The Roman Catholic Church: Mega-rich Yet Begging

5/27/2016 118 Comments

There is not an iota of doubt that the Roman Catholic Church is very rich. But is it pro-poor?

First, the Philippine Security Exchange (PSE) records show that the RCC is a major player in the stock market.

With billions of pesos in funds locked in shares, the RCC has investments in banking, oil, information technology, energy, food and beverages, construction, and mining.

Specifically, RCC’s archdioceses are top stockholders in companies such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philex Mining Corporation (PX), San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Ayala Corporation (AC), and Phinma Corporation (PHN), among others.

For Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) alone, the Archdiocese of Manila has stock investments of almost 328 million shares valued at 30 Billion Pesos; Archdiocese of Zamboanga has 269,982 shares valued at 25.378 million pesos, and Archdiocese of Jaro has 491, 385 shares valued at 46.19 million pesos. (Aries Rufo, “Billions of pesos in Church funds locked in stocks,” Rappler, 1/11/2015).

From the same report, below are the latest available files on RCC funds locked in stocks. Table 1 declares the stocks of the Archdiocese of Manila in five companies.

The same report shows a Table 2 indicating stocks of other Archdioceses outside of Manila and their values in Philippine pesos.

Second, the RCC acts like it is cash-strapped.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) is one of the richest Catholic dioceses in the entire world. So says a report that also tackled the reconstruction and renovation of the Manila Cathedral, the ‘Mother church’ in the Philippines by a supposed cash-strapped diocese. Some few years back, then Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle appealed for help to realize one of the most expensive ventures of the Archdiocese of Manila. Repair and construction cost was initially pegged at P40 million - P50 million, ballooning to P136 million after some two years.

Donors were quick to respond to Tagle’s appeal for help, with San Miguel Corp president Ramon Ang and Metrobank chairman George Ty easily shelling out P50 million and P20 million, respectively. There were also other private donors who gave huge sums of money, as well as the “simple people” who gave loose coins for the reconstruction of the cathedral.

Given its appeal for help, many would assume the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) is cash-strapped. But in reality, it is overflowing with money, tucked in bonds, foreign currency deposits and stocks investments, maintaining its position as one of the richest Catholic dioceses in the entire world. (Aries Rufo, “Can we know how rich the Catholic Church is?” RapplerDotCom, 1/19/2015)

Third, the RCC asks for gifts from government.

Flashback to 2011, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) named a priest and several Catholic bishops who were given sports utility vehicles (SUVs) during the time of then President Gloria Arroyo. The agency charged these to its charity fund (Perseus Echeminada, “Bishops in PCSO scam identified,” Philippine Star, 6/20/2011).

The seven bishops obtained the controversial vehicles using funds released by the PCSO supposedly in exchange for their loyalty. [Note: Gloria Arroyo figured in corruption charges of rigging the elections of 2004 in her favor. In the “Hello Garci” scandal, bishops were expected by the public to condemn it, but there was none of it.] The grant sparked a Senate investigation and the bishops agreed to surrender the vehicles. According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the grant of the five vehicles amounting to P6.940 million violates the constitutional provision that “no public money or property shall be appropriated, applied or employed directly or indirectly, for the use of, benefit or support to any sect, church, denomination… except when such priest, preacher or dignitary is assigned to the Armed Forces or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.” 

Days later, news have it that a fund-raising campaign was organized by lay leaders belonging to the Coalition for Family and Life to help the now “car-less” prelates get new vehicles.

Romulo Macalintal together with Lito Atienza, Macalintal led a campaign to replace the vehicles returned by Catholic bishops in the wake of the recent PCSO scandal. In less than two weeks of fundraising, donations exceeded a million pesos.

But are they the poor?

There are reactions from the public about the RCC -

But it’s not the amount of donations that I consider miraculous. Nor is it the fact that they were collected in less than half a month. The fact that Macalintal managed to convince so many that the bishops needed money — now that’s a miracle….

All I’m saying is that if you’re really pro-poor, you should be the ones giving to the poor, not the other way around. The question is, have the bishops accumulated wealth so that they could be pro-poor? Or have they pretended to be pro-poor so that they could accumulate wealth? (Red Tani, “Blessed are the Poor, said the Billionaire Bishops,”7/27/2011/FilipinoFreethinkersDotOrg).

Meanwhile, Lawyer Aleta Tolentino, a Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) director, impressed that a bishop that asked Gloria Arroyo for a car as birthday gift used the name of the poor. 

Tolentino reportedly said –

We are not against the Church. We are just denouncing what happened in the past—corruption of government funds, which is prohibited by the Constitution itself. Would the bishops rather that we keep mum or we lie about it? Would they want us to just keep quiet about this?” (Tina G. Santos, “Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos asked Gloria Arroyo for a car as b’day gift,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 7/6/2011).

Manila Standard Columnist Elizabeth Angsioco in her article, “The Church of the Poor,” wrote –

This is something that only few of us know: the Philippine Roman Catholic Church is a multi-billionaire religious and business organization. Yes, the Church is mega-rich.

We have always known that the Church, to which at least 80 per cent of Filipinos belong, is rich. Its properties like cathedrals and other big churches, expensive private Catholic colleges and universities all over the country, private hospitals, big buildings and huge tracts of land for their seminaries, etc. are there for people to see. We have always thought this as a given, normal. After all, the Church has been here longer than any of us.

No one really cared to approximate how rich the bishops really are and what the church can do if it really wanted to help poor Catholics. (

Angsioco, head of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), goes on to enumerate the billions of stocks that the RCC has and their value in pesos. She makes a calculation what these billions can do. In the end she says the RCC is in a very good position to remove millions of families from poverty.

The Church positions itself as the vanguard of morality. Yet, while it sits on at least P17.5 billion, it continues to solicit donations from the poor instead of helping them have a better life. The Church proclaims itself as the protector of life. Yet it doesn’t use its billions to save the Catholic poor from hunger, sickness, and death.

Why don’t we see anything wrong with the bishop in all his finery standing beside the Catholic beggar? Is it really acceptable that cathedrals are in the same community of Catholic slum dwellers?

When will the Roman Catholic Church realize that as the multi-billionaire church of the millions of poor Filipino Catholics, it is its moral responsibility to substantially help its flock? (

Note that the latest report on value of BPI shares of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila is P30 billion. In 2011, it was P17.5 billion. Now, contrast their lying billions to the fact that the Philippine Government is badly in debt. Yet, they managed to ask vehicles “for the poor.”

What are the stocks for with the poor around?

One archbishop reasoned out that they have only inherited their wealth from the Spanish friars so they have to protect and nourish it! The wealth of the Spanish friars were accumulated in deceiving our Filipino forefathers, even to the extent of selling indulgences, pardoning thieves and criminals in exchange for their money!

Cannot the bishops now use their wealth taken from Filipinos of yesteryears to the poor Filipinos of the present generation? Cannot they exempt a poor Filipino from paying baptismal fees, marriage fees, and many others? It is the teaching of the Gospel to tend to the poor.

In truth, the coffers of the Roman Catholic Church are full compared to that of the government of the Philippines. It is that plain and simple. To date, the government has an outstanding foreign debt of US$77.659 billion (, an obligation of the people of the Philippines to pay. Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church with its billions of investments earns interests without any obligation to pay any tax - unlike the ordinary hardworking Filipino.

Just a quick glance at the facts and figures shows clear indication of injustice and inequity.

I am reminded of a verse in Ezequiel that says -

EZEKIEL 34:2-4
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

There are many Catholics sleeping in the streets and slums of Metro Manila some of whom are sleeping in the cold just beside and in front of the Catholic Quiapo Church - a breathe away from where the bishop sleeps in comfort inside! Only the walls of the church separate them.

But then they continuously ask for fees in baptism, confirmation, wedding ceremonies, masses, and other services, and donations practically selling all kinds of services and rituals, with their members as captive market, 80 percent of whom are living below the poverty line.

I PETER 4:10
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

A good steward of God uses the gifts he received to minister or to help others. But Catholic priests are not willing to obey this scriptural injunction.

MICAH 3:11
The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

The way it is behaving, the Roman Catholic Church is a money making institution! It is not pro-poor; more yet, it acts as a beggar.


Bible: The Most Misused Book of All Time

5/21/2016 , 144 Comments

Statistics show that, to date, some six billion copies of the Bible were sold!

Why do I say that the Bible is the most misused of all books? Religious leaders, who established their own religion using the Bible (allegedly) as their basis, teach contradicting beliefs and faith. Misused, the written word of God in the Bible will not bring out sound results.

But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully;

Polluted by ideas of men, the goodness in God’s word is tainted. The truth must be nothing but the truth;

JOHN 17:17 
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Alloyed with lies of men, the truth is lost!

The teachings of the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo (INCM), that the unity among Christians taught by the Lord Jesus includes unity in voting in an election, is not a Biblical truth! It is an idea from Manalo’s mind that he injected to the minds of his blind followers. Let us examine this in the light of the Scriptures.

PSALMS 133:1 
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is good and pleasant for the people of God to dwell together in unity. But what factor brings forth goodness in unity?

ROMANS 7:12 
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Unity must be governed by God’s law, by the Gospel. The first-century Christians were admonished by Paul the Apostle to unite in faith of the Gospel.

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Note that the unity in mind and spirit taught by the Apostle Paul to the true Christian church is unity in the Gospel, not in elections or in any other worldly affairs!

Not all unity brings good and pleasant results! Deacons and members of the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo, with a minister present, were in unity when they brutally murdered five Catholic students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) just because of misunderstanding in a basketball game.

In the book Supreme Court Reports Annotated, Volume 339, August 28, 2000, People vs. Abella, we can read:

Unity among members of the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo is severely influenced by the misinterpretation of biblical texts by their blind leaders! This did not bring pleasant and good results! They seemed to be glued up together in doing criminal acts.

Philippine Daily Inquirer 
By Ramon Tulfo 
First Posted 02:40:00 07/07/2009

Merrymaking in the village of San Juan, Apalit, Pampanga turned violent when a Catholic fiesta celebrator doused water on an Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister.

The incident took place during the feast of St. John the Baptist when local folks doused water on passersby in the streets. Joel Banag, 31, a tricycle driver, splashed water on a purported Iglesia minister whom he didn’t recognize. The INC preacher allegedly punched Banag, who punched him back. They were pacified and Banag went home.

But the incident didn’t end there. A group of alleged INC members, who were armed, went to Banag’s house and asked him to come out. Banag didn’t come out, fearing retaliation. At this point, Senior Police Officer 1 Avelino Balingit Jr. of the Apalit police force, an alleged INC member, barged into Banag’s house and arrested him without a warrant. While Banag was being marched to the police precinct, the INC mob allegedly beat him to a pulp. He arrived at the station bloodied and half naked as his shirt was allegedly torn by the mob.

If INC Bishop Erano “Ka Erdie” Manalo reads this, I’m sure he’ll be fuming mad over the abusive members.


Note that in all these criminal acts, unity among Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo members is very much apparent. If they have the courage to display unity in their unlawful acts, they will surely be more proud in supporting a candidate dictated to them by their leaders, which later can be influenced, by the belief that they won the elections because of their votes, followed by immeasurable favors and protection from these corrupt politicians.

But what fashioned the thinking of the Manalo’s to stand firm on their teachings on bloc voting?

We have to learn from history!

God Bless,

Bro. Eli Soriano


Meaning of Words and Meaning Them

5/13/2016 , 197 Comments

The true meaning of a word or the thought in it depends on how it is used by the speaker or the writer; there are words colloquial, legal, idiomatic, and many more. But words used in a colloquial manner may imply a very different meaning when it is used in a biblical way.

One good example is the English word, "know." In a court of law, the presiding judge may ask someone in the witness stand, "Do you know the accused?" A judge sometimes is satisfied when a witness points with his index finger to somebody inside the courtroom.

Colloquially, someone may say, "I know the President because he, with his family,were our neighbors ten years ago."

These are the common uses of the word "know".

Biblically, the word "know," yâda‛ in Hebrew and ginōskō in Greek, may mean a deeper thing especially when used between a man and a woman.

GENESIS 4:1, 25 
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 
25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

It is clear in theses verses that the word "know" or "knew" implies sexual intercourse.

Joseph had known Mary, contrary to the belief of the Catholic Church that Mary was forever a virgin. In fact, he bore at least six children with Mary.

MATTHEW 1:24-25 
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

The phrase, "knew her not till" implies that after the birth of the Firstborn Jesus, Mary was known to Joseph, having at least six children with him.

Jesus was described as the firstborn, strengthening the idea that there were other children born to Mary.

MARK 6:3 
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

The phrase, "are not his sisters here with us?" implies that Jesus Christ has at least two sisters making his brethren at the very least six!

What about election?

The word "election," as we know colloquially, is a democratic process whereby people of a nation, like the Philippines, elect or vote for a candidate for a particular government office.

In the Bible, God elects. Election in the Bible means to choose somebody to be given or to be gifted of a particular office.

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

It is for a particular function that a Christian is elected by God.

II PETER 1:10 
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Why is it that in the Bible, God is the person that elects or that chooses someone for a particular office? The logic is wise and sensible. God knows a man and everything in him.

JOHN 2:24-25 
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

God knows the deepest secret of the most intricate part of our being.

JEREMIAH 17:9-10 
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

God's choices are sure and he does it without repentance.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

However, it is different with mankind: our choices are not always sure.

We humans choose or elect, but sometimes and most of the time we end up in repentance because we made the wrong choice. At times, the repentance is made when the one we elected proves the contrary to our hopes.

The Filipino people after voting for a particular candidate to the highest office in the land end up grieving and complaining because of frustrations and broken promises made by politicians. Our choices are not always sure, and many things factor into the fulfillment of those promises. We can only hope they mean what they promised.

The overwhelming mandate and trust given to President elect Rodrigo Duterte, according to some analysts, is because of his promise to the electorate that he will curve criminality, drug addiction, and corruption within a period of six months. Such is the expectation of a people longing for justice and genuine reform in government. Honestly speaking, I am one of them.

Mabuhay ka Presidente! We are praying for you and for the entire nation!

Sincerely yours,

Brother Eli


The Dangers In Believing the Power of INC Votes

The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) as an institution (if we may call it one), does not stand on firm principles of goodness and justice. Their god is not the God ALMIGHTY taught by the Bible! Their god is inconsistent, capricious, fickle-minded, ever-changing in his choice.

For example, Mar Roxas got INC’s endorsement in the 2010 polls when he ran for Vice President and as the running mate of then fellow Sen. Benigno S. Aquino III.

Roxas, however, lost to then Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay by 700,000 votes despite leading all pre-election surveys.

During the last national election of 2010, their god chose Mar Roxas not because of his track record and goodness but because he is a front-runner in the pre-election surveys. But Binay, whom they did not choose, won to prove many glaring facts and figures.

1. Candidates do not win because of the INC bloc votes. 
2. The INC choice does not depend on the integrity of the person but on his popularity. 
3. What the INC chose now cannot be their choice in the future!

Now that Roxas, their god's choice 6 years ago, is running for the highest office in the land, their god switched side by endorsing Duterte, a front runner in the pre-election survey.

JAMES 1:17 
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The God of the Bible does not change. If the INC really chose based on the integrity and track record, they should have chosen again Roxas even if he is trailing back in surveys.

I am reminded of another religious group who chose the name of their god because of popularity and not because of the truth. They called their god, “Jehovah,” simply because it was popular.

This document shows that the Jehovah's Witnesses are not true witnesses but liars!

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

Choosing a name because of its popularity and not because of the truth that it contains is a blatant lie. It has long been a deceit that the Jehovah's Witnesses sell in the religious market!

The Bible teaches us to stand by the principles of truth.

The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves.

If after we have chosen a stand based on the best of our knowledge and belief - especially when we claim that such decision is of God and inspired by God - we are estopped by biblical principles from changing sides. But then, this is not the principle of the INC, a group that is supposed to be biblical! 

In the political landscape in the Philippines, there is a vicious cycle of evil caused by political dynasties and TRAPOS (traditional politicians). A traditional politician, like Joseph “Erap” Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, and many others, can be chosen now by the god of the INC and be rejected later!

But these TRAPOS and political dynasties can always be encountered in the waves of this vicious political cycle falling in line on their way to Diliman to seek endorsement from the INC. Later on, they open their elective offices to the knocks of the influence-seeking INC leaders. This is to the point of betraying the trust of the entire Filipino people and succumbing to the caprices of the INC leaders. This is verily a root of all forms of corruption in the govt.

EXODUS 23:8 
And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

There is no doubt that 70 percent of the Philippine electorate are Catholics. Catholics, including the Protestants, are being portrayed as evil by the leaders of the Iglesia ni Manalo. They are to be rejected because they are ministers of Satan (Pasugo, August 1961, pp. 39).

But candidates made popular by the 'alleged evil' Catholics and Protestants are being endorsed by the leaders of the INC to their members with the threat of being excommunicated if they do not follow.

What is reality is that the popularity of the candidates depends mainly on the choices of the majority of the Catholics. Since Catholics are regarded as evil by the INC, but later are endorsed by the INC leaders upon the dictates of their god, tell me if this isn’t sheer shamelessness! Their practice proves that they do not vote for the integrity of the person but for the popularity of the person, which popularity is inspired by the 'evil' Catholic Church.

True Christians do not have a nod to this on the slightest imaginable perception.

And be not conformed to this world:but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The reason why they now endorse candidates considered to be front-runners in the pre-election survey is that they have learned their lesson in Danding Cojuangco. It was not clearly a lesson to learn from what is good and equitable but a lesson to pursue further their influence peddling scheme among politicians!

They endorsed Danding much earlier before the surveys but Danding ended up a poor third in the 1992 elections! They then were not very comfortable in the government of Fidel Ramos who strongly believed that he won not because of the INC vote, which chose Danding Cojuangco!

But TRAPOS have not learned their lessons yet compared to the INC! TRAPOS do not know and do not remember their arithmetic. To pursue their ambitions as politicians, they are blinded by the manner the INC officials play their cards.

But it is simple arithmetic, really. The INC have made up a party list wherein all voting members are required to adhere to and vote. Since they vote as one, this is the surest gauge to know the exact number of the INC voters – just like the gauge connected to the gasoline tank of your car. When the gauge reaches empty, it means there is no more gasoline. It is as simple as this.

Consider this: The year 2010 vote of ALAGAD partylist is way lower than the vote it got from the 2007 national election.

In COMELEC records, the chosen party list that concerns nominees of the INC (ALAGAD) got about 400,000 votes in the 2010 election inspite of the threat of being excommunicated, if they do not adhere to the dictates of their dictator in Diliman.

It is very clear therefore that the claim that they have millions of voters is false, a blatant lie, shameless and stupid to believe. They do not even have half a million voters! Or if they have, they should have excommunicated more than 1,500,000 members who did not vote for their chosen party list!

To be clear, is Alagad, an INC party list? A leading broadsheet affirms this -

Based on the sample ballots distributed by the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo has asked his flock to vote for ACT-CIS (Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support) based in the Quezon City area and 1-SAGIP (Social Amelioration & Genuine Intervention on Poverty) in Las Piñas. This is on top of its electoral wing, the Alagad partylist, represented by Rodante Marcoleta, an INC member. (

I have a list of "mas y menos" members of the INC given to me by a minister who served them almost 50 years. He is privy to the number of members in different regions of the country, from the tip of Luzon to the tip of Mindanao because he was assigned to these places. In the list, there is less than a million members including children that are presumed to be members before they reach their early "teens!"

The minister who gave me the info is now being hunted and is in hiding for more than 12 years because of fear for his life. He was baptized in the Members Church of God International (MCGI) 12 years ago and now a loyal member of the true church. Believe me that he is in hiding because even I do not know his whereabouts! I just believe that he is in hiding because it is being repeated in the cases of Lowell Menorca III, Isaias Samson Jr. and many more. These are former INC ministers recently excommunicated for crying corruption in the INC organization.

Is this the kind of church that will influence the leaders of our country? I pity the Filipino people! 

Until next time. God bless you.

Sincerely yours,

Brother Eli Soriano