CBCP prexy to faithful: ‘Remember the essence of our mission’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The faithful here are reminded about the essence and true value in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ more than 500 years since Christianity was introduced in the country.
This was the message of Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), during his Homily for the Holy Mass marking the culmination of two milestones for the Roman Catholic church — the 500 Years of Christianity (500 YOC) and the 2nd National Mission Congress.
“We often misunderstood what mission is about, many times in the past. We are aware that at the guise of evangelizing, we propagate slavery, racism, colonization and other ungodly things that lead to the destruction of cultures and environment,” said David.
“We tend to equate evangelizing with propagating religion, often using coercive means to force our faith to other people. If we are not careful, the idea of carrying our mission can turn us into triumphalistic zealots with a messianic complex, that has nothing to do with our humble messiah,” he said.
The top CBCP official also urged devotees here to always ‘care, protect and empower’ the weak and marginalized, pointing to the 500 YOC’s theme of ‘Gifted to Give’.
“Our aim is to build a civilization of love. One that aims to raise our level of humanity not by the strength of weapons or by the level of the Gross National Product. But by the way we express compassion for the weak, the elderly, the sick, the disadvantaged, and those with disabilities,” said the CBCP president.
The Roman Catholic Church here led the closing ceremony of 500 YOC with several events including a Grand Solemn Foot Procession, and the Pontifical Coronation of Patrocinio de Maria Santisima in Boljoon, Cebu.
It was also attended by some of the church’s top leaders. Aside from David, those in attendance included Rev. Charles Brown, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines; Archbishops Jose Palma (Cebu), John Du (Palo), and Pedro Dean (Archbishop Emeritus of Palo); and Bishops Socrates Mesiona (Puerto Princesa), Alberto Uy (Tagbilaran), Patrick Buzon (Bacolod), Victor Bendico (Baguio), Patrick Parcon (Talibon), Isabelo Abarquez (Calbayog), Gerardo Alminaza (San Carlos, Negros Occidental), Jose Corazon (Calibo); and Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Antonio Rañola.
Cebu was the site of the first baptism that took place in the Philippines in 1521.
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