Church group berates ‘lack of sense of God’ in drug war slays
A community of priests lamented the ‘lack of sense of sin and of God’ as drug-related killings continue to increase, as they reaffirmed their commitment to protect the sanctity of life.
The Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) Philippines said they are resolute to give voice to the poor and the oppressed, especially of the victims of the unabated killings.
“We stand, therefore, as advocates of the culture of life, in the midst of confusions in moral relativity, lack of the sense of sin and of God,” the OFS said in a statement.
They also committed themselves to bring the presence of the Church “concretely” accessible to everyone “where the poor and thirsty are invited to drink of the love and mercy of the Triune God who never gives up on us”.
“Accompanied by Mary, we need to go forth with a new sense of mission; bearers of light and capable of healing division and weaknesses,” the group added.
“We invite all Christians to become the face and instrument of Jesus Christ,” they also said. CBCPNews
Read full statement of the Secular Franciscan Order after the 5th National OFS Clergy Gathering:
STATEMENT OF RESOLVE
5th National OFS Clergy Gathering
Carmelite Missionaries’ Center of Spirituality
Imbued by the life-giving love of God, we came together to reflect on our lives, mission and accountability as OFS Clergy to the people we serve, in the context of our present Philippine realities and the challenge of our Gospel way of life. We, the participants of the 5th OFS clergy gathering reflected on our life, focusing on how to live the Spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi in the church today. We looked on the meaning and implications of our prayer life in the context of our Franciscan tradition and the realities of the church and society… We looked and reflected on these realities bearing in mind the precepts of the Gospel that should disturb us until we make a response based on the demands of our Franciscan way of life, lived in the concreteness of our ministry in the church of the poor with the poor and becoming poor ourselves like Jesus Christ. Praying and reflecting on the inputs given to us on the prayer and Gospel life of St. Francis and Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we dared to make a resolve to:
1. Deepen our prayer life so that we would not merely create images of “prayerful priests” but rather making our life – prayer and offering pleasing to the Father. Thereby, making ourselves holy and worthy of our responsibilities and ministries.
2. Allow ourselves to be constantly disturbed by the invitation of the Gospel and live in obedience with lawful authorities; having oneness in perspectives and consistency of actions.
3. Commit ourselves to the process of transformation and becoming God’s gift to the church and society and consider seriously the invitation of our faith and consecration, so that in our little ways, we can be instruments in rebuilding the church racked by internal scandals and the seeming efforts from external factors or groups to destroy our Church.
4. To give witness to the church for being a voice of the poor, deprived and oppressed, especially the families of the victims of the unabated killings. We stand, therefore, as advocates of the culture of life, in the midst of confusions in moral relativity, lack of the sense of sin and of God.
5. Strive to plant seeds of goodness and reconciliation, so that we can look forward to reaping the fruits of our Franciscan Spirituality: Peace, Joy and Love that are truly the pillars of our life of witnessing; and offer hope that in our faith, we can find fullness and fulfilment of life for Jesus Christ is the well-spring of life.
6. Constantly preach the Gospel as joyful news of: God’s love, of his reign in our hearts and his compassion in our minds so as to embrace everyone with our arms and not of condemnation or damnation; continue to promote more interactions among the Franciscan family and be involve more in inter-Franciscan activities like: Greccio, Transitus and recollections.
7. Start the process of establishing a canonical fraternity of OFS clergy, considering Bulacan and Dumaguite dioceses as the pilot fraternities of clergy.
We make these resolves so as to allow experiences of the grace and the sacramental presence of the church concretely accessible to everyone… where the poor and thirsty are invited to drink of the love and mercy of the Triune God who never gives up on us. Accompanied by Mary, we need to go forth with a new sense of mission; bearers of light and capable of healing division and weaknesses. We invite all Christians to become the face and instrument of Jesus Christ. The best is still to come… God bless.
OFS CLERGY and NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSISTANTS
On the feast of St. Mathew, September 21, 2017, Carmelite Missionaries’ Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay city