something to think about for the diocese of legazpi...
CEBU CITY, February 21, 2009—Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal said a new accounting system for parishes will be implemented soon.
In his message to the local clergy during the monthly recollection February 17, the prelate called on his priests to respond positively and generously to this new system as it will ensure transparency and better accounting of the income and expenditures of the parishes.
But more than a matter of fiscal responsibility, he reminded his priests to embrace this reform as something that will promote a healthy lifestyle of the clergy.
“A strong structure of accountability will result in a healthy lifestyle among my priests,” Cardinal Vidal stressed.
For the past few years, Cebu has instituted reforms in the remittance system of parishes to the archdiocese through the Office of the Economic Affairs, and the implementation of a new accounting system is its latest feature added.
Last January a series of seminars was conducted by the economic affairs office to parish priests, parish secretaries and bookkeepers to introduce the new system, wherein a detailed recording of income and expenses, among other things, was given stress.
This new accounting system complements the earlier reform instituted by the archdiocese wherein each parish is to remit 20% of its gross income to the archdiocese as a form of a solidarity fund, in lieu of the fixed quota per parish that was the norm for a long time.
The increased remittance called Priests’ Solidarity Fund (PSF), which was started in 2006, was intended not just to shore up the resources of the archdiocese, but to upgrade the social services to its clergy like the hospitalization program and subsidies to poor parishes.
The PSF also shoulders a big chunk of the budget for the ongoing formation of priests, like monthly recollections, annual retreats and ongoing formation of the young clergy.
All these fiscal reforms instituted by the archdiocese are concretization of the long-sought implementation of the norms of the Fourth Diocesan Synod of Cebu in 1986, and the resolutions of the Cebu Congress of the Clergy on this concern last 2001. (Fr. Marnell S. Mejia)