5 online challenges vs ‘culture of life’
BACOLOD – Amid the groundswell of public sentiment against the “culture of death” and as provinces organize prayer rallies to uphold the sanctity of human life, there is a need to champion life everywhere, anywhere – even online.
This is the observation of Fr. Ronald Quijano, chairman of the Commission on Family and Life of the Diocese of Bacolod.
5 challenges to life
The Family and Life chairman pointed out the following challenges Catholic citizens have to face to uphold the “culture of life”:
- General indifference to death. “First it is worth to cite a millennial ‘hashtag’ which says ‘#killpamore’ in reference to thousands who already died due to the war on drugs, and the common remark of police reports in TV news ‘inimbitahan, tumakas, lumaban, binaril’; and when asked who did it, the answer is ‘We do not know; perhaps his fellow drug pushers killed him,’” shared the priest.
“A supporter of the death penalty commented that, since many are complaining about extra-judicial killings (EJK), so we will now make it ‘judicial killings’ by legalizing it,” shared Quijano.
- Trolls. “Second is the existence of ‘trolls’ functioning as IT spin-masters who usually twist sensitive issues, in favor of their ‘cultic-leader’, by labelling those who oppose the death penalty as ‘yellowtards’ whom they even accuse of hatching a destabilization plot against the current administration.”
- Misunderstanding of separation of Church and state. “Third, is the misconception of the separation of Church and state; as if the Church is a stumbling block to the affairs of the government,” added Quijano.
- Misconception that the Church favors criminals. The priest noted: “Fourth, is the impression that it easy for the Church to speak against death penalty but how about the trauma experienced by the victims and their family members? Is the Church defending more the offenders and remains indifferent to those who have been abused and oppressed?”
- Perception of a non-proactive Church. Lastly, Quijano referred to the challenge to the Church that is perceived as limiting herself to reacting to the issue on death penalty but not taking the proactive approach as proper to a “Mother and Teacher”.
To those who criticize the Catholic Church for not doing anything, Quijano mentioned several initiatives made in Bacolod alone, as expressions of a more formative approach, namely:
- Bahay Pag-asa of La Salle in Granada;
- Rehabilitation in Victorias;
- Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous at the Redemptorist Church;
- Rehabilitation for minors in Don Bosco, etc.
The Walk for Life in Manila and other prayer rallies in the provincial cities are “opportunities for evangelization to educate our people about the Church’s teachings on human life and to explain the harmful repercussions of the recurrent ‘extra-judicial killings’ (EJK) and the re-imposition of the death penalty,” he said.
“It is ironic that Congress gives high priority to House Bill no. 01 which legalizes the ‘death penalty’,” lamented the priest.
“Due to the government’s war on drugs, threats of terrorism and other social problems, it appears as if we are in a hopeless situation and the only solution to violence is also to commit violence,” he observed.