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Philippine priests advised to undergo lifestyle check

Manila (UCAN): Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, the Philippines, head of the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries, prelate told a gathering of more than a hundred priests in early March that priests need to undergo a lifestyle check to see if they are living their mission as followers of Christ.
The bishop suggested that even their choice of gadgets should be scrutinised. “Are we satisfied with a workable phone or should I have the latest Blackberry or iPhone?” he wondered.
He said a financial statement is a spiritual document that reveals a priest’s values and priorities. “Does (money) go to food, recreation, or to helping somebody?” Bishop Alimanza asked.
He said the clergy should consider who they go out with. “How many of our friends are among the rich, the middle class, the poor? How many houses of the poor have we visited? What socialising activities do I engage in?” he asked.
Bishop Alminaza noted that some priests spend “people’s money” to educate their relatives.
He said that it is unfortunate that many priests feel that they must fend for themselves after years of formation.
“Priestly ordination is commonly understood as the ‘end of priestly formation’ (and) priests are then in self-help mode,” the bishop observed.
He told them to consider a paradigm shift based on the Vatican document, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (The Gift of Priestly Vocation).
“The first mindset that this (document) puts forward is that … the formation of priests means following a singular journey of discipleship that begins at baptism and ends at death,” Bishop Alminaza said.

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