Fr. Jose arrived at our Parish to celebrate Mass one October Sunday in October, 2011. We did not know him. He wasn’t wearing a clerical collar, but we trusted that he was, indeed, a real priest.
Several weeks later he came back, announcing that he would be our new Parish Priest. We wished that the Bishop would have come with him, to introduce the priest, but his Excellency did not accompany him.
Father Jose was late for every Mass. Sometimes he promised to show up for special Holy Hours, but he always disappointed us. He never wore a clerical collar.
No one had the nerve to question ” the priest “. Cradle Catholics are taught never to do this, as this is very serious sin !
After three years in the Parish, Fr. Jose did not return to our little church. No one asked any questions. Catholics are taught from an early age to ” pray, pay, and obey”. We learned through the media that the priest had been suspended by his Excellency, and that he was under police investigation. That was all the parishioners were ever told about Fr. Jose.
At a Parish function, my husband and I confronted the Bishop and asked him to tell the parishioners what had happened to the priest. He told us that it was ” none of our business “.
Undaunted, I wrote to the Asian Diocese whose Bishop had sent us Fr. Jose. He replied to me ! His letter stated that Fr. Jose was no longer allowed to exercise his priestly ministry anywhere. We did not share this with the parishioners.
They responded to the lack of transparency by simply staying away from church. I am certain that they still pray, but they no longer pay. And the pews are getting emptier every day.