Latest Stories

Shun those SUVs, local prelates urged


Shun those SUVs.

The election of Pope Francis is a sign that Church people in the Philippines should shun “luxurious” and “scandalous” lifestyles, like changing cars every so often, the executive secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) said Thursday.

Carmelite Fr. Marlon Lacal said the simple lifestyle of then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he was still archbishop of Buenos Aires was an example that should be followed by the clergy and religious in the country.

Bergoglio abandoned his episcopal palace in Buenos Aires for a simple apartment, cooked his own food and ditched his chauffeured limousine to take the bus or train to work.

In the Philippines, some bishops acknowledged receiving funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, an agency that supports projects for the poor, for the acquisition of vehicles, including SUVs.

An archbishop in Mindanao wrote then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo asking for an SUV because it was his birthday. The archbishop said he needed a four-wheel drive for his visits to far-flung areas.

Shortly after his election on Wednesday night, Pope Francis shunned the papal limousine and rode on the last shuttle bus with other cardinals to go back to a residence inside the Vatican for a meal.

Humble side

That showed his humble side, according to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who gave an insider’s look into the hours immediately after Bergoglio was elected.

Dolan said most of the cardinals had taken buses back to their residence in the Vatican and had lined up to greet the new Pope as he arrived for their last meal as a group.

They were expecting him to arrive in the limousine that they had seen waiting for him at the base of the Apostolic Palace.

“And as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off? It’s Pope Francis. I guess he told the driver: ‘That’s OK, I’ll just go with the boys,’” Dolan told reporters at the American seminary in Rome, the North American College.

Living in poverty

Lacal pointed out that Bergoglio chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Francis of Assisi, the popular Italian saint who was known for turning his back on his family’s wealth and living in poverty.

“(Bergoglio’s) simple lifestyle is a good example for the Church to go back to the basics and live the simplicity of Christ. We should really live out our promise of poverty. I’m very happy that he chose the name Francis,” the AMRSP executive secretary said in an interview.

“That means you don’t accumulate wealth for yourself and don’t live in luxury, like changing cars again and again. That is scandalous,” Lacal added.

Cause of the poor

He said many religious in the Philippines practice a simple lifestyle, like taking public transportation, but others should avoid scandalizing the faithful with their behavior.

“We are also very happy that the Pope is a religious (or a member of a religious congregation) and he is the first Pope from Latin America,” Lacal said.

The Latin American Church, he said, was known to be progressive in calling out for social justice and taking up the cause of the poor.

Lacal said that Pope Francis had the skills and capability to clean up the Vatican bureaucracy, noting that he had served as the leader of the Jesuit community in Argentina when the military ruled the country in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“He is considered an outsider from the Vatican and so he can be objective in tackling the problems there. His election is a good sign after the calls for Church renewal,” Lacal said.

First Jesuit

He also said that Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope, would be more open to dialogue with other religions and nonbelievers.

“We know that Jesuits are not just good protectors of Church doctrine but are also very engaging and more open to dialogue,” Lacal said.

He said the Pope’s progressive stance on some political issues while he was still archbishop of Buenos Aires made AMRSP hopeful that he would be able to provide insight and leadership to the burning social justice issues of the day.

Lacal added that people disappointed that the new Pope was conservative on Church doctrine should not have been surprised.

“Many Church people, like us in the AMRSP, are active in social issues but we also understand that our leaders should preserve Church teachings and that the development of doctrine takes a lot of time,” he added.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Catholic Church , Philippines , Pope Francis , Religion , religious life

  • doublecross

    naku, mahirap mangyari yan….kayo pa.

  • kismaytami

    If papa damaso really wants to shun luxuries of his subordinates, he’ll gonna make a solid rock law for against it, not just lip service during masses or press conferences. He’s leadership is weak if his subordinates’ luxurious lifestyle remain the same, which has always been the case with past popes.


    SANA merong maligaw na taga CBCP dito at mabasa ang mga kuro-kuro sa forum. Alam kong hindi valid representative ang dami at kilatis ng mga manunuat dito, pero ina-akala mo na sapat na ito upang gisingin ang diwa, damdamin, at kaisipan ng samahang yan upang baguhin ang kanilang pananaw at pamamaraan ng pamamahala ng kani-kanilang area of responsibilities ng magkaroon ng kahit na kaunting pagtitiwala sa sarili ang mga kabayan na buo pa din ang kanilang pananalig sa kabila ng lahat.

    TAO lamang tayong LAHAT at walang kahit na sino ang nararapat na mag-isip na nakakahigit siya sa kahit na kanino kahit na gaano ang dami at laki ng kanyang kayamanan at walang kahit na sino ang nararapat na mag-isip na siya ay nahihigitan ng kahit na sinupaman kahit na gaano ka-kaunti o ka-liit ang kanyang pag-aari sa daigdig na ito. PARE-PAREHO lamang tayong LAHAT na may EXPIRATION DATE. At pagdating ng takdang araw na yan, ke mayaman o mmahirap ka, ke titulado o hindi, ke ano ka pa man, alin sa dalawa lamang ang patutunguhan: sa ilalim ng lupa o sa sa lalagyan ng abo (urn).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XFH3CDZSZKVLX4G74PJOQ3L64U Natx Bacalzo

    What ? No SUV anymore? You’re joking!

  • Serom

    But priest and bishops in PH do not have that vow of poverty that’s why most live luxurious lives. They do not live the life as shown by Jesus Christ.

  • JosengSisiw1

    shun the politics
    shun the SUV’s
    shun the beer houses
    shun touching boys/girls
    shun the women/men
    shun making children
    or if the priest and bishop can’t do the above
    shun the church…..go away…

  • tarikan

    Now with the new Pope Francis’s stewardship of the Catholic Church, maybe it’s time to dispose of it’s vast landholdings in the Philippines (Attn: Luis Cardinal Tagle & Co.) by way of donation to the their local governments to be used as sites for school, hospital, senior citizen center, feeding centers for the poor, etc. Sabagay laway laang naman ang puhunan nyu dyan.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_two_cents

    Did Tagle, who many claim is humble and down to earth, refuse his palace as Pope Francis did when he was Archbishop and move into a simple apartment?

  • frudo

    at wag na rin maki sawsaw sa pulitika. makialam, at mag endorso ng candidato, tumino na sana sila kasi nasisislip na.

  • Populovich

    Why don’t we make Jesus Christ our example in simplicity, faith and conduct. He has been before any person. Why wait for another pope to reform. Jesus Christ is the head of the church and He alone deserve all the attention, devotion, praise and worship. Even Peter refused to be worshipped. If we want to improve our faith we must make Jesus Christ the center of our lives, not any person. We are all created anyway for His pleasure, to please Him, to revere Him, to adore Him. Not to any man..

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  5. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  6. PH, HK end bitter row; sanctions lifted
  7. PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  8. Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  9. Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  10. US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • The fundamentals of accessorizing
  • Love it or hate it? Kris Aquino’s new hairstyle
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace