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Bishop urges church leaders not to remain silent

Bishop urges church leaders not to remain silent

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Manila archdiocese, opens the “Jubilee Door” of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo on Sunday, April 25. PHOTO COURTESY OF PATRICK DOMINICK ROMERO/RCAM

By Roy Lagarde

April 25, 2021

Manila, Philippines

On Good Shepherd Sunday, a Catholic bishop urged fellow church leaders not to allow themselves to be silenced and to stand up against ‘evils’ of society.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, administrator of the Manila archdiocese, said the temptation had always been there to silence church people amid killings, red-tagging and other issues.

“In the Church, there are those that choose not to speak despite the obvious evils in the society,” Pabillo said in his homily at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Manila’s Binondo district.

“Sad to say, we, church leaders, take refuge in silence. We are like watchdogs, who have lost the courage to at least bark,” he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic, according to him, should also not be a reason to be distant from their flock and speak out against injustice.

“But, do we really protect ourselves from the virus or, do we protect ourselves from the people and our responsibility towards them?” Pabillo said.

The overall ministry of the church, he said, must find connectedness in application with societal issues, instead of only wrestling with “intra-church matters”.

“There are so many in the peripheries, who have to be reached out to, and not only the usual flock that we have,” he said.

Before the Mass, Pabillo led the opening of the “Jubilee Door” of the Binondo Church.

The bishop added that the Good Shepherd Sunday, which is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, calls on faithful to pray not just for more shepherds, “but good shepherds”.

Pabillo said that the lack of good leaders is only from the political arena, but from the civic and business sectors as well as in the churches.

“Let us pray to the Good Shepherd to give us good leaders in the Church and in the country,” he said.

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