Bishop enjoins faithful: Repent for your silence on issues
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Ash Wednesday exhorted the Catholic faithful to repent not only for their commission of sinful acts, but for their silence on social issues.
Pabillo reminded the faithful to seek forgiveness for things that they should have done but failed to do, or the sins of omission.
“One of the greatest sins of omission we commit as Filipinos is when we neglect our country, we do not protect or watch over it,” he said in his homily at the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros, Manila.
‘We just keep mum’
“It seems okay for us that there are corrupt people. It seems okay for us if there are killings all around us, we’re not involved anyway. It seems okay for us when people curse, we don’t do it anyway,” he added.
“We just keep mum; we don’t do anything, that’s why we became the laughingstock of other countries.”
Lent, a season of fasting, reflection and prayer, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Maundy Thursday. From then on until Easter Sunday, the church celebrates the Easter Triduum of Christ’s passion, death, burial and resurrection. Holy Week is the season’s high point.
Pabillo said Filipinos should be sorry for their silence on issues, such as the extrajudicial killings, besetting a Christian nation like the Philippines.
“We thought you’re a Christian nation? Why is there a lot of extrajudicial killings? Why are human rights not given importance? Why do you let your leaders curse? Nobody’s talking, nobody’s opposing it, that’s why they continue doing what they’re doing,” he said.
The prelate said it was the Filipinos’ social responsibility to speak out against these issues. “That is one of the things we should be sorry for especially in this time of Lent,” he said.
“We’re being disrespected in their proposed Charter change. You know what’s proposed there? That they’ll stay in power, that pork barrel will be institutionalized, and limitations to foreign ownership will be lifted …” he said, referring to proadministration lawmakers’ push to amend the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for a federal system of government.
It is only logical, Pabillo said, for Filipinos to know and get involved in social issues “because we can only speak if we know the issues.”
‘Don’t pretend to be clean’
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at a new relocation site for urban poor families in Barangay Santulan, Malabon City, also dwelt on the meaning of ash in his homily.
“Do not pretend to be clean, God knows us very well. That’s the meaning of putting ash on our forehead,” he said.
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