By Leslie Ann Aquino
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has proposed the conduct of a second collection in Masses to help the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.
CBCP president and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said this as he appealed for prayers and aid for the people affected by the volcanic activity particularly in Batangas and Cavite.
“During this very difficult situation, for thousands of families affected by this volcanic activity, we are encouraged to do acts of solidarity, and first of these is to offer sincerely our prayers to the Lord for these suffering people,” he said in a pastoral letter addressed to his fellow bishops and diocesan administrators.
“We are also called to acts of charity and solidarity through our donations of material goods, such as food and most probably shelter and clothing because people may have left their residences without bringing enough necessary provisions,” Valles added.
“A possibility would be archdioceses and dioceses would, the soonest, do a second collection in Masses, and give this to the most affected local Churches,” he said.
Among the archdioceses that are already set to conduct a second collection are the Archdiocese of Manila and Caceres.
“In solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle requests that a second collection be taken at all Masses from the evening of January 18, and whole day of January 19,” Father Reginald Malicdem, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila, said in a circular letter dated January 13.
“We also encourage that intention that the eruptions may end and that all may be safe be included in the Prayer of the Faithful of all our Masses,” he added.
Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona also made an urgent appeal for prayers and financial support for the people affected and displaced by Taal volcano eruption.
He asked his priests to seek support from their parishioners through second collections.
Meanwhile, Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo has warned the public against a scam using his name and other bishops to solicit money.
“Warning to everyone. Scammers are using my name and other bishops soliciting donations thru bank deposits. If you receive one please do not give. Always counter check by speaking to the bishops. Two friends of mine were duped already by very big amounts,” he said in a Facebook post posted by the National Secretariat for Social Action, where he is the current head.