By April Burcer
A Roman Catholic bishop urged members of the Church to let their voices be heard against the killings of priests as well as against all other extra-judicial killings in the country.
“Stand up. Speak out. That’s where we are lacking right now,” Pabillo said during his homily at a special Mass celebrated at the Quiapo Basilica Monday evening.
“The people are asking, ‘Why is the Church silent?’ The public does not expect church people to be armed with guns. They expect us to speak out –bishops, priests, nuns and lay groups,” he added.
Pabillo said with the faithfuls’ voices speaking together, they don’t have to shout loudly but still be heard.
“The whole country will hear that killing is evil, that telling lies is bad, that cursing is unacceptable, that quo warranto is illegal, that we don’t want Cha-Cha, and that we should not give the Philippines to China,” the prelate said.
Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte spoke against the Church’s God and the hypocrisy of its leaders and priests.
The Mass was followed by a candle-lighting ceremony at the historic Plaza Miranda led by various church and human rights groups for the three Roman Catholic priests killed under the Duterte government.
Father Richmond Nilo of Nueva Ecija, retired priest Father Tito Paez and Father Mark Ventura of Cagayan have been killed in the past six months.
“There is a culture of killing that is happening now in our country. They are killing our respect for people, they are killing our respect women, and they are killing our respect for the law. The very people who should be upholding the law are the very ones who are breaking them,” activist nun Sr Mary John Mananzan, OSB said.
The event was also participated in by Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox and faith-based groups such as the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Nicodemus, Workers’ Resistance Against Tyranny and for Human Rights, and Kalipunan ng Kristiyanong Kabataan.
The event ended with the announcement of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) reversal of the Bureau of Immigration’s order deporting Fox. #