CBCP head asks laity: ‘Forgive us, your lost shepherds’
CEBU CITY—“Forgive us, your lost shepherds,” said Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Archbishop Socrates Villegas at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) here.
Speaking during a penitential service, Villegas apologized in behalf of priests, bishops and cardinals for their sins.
“Catholic laity, before you come to us, your pastors and priests and bishops to confess your sins and seek pardon, brothers and sisters, Catholic laity, please give us your pardon and forgiveness, too, for our sins against you,” he said.
He mentioned the sins priests and bishops usually commit.
“Forgive us, for our long homilies and rushed liturgies.”
“Forgive us, for allowing the glitter of gold to dim the glow of the sacred host.
“Forgive us, for getting stuck in dusty, dogmatic formulas, and snuffing out the spirit of renewal.”
“Forgive us, for using un-Christlike means to spread the Gospel of love and mercy.”
“Forgive us, for our stingy encouragement and hasty prejudices.”
“Forgive us, for allowing the Church to age and playing deaf to the joy of the youth and the children. ”
“Forgive us, for the delivering hindrances instead of being helpful.”
He humbly asked for apology, saying “Brothers and sisters, our parishioners, forgive us, your lost shepherds, and beg God to show us his mercy.”
Villegas mentioned pride as primary root of all sins.
“All sin is pride,” he said.
“Idolatry is taking pride in our manmade gods of money and fame. The dishonor for parents is pride that makes us forget our roots. Ingratitude to elders is the root of disrespect. Pride, blocking the memory of the heart,” he added.
Murder, he said is another form of pride.
“Murder is pride, dictating that I, not God, have rights over the lives of my neighbor. Murder says, “I am not my brother’s keeper; I am his boss. I can do with him what pleases me,” he said.
He also identified stealing and adultery as forms of pride.
“Stealing is pride, claiming that I have rights over things I like regardless of my neighbor’s needs. Adultery is pride. Adultery reduces my friends to [objects],” he said.
“Sex is my right, not a responsibility. I do what I enjoy. The liar is the brother of the proud. Both proud and liar live in a bubble world of illusions,” he added.
But VIllegas said, God is “very merciful.”
“God is not just merciful. God is very merciful. God is rich in mercy. It is easier for God to control his anger than to withhold his mercy. The revenge of Jesus when we sin is mercy,” the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate said.
He identified the “three requirements” for Catholic faithful to go to heaven as mentioned by Saint Augustine.
“The first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is humility,” he said. CDG
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