In the midst of our national mourning over the victims of an outrageous crime that shocked the Filipino nation a few days ago – victims who symbolize in a way the Filipino people- the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines holds out its hands and emulates all our countrymen of good will who have sought divine mercy for the eternal repose of those who died, for the speedy recovery of those who were injured and repentance for those who wronged us.
We appeal to our clergy, religious and laity, that together with the people of all faiths, we intensify such a prayer, imploring at the same time that God grant the grace of repentance for our own sins and the genuine resolve to amend our ways of life in accordance with His Commandments as these times bid us observe them.
We beg to submit that the public crime perpetrated at Plaza Miranda, unprecedented in its cruelty and wicked machinations, may also serve as a terrible reminder of what horrendous consequences await our country and our people should we abandon and violate the divine mandate of love, justice and truth, and go over to a law of hatred, injustice and falsehood.
As we condemn the crime itself and demand that no efforts be spared to bring the criminals to a prompt and proper conviciton, we also appeal to our beloved countrymen to shun any act or pronouncements, based on mere conjectures as to cause or motivation, which could only confuse or inflame our people.
As pastors of the faithful entrusted to our service, we appeal to all our brothers and sisters that we lead our countrymen to meet the need for self-examination and searching of conscience. Moral decedence, social injustice, electoral violations, unbridled and unjust election tirades, the propensity to settle grievances with the gun, graft and black-mail corruption, the demand to implement demonstration with violence, brutality and murder, are examples of the social evils that we have allowed or nurtured to grow in our respective communities.
With a fervent hope that this our pastoral appeal be not a voice in the wilderness of our social distress, we urge the people of God to turn to God in our country through Holy Masses, prayers and sacrifices, offered in all churches, chapels and homes, indeed, wherever and whensoever this be proper, that God may hear us and bless us abundantly with that peace that belongs to the “land of the morning”.
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:
(Sgd.)+MARIANO G. GAVIOLA, D.D.
Titular Bishop of Girba
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