‘Power far greater’ than Duterte invoked
BACOLOD CITY — The Catholic faithful here were asked to turn to a “power far greater” than President Rodrigo Duterte to stop summary killings related to the drug war and prevent a resurgence of dictatorship.
In a prayer rally on Sept. 21, Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon said the faithful should turn to prayer against street killings resulting in the drug war and the reemergence of one-man rule.
Marking the 45th anniversary of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law, at least 300 people gathered in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral here and joined a procession around the city plaza.
Buzon said prayers could touch the most callous of hearts and bring about change.
He announced that the Diocese of Bacolod was joining the synchronized pealing of church bells every 8 p.m. to last for 40 days until Nov. 2. against bloodshed.
‘Not losing battle’
Buzon said the fight against those who trash human lives and deprive people of human dignity and basic rights “is not a losing battle, our faith tells us otherwise.”
During the 40-day period, the faithful were asked to offer prayers for those who died in street killings and also those killed in the war on terror in Marawi City.
“There is a power far greater, we appeal to this power through prayer,” the bishop said.
In a circular, Buzon said amid the killings in the drug war and the deaths of young people, the Church’s call continued to be for healing through the rule of law and a denunciation of violence.
“We intend to offend none but the evil in our midst,” said Buzon, quoting Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president.
“We fight the darkness, not with the spark of bullets,” he said.
In Manila only?
In parts of Mindanao, the Church directive to ring bells had been relayed to the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City but apparently misunderstood in another area, the Archdiocese of Cotabato.
Kidapawan Bishop Colin Bagaforo said his diocese was heeding the call for the ringing of the bells but in the Archdiocese of Cotabato, a Church official said he thought the directive to ring bells was for Manila parishes only.
But Fr. Loreto Sanoy, of the Diocesan Clergy of Cotabato, said there had been no instruction from Orlando Cardinal Quevedo to ring bells in churches every 8 p.m. in the diocese. —With reports from Edwin Fernandez and Ador Vincent Mayol