Laguna clergy warned of sect using children to collect alms at Masses

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SAN PABLO City, Nov. 21, 2013—The bishop of the diocese of San Pablo (Laguna) and the members of the clergy on Monday were warned of a religious sect posing themselves to be Catholics and using indigent children to collect alms from unsuspecting church goers at Mass. 

Fr. Jerry Gaela, the parish priest of San Pablo Cathedral Parish here has told this writer during the Clergy Recollection/Meeting on November 18 of a group called Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. 

The foundation was founded by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Executive Pastor of “Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name” a religious sect posing to be a Catholic organization who used to approach parish priests all over the province requesting special collections on Sunday Masses on various months especially when Christmas season approaches. 

Fr. Ruben Dagala, parish priest of St. Gregory the Great Parish in Majayjay town said, the group had been collecting contributions from his parishioners during Sunday Masses for several years when he was still assigned in Pangil town in 2007 to 2013 for he was made to believe the group was legitimately Catholic.   

This writer has learned that the group’s Modus Operandi was to write a letter of request to parish priests without specifying that it belongs to the religious sect of Quiboloy. 

A copy of one of those letters furnished to this writer would says: “The Children’s Foundation, Inc. is a non stock, non profit organization which was organized for the purpose of helping the impoverished, less fortunate and under-privileged children of the society. It provides temporary shelter for the children and youth who are (in) need of special protection, preventive and protective intervention through the provisions of health care, education and other services.” 

Then, the letter would request: “In line with this, may we knock on your kind heart to allow our rondalla group (poor children) to serenade the parishioners this coming Sunday (date specified) and render their best songs of the season. It will surely be a big help addressing the needs of the foundation.” 

This writer learned that the Modus Operandi of the Children’s Joy Foundation also includes the following: promoters (mostly women) handling the children would request the parish priest to let the children sit at the front seat near the altar during the Holy Mass, then after Communion they would let the children sing and dance in front of the altar to entertain the parishioners. While the children are performing the organizers would then pass boxes for churchgoers to give their alms allegedly in support of the indigent kids.

They will repeat this in as many as there are Masses in the parish. If a parish church has four Masses, they would replicate the same mode of collecting alms four times.   

In a telephone interview with this writer, one Jho A. Perida, the Project Coordinator of the foundation admitted that the Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. was indeed headed and founded by Quiboloy. She refused to elaborate as she said she was busy. 

This writer has found this Profile written in the website of the foundation: “The Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. started when a goodhearted man, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy , Executive Pastor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name, saw the miserable plight of the poor Filipino children particularly children on the street, while touring the entire Philippines as an evangelist to help and protect these innocent and needy children by means of forming a Foundation that would cater to their needs.” 

A number of priests who requested anonymity have expressed their gratitude on the expose after the clergy meeting as they were finally enlightened about the true identity of the foundation. They now expect that the group’s Modus Operandi would no longer victimize unsuspecting Catholic parishioners.  (Fr. Romy Ponte)

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