Church calls on public to join activities

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo November 04,2017 - 11:30 PM

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.


As the church ended its 40 days of mourning period for the victims of extrajudicial killings (EJK), Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged Cebuanos to join activities on Sunday to call for the nation’s healing from its “woundedness.”

A series of church-led activities will be held today, November 5, dubbed as “Lord Heal Our Land Sunday.”

The activities will start with a gathering at the Cebu Provincial Capitol grounds at 3 p.m., to be followed by a solemn procession heading towards the Redemptorist Church for the celebration of the Holy Mass at 5:30 p.m.

“This is also an invitation to prayer asking the Lord to bless and hear our cry and we pray for the conversion of hearts especially to the concerned government and the police,” said Palma.

Palma explained that while the church supports the war against illegal drugs, the campaign must come without casualties.

“We are sad about the killings that are happening and we know that this is not in accordance with our hopes and dreams for a better country,” Palma said.

“If there is a way to fight drugs without the killings, we say yes to the war on drugs. But there are legal, [and] moral ways to do it. Some of the killings that happened are highly questionable,” he added.

Palma called for the proper apprehension and investigation of those believed to be involved in the illegal drug trade.

While the 40 days of mourning ended last November 1, “Lord Heal Our Land Sunday” will kick off the Catholic Church’s 33-day “Start the Healing” campaign which will culminate on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Philippines.

During the 33-day period, Catholics are encouraged to pray the prayer of St. John Paul II, the Holy Rosary, receive Holy Communion daily until December 8, and pray for the “continued healing” of the nation and for the peace of the souls of all those killed.

Other church activities

In Manila, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) invited the public to join a 1-kilometer procession from Edsa Shrine going to the People Power Monument.

The activity will start with a Mass at the Edsa Shrine at 3 p.m. after which the participants will carry the image of the Our Lady of Fatima, the same image brought by devotees during the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, in a short procession to the People Power Monument.

Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas belied claims that the movement on Sunday is part of an alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte administration.

“Hindi po tayo manggugulo. Huwag na po natin guluhin ang ating bayan. (We do not want trouble. Let us not create trouble in our country.) We ask

the Lord for healing of our land, healing of our people so we can move forward in peace, in prosperity, for all,” Villegas said.
“With Our Lady of Fatima, let’s pray for the healing of our nation. Stop the killings! Healing does not mean turning a blind eye but being conscious to what is happening in our societies and owning to our mistakes,” Villegas added.

Several multisectoral groups are expected to join the march today.

Civic group Tindig Pilipinas spokesperson Karina Constantino-David also refuted claims that their alliance is out to destabilize the government, saying that the actions they take are part of the democratic process.

“Hindi po kami destablizer, hindi po kami nananawagan ng overthrown ng pamahalaan, hindi po kami nananawagan galing sa galit, nananawagan po kami galing sa malasakit (We are not destabilizers, we are not calling to overthrow the government, we are not making the call out of anger but out of compassion),” said David.

Former Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro called on people from all walks of life to join the activities.

“Ang ating bayan ay maraming pinagdaanan, at marami pang pasubok na hinaharap. Alam naman nating lahat at ng bawat sektor na malalim ang mga sugat na ating dinadama ngayon (Our nation has gone through a lot, and we will face more challenges in the future. We and the different sectors all know that the wounds we are experiencing now are deep),” Luistro said in a press conference in Quezon City.

“Ang panawagan po ng simbahan, magdasal tayo, magsama-sama at ialay natin ang ating mga pagsubok para ating maumpisahan na ang panahon ng paghilom sa ating bayan (The church’s call is for us to pray, come together and offer our sacrifices so we could start the healing in our country),” Luistro added.

Healing, he said, starts with accepting the truth and demanding for accountability.

“Healing starts by embracing those truths, however painful they are. And the inconvenient truth is for the past one and half years, 13,000 have been killed,” Luistro explained.

“EJK is not just a word. EJK is not just a government program. EJK is about people, it’s about names, nameless and faceless people that in fact, we have all forgot,” he added. /with

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