Church in Philippines Says It Won't Accept "Dirty" Money

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MANILA, Philippines, JULY 20, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Philippine bishops' conference has instructed the Church's Social Action National Secretariat to fight corruption by not accepting donations from corrupt sources.



"Corruption is the abuse of power, in the ambit of the government or in the private sector, for personal enrichment," says a pastoral document recently signed by Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, outgoing president of the episcopal conference. "But it is the poor who end up losing."

The text was issued at the end of the episcopate's assembly in Tagaytay City. The bishops stated that about $48 billion -- equal to 40% of the government's annual budget -- was lost due to corruption over the past 20 years, the Misna agency reported.

Corruption robs development projects and social services, affecting the weakest and neediest sector of the population, the bishops said.

While the government tries to take steps to eradicate the problem, the country's episcopate invites the faithful to organize themselves to address the problem in their own social or work milieu.

In particular, the bishops call "all Catholic institutions, organizations and ecclesial communities to undertake the anti-corruption campaign with the greatest commitment."