Church lacks ‘common paradigm’, says priest

Church lacks ‘common paradigm’, says priest

Msgr. Manuel Gabriel speaks at a forum on “Missionary Commitment in Critical Times” at the CICM Provincial House in Quezon City on July 14. MARTINA SUMMER DAGAL

By Joselle Dela Cruz

July 17, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The Catholic Church lacks a “shared and common paradigm” on responding to the “critical situations” that the Philippines is currently facing, a priest said.

Speaking at a forum on “Missionary Commitment in Critical Times” in Quezon City over the weekend, Msgr. Manuel Gabriel said this lack of “common framework” causes the absence of guide that can “steer our way to the midst of problem and difficulties”.

According to him, it is difficult to come up with an action on these issues if there’s a lack of “common perspective.”

“Mahirap kumilos kapag magkakaiba ang pinanghuhugutan ng ating pananaw. We may differ but have a shared something, we share our differences. But there’s one thing that maybe you be fond of regardless of our various affiliations within the Church,” Gabriel said.

“Baka ‘yung pagtugon ay nakasisira pa kaysa nakabubuo. And to my mind, this is the issue of the Church. But the Church is not short of providing a common direction,” he said.

Gabriel is currently the executive secretary of the bishops’ Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). He is also a parttime professor at Asian Social Institute in Manila and CICM Mary Hill School of Theology in Quezon City.

The priest then gave five elements of the New Evangelization that could help address these “critical situations” of the Church: contextual, focus on faith experiences, Christocentric, renewal of the Church and prioritize the life of the excluded and marginalized.

“There is a lack of shared and common paradigm to handle the critical situation today. The challenge is the New Evangelization should bring us all together to bring about transformation in our society,” he said.

Gabriel emphasized that the Church must be in a “missionary mode” rather than stuck in a “maintenance mode.”

“Hindi puwedeng tumugon sa problema ng bayan ang mga taong ang takbo ng utak ay tinatawag na maintenance, na kung anong nandiyan, ‘yun nalang,” he said.

“If we are maintenance mode, nothing happens as it was in the beginning is now forever will be. A missionary mode breaks barriers, breaks new grounds, has new thinking, changes everything,” he added.