Wednesday, June 14, 2006

LIBERATING OUR COUNTRY FROM "UNFREEDOMS"

This message of CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Archdiocese of Jaro, was read by Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Archdiocese of Lingayen and former CBCP head at the Interfaith prayer service, "Panalanging Bayan", 430 pm, Liwasang Bonifacio, 12 June 2006.

LIBERATING OUR COUNTRY FROM "UNFREEDOMS"
Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
June 12, 2006


We celebrate today the Philippine Independence Day with
gratitude for everything that has been in our history. We honor the
heroes big and small, known and unknown, who have worked for our
liberation as a nation.

But while we succeeded in breaking the yoke and chain of
Spanish, Japanese and American colonizers, are we succeeding in
breaking the yoke and chain of fellow Filipinos? Ang masakit na
karanasan ng mga Filipino ngayon ay bagamat nakalaya na tayo sa
pang-aalipin ng mga banyaga, ay mayroon namang mga kapwa Filipino na
umaalipin sa kanilang kapwa Filipino.

Gathered in the atmosphere of prayer, we invite ourselves
to pray that we may be delivered from the many "unfreedoms" that we
are experiencing.

We have freed ourselves from the punishment of death
penalty. But we still have to free ourselves from drug addiction and
drug lords, from jueteng addictions and jueteng lords, from the
temptation to extort and to bribe, from exploitation of women and
children, from the killings of militants, labor leaders and
journalists without the benefit of just trial, from torture and
maltreatment of every kind, from graft and corruption and subtle
dictatorship. Without these the celebration of the Philippine
Independence Day in this Year of Social Concerns would be more
meaningful.

Civil society is moving on with a growing social
consciousness for what is truly good and just for the nation. We
recall what Pope Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est wrote: "The
formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church,
but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use
of reason."

What is the duty of the Church? "The Church has an
indirect duty (says Benedict XVI), in that she is called to contribute
to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of the moral
forces." What is the duty of the civil society? "The direct duty to
work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to
the lay faithful. As citizens of the State, the Pope says, "they are
called to take part in the public life in a personal capacity? in the
many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and
cultural areas?for the common good."

The CBCP has already expressed in former Pastoral
Exhortations ("Building a Civilization of Love" and "Renewing Our
Public Life") its recommendations which I now briefly summarize as
follows: 1) that the reform and modernization of our electoral process
be continued; 2) that the election of 2007 be pursued in order to
offer our country a new breed and brand of leaders; 3) that if charter
change is to be pursued, it should be through a Constitutional
Convention, whose delegates are elected by the people. We are not
against charter-change per se; but we are against charter-change by
the present congress converting itself into a Constituent Assembly.
From history we learn that dictators are products of and supported by
parliamentary forms of government.

Philippine Independence Day is an occasion to promote "a
spirituality of citizenship" which fosters a sense of patriotism and
of being responsible for our country. "It develops Filipinos into
becoming active and constructive participants in social and political
life. It enables the laity to take their rightful leadership role in
the social transformation of our country" (CBCP Pastoral Exhortation,
"Building a Civilization of Love").

1 Comments:

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Good post.

 

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