Faithful reminded: ‘The Church is more than an NGO’

Faithful reminded: ‘The Church is more than an NGO’

Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera gave a crash course on Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate on the second day of the 5th Joint National Annual Family Media Advocacy – Doctors for Life Conference, June 30, 2018. NIRVA DELACRUZ

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

June 30, 2018

BAGUIO City

Countering the idea that the Catholic Church functions just like any other outreach group or non-government organization, Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera reminded the faithful earlier today, June 30, that the Catholic Church will always be more than a mere NGO in the middle of the world.

“’A Church that has become an NGO is worthless..She loses her salt,’” stressed the prelate, quoting a line from Gaudete et Exsultate.

According to the archbishop, while the will always be engaged in good works, the Church, as the “Bride of Christ” will primarily be focused on the proclamation of the Gospel.

In connection to this, Garcera reminded the faithful not to make efficiency the main focus of the Church.

Not looking for ‘fruits’

“We are not there to look for fruits or success.. Don’t look for efficiency in the Church,” he stressed.

Garcera traced this kind of thinking to the influence of pelagianism, as mentioned by the Pope in Gaudete et Exsultate.

He also urged people who serve in the Church to resist the temptation to believe “they can do everything.”

2 enemies of holiness

“’I can do this… I will do this.. I’m the president of the a Catholic organization…’ Wait a minute. That’s why you need prayer… Man proposes, God disposes. …Not everyone can do everything,” stressed Garcera, who gave a session on Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation at the 5th Joint National Annual Family Media Advocacy – Doctors for Life Conference.

Drawing from the apostolic exhortation, the prelate identified modern gnosticism and pelagianism as the two enemies of holiness.

Hundreds of delegates from all over the country are gathered for the conference which also features talks on fatherhood, understanding annulment, fertility, among others.