DUMAGUETE CITY – In its Pastoral Exhortation released on Monday, the CBCP have offered peace, joy, and forgiveness amid so much hatred and violence in the country.
“Our enemies in this world are not fellow human beings, not ‘flesh and blood’ (Eph 6:12). We do not fight our battles with guns and bullets. We do not seek protection from those who might wish to harm us by wearing bullet-proof vests, because the battles that we fight are spiritual,” said the statement signed by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, the president of the CBCP.
“In these times of darkness, when there’s so much hatred and violence, when murder has become an almost daily occurrence, when people have gotten so used to exchanging insults and hurting words in the social media, we admonish the faithful to remain steadfast in our common vocation and mission to actively work for peace,” he added.
Valles said priests being murdered for witnessing to Christ, maligned and ridiculed because they have carried out their duties as shepherds is nothing new in the history of the Church.
“Have you forgotten that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians? It is what has kept the Church alive after two thousand years. Did not our master say, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul into Gehenna” (Mt 10:28)?,” he said.
“What does the Lord tell his disciples when they are persecuted or humiliated for his sake? He tells them to “rejoice and be glad” (Mt 5:12),” he added.
On July 16, the feast of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Valles urged the entire nation to spend a day of prayer and penance invoking God’s mercy and justice on “those who have blasphemed God’s Holy Name, those who slander and bear false witness, and those who commit murder or justify murder as a means for fighting criminality in our country.”
For the next three days, from July 17 to 19, 2018, he invited everyone to “fast, prayer, and give alms to the poor.” (By CBCP SECRETARIAT)