In a recent interview with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila, the cardinal was asked about the tantamount wealth of the Manila Archdiocese.
As of December 29, 2014, the value of stocks of the Manila Archdiocese and its companies was revealed to be more than P30 billion. The stocks involved include their investments in several industries such as mining, which they eventually pulled out to be in line with their moral teachings. Other industries which the diocese has been involved with are banking, oil, energy, food and beverages, and construction. The diocese also owns stocks in hospitals.
Based on pinoymoneytalk.com, the church is involved in big companies such as BPI, where they are the 5th largest investor, owning 8% of the stocks, and energy firm, First Philippine Holdings Inc.
According to Cardinal Tagle, the wealth of the Manila Archdiocese is already an accumulation of the 400 years existence of the diocese.
"Remember that the archdiocese of Manila, I've been three years only as archdiocese, this has been an archdiocese for more than 400 years, so the assets of the church... has been an accumulation," Cardinal Tagle said.
In their interview, Sackur asked the cardinal where the funds are being spent.
"But the church has also has things to spend on, and the biggest charitable institution in the Philippines is still the church," further stated Cardinal Tagle.
The cardinal replied that the church spends their money in their institutions such as their orphanages, their hospitals, and for support during disasters.
"When you look at the response, for example, to disasters and everything, it is the church that still remains to be the single institution of charity. And if ever dioceses and religious orders have property and investment, we also have to look at how that is spent. And the number of employees, the number of needs, the orphanages, the hospitals, all of those are sustained also by church funds," Cardinal Tagle responded.
Watch the full interview below.
In addition, the Archdiocese of Manila was further placed in intrigue during the recent renovation of the Manila Cathedral wherein the church, considering its wealth, did not spend a single centavo. The renovation was, instead, funded by big-time philanthropists.
According to former Chief Justice, Artemio Panganiban, the head of the fund-raising for the repair and renovation activity, "the church has money for operations but not for construction."
This was also questioned when a long-time Church adviser disclosed that when the financial board of the Archdiocese of Manila sits down to convene, their main discussion is how to spend the Church's money, thus the question where the Church really spends its money.
Furthermore, Archdiocese of Manila was not able to file their financial statements in more than 20 years despite their supposed annual filing of the liquidation of their spending.
This case of abuse is said to be rooted in the mindset that the dioceses are not subject to accountability, except the Pope.