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Bishop won’t give communion to hoarders
« on: June 05, 2008, 05:35:51 AM »
A senior Philippines religious leader Monday threatened to withhold communion to traders who hoard rice amid soaring prices in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Southeast Asian nation. The Philippines, one of the world’s largest importers of the staple grain, is struggling to build up stocks amid a rapid increase in prices in recent months. Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of the southern diocese of Marbel on Mindanao island said he will talk to local businessmen to find out if they are withholding supplies to artificially jack up the prices.
Local press reports said that rice was now at least 50 percent more expensive in some areas of Mindanao compared to the rest of the country.

“I will talk to them in private and ask, ‘Why did you do that?’ I will ask him to defend and explain – then I will say, ‘You have to return what you have stolen plus the damage.’” Hoarders who comply will get absolution.“I will give him communion. If he will say ‘no,’ then I will say, ‘You will not receive communion because you’re the one excommunicating yourself. You don’t want to be united with Christ because you are exploiting the poor.’” The government says 23.5 million Filipinos – one-fourth of the population – earn 67 pesos (1.52 dollars) or less a day. (The PhilNews.com)

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