- His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
- United States of America
#1 Rev. EUSEBIO Pablito Maghari, a 59-year-old Filipino assistant priest at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Staten Island, New York 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.
Sources of information:
Ailing priest rises above his plight
By DEBORAH YOUNG
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE 12/18/2009
NY Archdiocese kicks ailing priest out of rectory, told to go back to the Philippines by: by Lenn Almadin-Thornhill 12/11/2009
Sick priest to stay here for treatment
By EDMUND M. SILVESTRE
Filipino Reporter 12/11/2009
Hoping to reverse his dismissal, parishioners rally around ill Staten Island priest
By Deborah E. Young 12/7/2009
Parishioners support ailing Staten Island priest
By Staten Island Advance 12/6/2009
http://www.nydailyn ews.com/ny_ local/... from_post. html
Ailing priest removed from Staten Island parish
BY Christina Boyle cboyle@nydailynews. Com 12/4/2009
Archdiocese washes its hands of ailing Staten Island priest
By Tom Wrobleski 12/3/2009
Archdiocese Boots S.I. Priest Because He Needs Dialysis
Attachment #2 Statement by Maria E. Embry of Antioch California dated 12/28/2009 as follows:
On March 23, 2009 I was assisting a family from Lagawe, Ifugao, Philippines in locating BLB, a female OFW employed by Father J.R. in Saipan because of the deteriorating condition of V.B.B., her 100 year old U.S. WW11 veteran father, who kept on asking to see her before he dies. Additionally, BLB’s son was also ill. After I was able to locate BLB on March 28 thru the Saipan Philippine Consulate, she informed me that Father J.R. would not allow her to leave until the end of April.
The Consulate kindly accommodated BLB on April 19, a Sunday, her only day off from work to file a complaint against Father J.R. for her unpaid six months salary.
On April 20 V.B.B. died and my telephone contact with BLB was disconnected after she told me that Father J.R. took her passport and entry permit
My contact with BLB was only resumed thru the intervention of the Consulate and Bishop Tomas Camacho of Marianas Island Diocese, who also informed me that Father J.R. would be paying BLB’s salary. BLB arrived in Ifugao on the day of her father’s funeral. Ret. Col.R.M. of Arizona, Mr. P.Y. of Colorado and other individuals also assisted BLB.
The Philippine Consulate sent me the following e-mails regarding this matter
WDLM 067-2009 4/21/2009
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
‘Ecclesia Semper Reformanda’ (The Church Must Always Be Reformed)