Echoes from SJI-4


THE Invited, Irregular, Improvised Board of Trustees (IMBOT) of St. John’s Institute wanted the church to remain open for the public church goers but no parish. This or nothing but for the diocese this is not acceptable because that condition contravenes the church organizational structure. The diocese also rejected the IMBOT proposal to limit the church to a school chapel. A school chapel cannot serve the community and negates the purpose why the lands were donated and the church and the school established. The IMBOT proposal would violate the conditions of the donations.

The IMBOT position was later bolstered by the declaration of the donor’s representatives that they would not recover the property. To a certain extent that relieves the diocese of responsibility insofar as the lands are concerned but the diocese still has the duty to its apostolate that transcends anything material. It was only freed of this obligation to the donors when it was driven out so it retained the parish that continues to function outside the donated SJI compound.

We had been distracted by false propaganda accusing the diocese of unholy interest in the money. This propaganda worked because of knee-jerk reaction that is easily fueled by anti-Catholics and made credible by Catholics in Name Only (CINO) who believe generally anything against the Church without intellection. As I wrote earlier people concluded the diocese just want the money while the IMBOT are not interested in the money although they did not say what the IMBOT was interested in. I shall deal later with this deceptive scheme not only against the diocese but as a tool in the pursuit of the takeover.

I had wondered why the IMBOT wanted the church to remain open but no parish. New information now explains the adamant, inflexible position of IMBOT that led to the deadlock. The diocese was willing to accommodate as long as its mission continues. It now appears this mission is the stumbling block to the plan of the IMBOT for total control and expected benefits.

The linkages are clear: without a parish there is no apostolate expenses, no parish pastoral council, no parish finance committee to manage the funds and no oversight by the Diocesan Economus. The diocese was willing to give seats to members of the IMBOT in the councils but the IMBOT rejected the offer. It is understandable: the IMBOT would have no total control, there would be outsiders (priest and lay persons) whose loyalty would be to the parish. Most important of all if it remained a church despite not being a parish there will be no BIR to whom the IMBOT has to report its collections and donations for tax purposes.

IMBOT also rejected the proposal of the diocese that the school remain under IMBOT control but the church must, properly remain with the diocese. To address the claim that if the parish remained the security of the students would be jeopardized, the diocese countered that a wall could even be constructed to segregate and protect the student. The IMBOT derided the proposal. Why? New information answers this puzzle: the church and its income were the objective and if there was a parish the IMBOT could not have their hands on the till.

So the IMBOT remained unyielding. Without outsiders, it controls all the church incomes. Indeed, if the IMBOT cannot touch the funds, everything is pointless since the school is already secured. If they want the money they must retain the church and its services to the outside congregation, the main source funds. Without accountability for church funds and responsibilities to the missionary work that gave reason for being to the church, the IMBOT has everything in the bag.

Thus the deadlock – the diocese cannot agree that church will have no PPC and PFC which are parts of the church structure. It would have been a farce and play into the IMBOT’s hands. The diocese wants to continue the mission; the IMBOT wants the collection.

New information leads us to see that the “dialogues” were shadow plays. There were several meetings but we now know the plan to eject the diocese had been made earlier. The IMBOT hoped that “public” pressure and intransigence would force the diocese to yield. The dialogue was apparently a public relations scheme: just keep talking.

Let’s continue tomorrow.


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