Veteran Journo to priests: the Church must join campaign against narco, denounce lawlessness, give sympathy to all - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Veteran Journo to priests: the Church must join campaign against narco, denounce lawlessness, give sympathy to all

Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas  (ctto)

Following the slay of the three Catholic priests, opposition senators insisted that there was a ‘pattern’ targeting the critics of allegedly violence and human rights violations.

Earlier, Senator Risa Hontiveros of the Akbayan Party-list even sought for a Senate inquiry to investigate the slay of priests in the last six months.

"Ito bang sa pagpatay sa tatlong paring Katoliko ay pattern na talaga, tina-target ang mga taong-Simbahan na nagpupuna, dinadagdag ang kanilang tinig sa mga pangyayari ngayon ng karahasan, paglabag sa karapatang pantao at pati korapsyon?" Hontiveros said in a forum.

They are kilIing our flock. They are kilIing us the shepherds. They are kilIing our faith. They are cursing our Church. They are kilIing God again as they did on Calvary.

– Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Bishop-elect Jose Elmer Mangalinao, and the clergy of Lingayen-Dagupan

As a nation, we ask God’s forgiveness for the sins against life. Along with our plea for mercy, let us do life-giving acts: sympathy for orphans and widows, sharing of food, … and other acts of charity. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them,“ said Saint Paul (Romans 12:14). In cursing them, one may become like them, or be enslaved by them.

– Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

Quoted above are the statements from prominent church leaders of the country, obviously putting the blame to the government for what happened to the priests.

Veteran columnist, Ricardo Saludo, in his article at the Manila Times noticed how Villegas consistently criticize Duterte, who himself threatened the criminals and alike with punishment. *

“Let us implore the grace of God to touch the heart of the President of the Philippines to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests.” Villegas and his fellow church priests lamented.

And they also prayed:

“We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit that our leaders in government may arrest the further erosion of law and order in the country and restore respect for human life and human dignity. We beg the Lord to wake up our people, now walking in darkness and numbed by fear, to stand up for the Lord and courageously correct error and sin.”

Saludo said that the last paragraph obviously refers to the president’s campaign to fight the illegal drugs in the country but did not consider that crimes were committed by lawless elements which exploded in the last administration.

Saludo’s article states that between 2010 and 2014, criminality more than tripled: from 324,083 incidents in 2010 to more than 1 million a year in 2013 and 2014, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. (PSA data seemed to drop in 2011-12, until the Philippine National Police corrected statistics in 2013, and disciplined PNP station chiefs for faulty reports.)*

“No wonder then-Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, whose campaign centered on eradicating lawlessness, won a landslide victory in the 2016 presidential polls, despite lacking massive election funds and nationwide renown and machinery.” Saludo wrote.

Then what if all the president’s legal methods fail, and crimes become rampant?

Saludo pointed out that – if the criminal justice system can’t staunch lawlessness, EJKs become tempting thus, the Church should do their part and help by:

First, do what Cardinal Tagle urged <>: beg for God’s mercy, not only for the forgiveness of sins, but the reform of sinners and the solace and support of victims. Do acts of charity, as reparations for lawlessness and violence, and, more crucial, against the culture of d3ath and domination feeding crime and kilIings.

Second, the Church must join the campaign against narcotics and lawlessness, for if these scourges escalate, people accept EJKs just to be safe. Conduct more drug rehab programs like Cardinal Tagle’s Sanlakbay, which Pope Francis commended.

Third, the Church should denounce lawlessness, including rebel violence, abduction and extortion, as much as it does corruption and EJKs. Give sympathy to all victims, not just to those hurt by the state.
The Church tolls bells daily for EJK victims. But what about the hundreds of thousands m*rdered, r*ped, robbed, assaulted, and addicted?

“Filipinos deeply value life and faith, but also peace and order. So does God.” Saludo said.

 Source: Manila Times