authority over church buildings and landholdings in the Philippines. Catholic church buildings are owned by the Filipino people because these had been built by forced labor of Filipinos.
The Filipinos are giving the Catholic church a free ride because they are not taxing it. Personnel of the Catholic church corporation are using roads for free, for example. When Catholic priests are kidnapped in Mindanao, Filipino soldiers and policeman give them protection or lose their lives in rescuing them.
Muslims had settled in Mindanao long before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines in 1520s. They raided Spanish settlements like Manila. That is the reason why we have a district called "Intramuros" meaning inside moors. It is surrounded with walls that are war trenches as protection of inhabitants from Muslims. These moor raids are vestiges of the crusades. The Spaniards, who in Europe had once been conquered by the moors, tried hard to Christianize the Muslims. They set up missions in Mindanao. Once in a while the psyche of the crusades flares up and Muslims kidnap Catholic priests, the latest being an Italian.
Abuse of the separation of church and state
This separation is not yet finely defined by Philippine laws because members of the Congress of the Philippines are afraid to touch the Catholic church. It is not only because of the fear of excommunication but also because of retaliation during elections. Filipinos are 85% Catholic and they are influenced by the endorsement or vilification by the Catholic church of any candidate for elective position. At this time, the Catholic church has defined in unwritten ways most of the methods in implementing such separation of church and state.
The Catholic church is engaged in partisan politics yet it asserts to be outside the laws of the Philippines. For example,. the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has prescribed the maximum size of political posters during this election campaign period. The Catholic church has displayed posters much larger than that prescribed. When Comelec showed notice of the size of the poster saying it violates Comelec rules, the Catholic church said the poster is not covered by Comelec rules, saying it is not a political poster. However, the Comelec has explicitly said that any statement that endorses or censures a candidate is politicking. The Catholic church poster is endorsing candidates who supported its position of rejecting the Reproductive Health law, when it was still being debated in Congress and even now that it has been signed into law.
[This law should be now in force but the Catholic church has filed a petition with the Supreme Court charging that the Reproductive Health law is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court issued a ruling, holding in abeyance for four months the implementation of the law, after that it will promulgate its decision on the petition.]
The Catholic church has displayed two political posters. One is titled "Team Patay" that lists all the senatorial candidates who supported the Reproductive Health bill and now law. "Patay" means death so that the poster translates into "Team of Death." Another poster is titled "Team Buhay" that lists all senatorial candidates who endorsed the position of the Catholic church in the Reproductive Health law. "Buhay" means life so that the poster translates into "Team of Life." Comelec has given instructions to reduce the size of the posters. The Catholic church has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to stop the Comelec in implementing rules on these posters. That is, it asserts to be outside the laws of the Philippines then uses the legal instruments of this country. On top of that it defines its own rules.
Stop impoverishment and travesty of Philippine laws
Money laundering by the Catholic church is protected overall by the separation of church and state.
The French revolution of 1799 and King Henry VIII of England, in 1532, had shown ways how to deal with the Catholic church. In France, the privileges of the church were abolished and a constitution of the church was installed. In England, landholdings of the Catholic church were confiscated and the church was made to pay taxes. .