Subject: AN OPEN LETTER T0 POPE FRANCIS: "The Golden Rule" - A Maxim of Morality
From: Roque C. Amancio, Jr.
Date: 7 Dec 2014
Your Holiness: For the past many weeks now, I've been mulling over whether or not to write this Open Letter simply because I do not know if it will see print and find its way to finally get your attention. Finally, I was able to summon up enough courage to take chance for whatever worth it may have. In a nutshell, my concern is about a registered family-owned lot (in the province of Capiz, Roxas City, Philippines) which is unjustly and illegally occupied by a Chapel of the Archdiocese of Capiz without our knowledge. The illegal construction of the chapel was discovered many years back when I visited the province to sell the property lot. I am 72 years old and the rest of my siblings are in their late 70's and 80's. We are in dire need of finances for our daily sustenance especially for our medical needs. In the twilight years of our life, we've depended solely on relatives who are also in a tight financial situation. Our only hope and option is to sell the property to potential buyers but has been hindered by the illegally built chapel of the diocese. I wrote a letter to Archbishop Jose F. Advincula of Capiz about this transgression (trespassing). An Offer to Buy without resorting to litigation was agreed upon. Unfortunately, the negotiation failed simply because Archbishop Advincula's emissary stubbornly pegged the amount too far below the prevailing price. In deference to the Church, I made a moderate counter proposal but it was outright rejected. I was bluntly told to just demolish the chapel myself! I felt personally violated by this unwarranted and unreasonable actuation. I believe it is only a veiled attempt to take advantage of one's plight knowing fully well of our immediate financial needs. Under the circumstances, there is a valid cause to demand that the Archdiocese of Capiz vacate the premises...I have not heard from Archbishop Advincula since then despite several efforts to reach him. My family has long been injured by the kind of behavior shown by the Church on this matter. In my desperate attempt to settle this problem, I sent a letter to Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, CBCP President, for apostolic intercession but received little attention. The several follow-ups through his email address ([email protected]) have all been futile. In October of 2014, I sent another letter thru courier service addressed to his official residence in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Once again, all I received was the usual reply-template from him...No solid action has been made whatsoever. I feel so helpless and all I have is really pity for my family. Your Holiness, common sense dictates that there is something wrong in the archdiocese's constructing a chapel on a property lot it does not own knowing fully well that it belongs to somebody.... It is a sin taking someone's property without his or her consent... It is ingrained in everybody's conscience! It is ironic that while the Church professes good values and morals, it is obviously doing the opposite in this particular instance. Through the years, I have shown deep reverence to people of the Church. While what I vented is bad publicity, it is not my intention to injure the credibility of the Church. What I am asking is only what legally belongs to us and nothing more. By the feigning ignorance and continued silence of the Archdiocese of Capiz and the CBCP, they have shown bad faith. However, I still consider this problem more of a moral issue rather than legal principally because it concerns the Church. I was taught in grade school of an ethical code - "The Golden Rule", a maxim of morality attributed to Jesus Christ. With all sincerity, I am always guided by this ethical standard all my life. I do hope the Church (to which all my clan belongs) will be true to its teaching. Thank you so much Your Excellency. I hope you will have a fruitful and pleasant visit with us. I have the honor to profess myself with the most profound respect. Sincerely yours in Christ, Roque C. Amancio, Jr. (02) 8427733/ 09196319075 [email protected]