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No Charity At Home: Fr. Pablo Maghari And The Archdiocese of New York (Updated)

January 19, 2010

Bob Hope is surely one of the world’s best loved comedians.

But more than his jocular persona he is known best for his giving heart, his boundless charity and humor.

Humor aside, Bob Hope is also known to have said:

If you haven’t any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble.

This admonition is a propo for the Archdiocese of New York.

The Archdiocese, which earned dubious notoriety for allegedly coddling priests linked to sexual abuses by paying off their victims, is givng the boot to a Father Pablo Maghari, a Filipi priest from Antique who’s been ministering to parishioners at Staten Island’s St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church as a guest pastor.

Father Maghari has done nothing wromg.

His kidneys are failind and  is now is confined at the Richmond Medical University Hospital on Staten Island with his weekly dialysis sessions and medicines running some $ 1,000 each week.

The  Ardiocese of New York claims it cannot afford to to shoulder the expenses and wants to send Father Maghari him back to the Philippines, saying the poor Filipino priest is technically not a member of the diocese!!!

Parishioners of St. Peter have offered their homes to Maghari and are trying to help pay his bills with donations.

In the meantime, Father Maghari has gone blind in one eye and fears being forced to go home to Antique:

If I go back to my province slowly, I’ll get sicker and sicker.

Sadly there’s no charity from his adopted home: the Archdiocese of New York.

Update:

Here’s further information now on the plight of the 59-year old Fr. Maghari via FilipinoVoices.com:

Rev.  Maghari, who was on his way to incardination*, was ordered out of the rectory on the first day of December by the NY Archdiocese and told to go back to the Philippines after becoming ill last September from acute kidney disease requiring dialysis treatment three times a week.

Although his doctors attested that Rev. Maghari remains able to work, he was stripped of his salary, health insurance and the authority to say mass and administer the sacraments by the NY Archdiocese after he refused to go back to the Philippines. A green card holder, Rev. Maghari was invited to join the NY Archdiocese to relieve the shortage of priests, but must now rely on Medicaid for his medical needs.

Rev. Maghari, a priest for thirty four years, has been a diabetic for seventeen years and said that without kidney transplant sending him back to the Philippines is like a death sentence since dialysis cost more than $1,000 a week. Currently homeless, after six years of service in NY Archdiocese his health insurance coverage expires after December 31

Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the NY Archdiocese told reporters that the archdiocese can no longer be responsible for the ailing priest and the responsibility falls on the bishop in the Philippines to care for Rev. Maghari.

Mr. Zwilling stated that the determination was made having reviewed Rev. Maghari’s medical records and the parish situation.

Filipino-Americans in New York are sending out this petition to Pope Benedict XVI:

We the undersigned respectfully urge His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

To reform the labor practices of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the employment of priests, religious and church workers who must be provided coverage of Social Security, Medicare, Disability and other safety nets like reasonable job accommodation during period of disability. The Church, as an employer must conform to U.S. labor laws that protect workers from exploitation.

We urge His Holiness to assure that Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) be treated with respect as to their civil rights and not be subjected to oppressive working environment like unreasonable work schedule, denial of access to their salary, passports, entry permits and other personal belongings, as well as limitation in reasonable personal contact with the outside world.

We urge His Holiness to immediately address the situation surrounding the termination of the health insurance, homelessness and other labor issues of Rev.Eusebio Maghari, formerly of New York Archdiocese. Kindly alleviate the suffering of Rev. Maghari and other similarly situated individuals.

We urge His Holiness to review the circumstances surrounding the past employment of BLB, a Filipina OFW in the Saipan Diocese with the purpose of preventing such incident from happening again to other similarly situated individuals.

We the undersigned not only appeal to His Holiness sense of Justice and Charity, but more important we urge the Roman Catholic Church to practice what it preaches in terms of respect for human rights and concern for social justice.

We urge His Holiness to listen to our plea and recognize the truth in our petition

Believing that our cause is just and rooted on conscience, we hereby sign this petition in solidarity based on the circumstances that are known to us without any malice on our part

(THE UNDERSIGNED)
‘Ecclesia Semper Reformanda’ (The Church Must Always Be Reformed)

http://filipinovoices.com/church-boots-out-ailing-filipino-priest

*In the Catholic Church, incardination refers to the situation of a member of the clergy being placed under the jurisdiction of a particular bishop or other religious superior. Its antonym, excardination, denotes that a member of the clergy has been freed from one jurisdiction and is transferred to another.
Both terms are derived from the Latin cardo (pivot, socket, or hinge), from which the word cardinal is also derived – hence the Latin verbs incardinare (to hang on a hinge or fix) and excardinare (to unhinge or set free).
The purpose of incardination is to ensure that no cleric, whether deacon or priest, is “freelance,” without a clear ecclesiastical superior to whom he is responsible.
Once incardinated, the cleric remains the subject of these same superiors even when ordained a priest. This incardination does not cease until the moment when that cleric is incardinated as a subject of another superior.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Postscript:

The telling aspect in this episode is that Fr. Maghari is inb limbo. While the Arxhdioces of New York is turning him away he is being told that the Catholic Church leadership in the Philippines is responsible for him!

Will the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines take notice of their Filipino brother now that he has lost his adopted home in New York?

Paging the CBCP please.

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