Bishop seeks stronger Church voice against killings, abuses

Bishop seeks stronger Church voice against killings, abuses

Faith leaders hold an ecumenical prayer service for the slain Catholic priests outside Quiapo Church in Manila, June 18, 2018. RICHARD DE LEON

By Richard de Leon

June 19, 2018

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop is grateful for the growing dissent against killings and human rights abuses in the country, but wants the Church to do more.

In a Mass to mourn the killing of priests on Monday, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the Church cannot remain silent or passive as the death toll continues to rise in the government’s war on drugs.

“People are asking why is the Church silent? They don’t expect the church people to have guns but they expect us bishops, priests, nuns and lay groups to speak out,” Pabillo said in his homily at Quiapo Church.

At one point in his sermon, he scored President Rodrigo Duterte for supposed high crimes and abuses of power.

“The law is being used to have a sense of legality in whatever he does,” he said.

The bishop said the Church leaders must make their voices heard and stop making excuses when it comes to issues in the wider society.

“Let us break our silence and fight the lies, terror, and abuses of this administration,” said Pabillo.

He then urged the public not to resort to violence when tackling the problem besetting the country.

“If we use the weapon of evil, even if we win we still lose because we became evil as well,” he said. “We will only drive away the evil spirit in Malacañang through prayer with faith.”

The liturgical service was preceded with a candle lighting protest and to call for justice for killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo and other priests.